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This Month in Commercial Real Estate Software

Jan 30, 2013

1. Craigslist Mapping

This month Craigslist made some massive, and definitely needed, enhancements to their website.  Through the years, users have waded through simple-text features resonant of technology capabilities familiar to users a decade ago.

It is just now, the first month of 2013, that Craigslist has added a map feature.  This map feature includes everything from real estate listings to your neighbor’s garage sale.  Not stopping there, Craigslist has also added a “Pic View” application that allows users to view a thumbnail of the items seen.  This includes those looking for love through their personal ads.

Craigslist Mapping Feature

2.  CRE “Space Tours”

Residential real estate has been using “virtual tours” to conceptualize their properties for years; however, until just recently the commercial real estate community has hesitated to branch out in the same direction.  Usually this is due to less than attractive indoor settings of many commercial properties.  Not wanting to deter potential prospects, reps were more than likely to skip posting photos of their spaces’ interior. 

In recent days, all of that has changed; with forerunners like 42Floors, and prospects’ continued desire to see every aspect of a property (e.g. building photos, floor plans and interiors) these once underrepresented commercial features are now moving in the same direction as residential real estate. 

It is not just any photo that should accompany these online listings that will drive traffic; it’s the ability to provide photos in a way that will set properties and their features apart.  Again, thanks to pioneers like 42Floors and ViewtheSpace there is now a better and faster way for commercial property to be showcased. 

3. Salesforce, again, One of FORTUNE’S 100

A nod to our sister company Salesforce.com for their fifth consecutive land on Fortune 100’s list of Best Companies to Work For.  Not only is this Salesforce’s fifth time on the list, it is the first time that they have broken into the top 20!  Ranked 19th this year, the company is highly regarded by their employees as evident by the overwhelming positive feedback against the massive 227,000 plus employees from 259 firms throughout corporate America who participated in the FORTUNE’S 100 survey.   Congrats, Salesforce!

Salesforce Fortune 100

4.  A New Workplace Uprising has Begun.

During times of dreadful commutes and the growing ability for corporate real estate professionals to decouple from the desk and work from home, many opted to skip the office.  Conversely, while it may be more comfortable and productive in many ways, what is lacking is the face-to-face connection often needed between professionals and their clients.

Being coined as the new “mobile workforce” on Urban Wonk, corporate real estate professionals aren’t returning to the office, yet they aren’t remaining at home either.  They are conducting their business on the fly; meeting their clients at their convenience and in settings that are comfortable and business appropriate, for instance, renting hotel space or vacant office spaces.  There isn’t complete abandonment of the traditional office space however, the availability to change and adapt to meetings in a more ideal location allows for continued fostering of a professional relationship away from the desk.

5. The AR. Drone

No need to break the bank, you can now download the AR. FreeFlight 2.2 to your iPhone or Android and begin taking your own aerial shots. 

According to the application’s description located on iTunes the user of this application is able to tilt their phone for easy control of the direction of the AR. Drone.  While flying, the innate sensors allow for the drone’s easy take off, landing, and stable flying.

As the drone flies, HD video is recorded and sent directly to the device after the drone has landed; you can then share your video.

According to cre-apps.com this new application has received fairly negative reviews.  However, after finding this application on my iPhone I was curious to see what people were saying.  Unlike cre-apps.com the reviews posted were mostly positive.  Users commented on the functionality and “perfect flying” of their drone as well as many simply stating “Awesome!”  However positive these statements there were clear reference to certain glitches and hiccups; mainly the need for wifi connectivity and at times issues related to the app crashing as the drone reached certain heights. 

Either way this is a step in the right direction for CRE.

6.  LiquidSpace

With the continuing idea of the “mobile workforce” and the act of ditching the desk in search of more practical and convenient workplaces, LiquidSpace is the company to make it happen.  LiquidSpace allows you to quickly and proficiently find a workspace centered on your needs with the amenities you desire.  Whether it’s online or through their mobile app, you can choose from an almost unlimited number of spaces that you can temporarily rent without a traumatic contract.  Additionally, you can narrow down your options based on what you want to fork out dollar wise to rent the space.   

Apto's CRE Tech new January 2013 LiquidspaceOnce you find the space you wish to obtain, invite colleagues and clients, review directions and area parking, and retrieve internet passcodes and related information to ensure nothing but productivity with ease.


 7. 2013 CRE Technology Outlook

An enlightening article was published on urbanland.uli.org that coupled together a number of professionals' CRE technology outlook and its inevitable effects on the CRE community.  From the construction and management of smaller retail stores and buildings due to the growth of online shopping, to the continued growth of a CRM for CRE brokerage business, these professionals provide their predictions surrounding the good, bad, and the ugly for the CRE community in this new year.

A main theme seen throughout the article is the positive growth surrounding the final grasp and utilization of technology to grow CRE business.  With the use of social media, cloud service,  and the growing mobility to market, attain, and maintain customers, CRE brokers are able to provide a significant impact on the industry and the quality and speed in which business is conducted. 

8.  Euclid Analytics

Trend analysis has existed for many years, however, it was as if tracking information was tallied on cave walls.  Say goodbye to those days as with the use of Euclid, a fairly simplistic technology that captures detailed metrics and traffic trends with the use of patrons' mobile devices, not only has happy clients able to better assess traffic trends, but they have created ways in which to foster those trends. 

For instance, a coffee house near the University of California, Berkeley, revamped their coffee house to better accommodate the college student population.  Based on the information gathered through the use of Euclid’s analytics, the coffee house created a more comfortable environment; extending the amount of average time the usual college student would visit.      

There are limitations of Euclid, including the possible privacy concerns regarding the tracking devices used; in fact, stores are required to post signs for patrons informing them of the technology being used.  However, with the direction that Euclid is heading, eventually being able to track a store’s patrons and the patrons' visits to competing stores thus influencing future advertising, the concern about privacy will surely fall by the wayside.  

These are the stories we found to be this month’s CRE tech highlights.  Have CRE tech news that we missed?  Let us know!  

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The Apto Team

Written by The Apto Team

Apto, the commercial real estate software company, is the #1 CRM and deal management platform for commercial real estate brokers, with more paid users than any other service. Apto was built by and for brokers to help them manage contacts, properties, listings and deals from anywhere, on any device. Apto customers include thousands of independent brokers around the world, as well as multinational brokerages CBRE, JLL, NKF, Cushman & Wakefield and others. Headquartered in Denver, Apto is one of the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S., as ranked by Inc. magazine three years in a row.

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