How Technology Can Enhance a Day in the Life of a CRE Broker

How Technology Can Enhance a Day in the Life of a CRE Broker

The commercial real estate brokerage industry is a challenging but lucrative profession. There are ups and downs but those who are passionate about the job with the strength to face the inevitable tough times will succeed in the long term.

There isn’t a typical workday for a commercial real estate broker and each day will vary depending on the firm, client requirements, level of expertise and the particular sector a broker will focus on. The one thing that is true for all CRE brokerage professionals, no matter the specialization or role is that brokers spend a good portion of the day tracking progress and making sure all components of a transaction are moving along as efficiently as possible.

As with any other high-pressure occupation, commercial real estate pros are required to organize and prioritize their day’s activities to stay on top of increasingly overwhelming to-do lists. Those that have mastered the art of managing their days better are typically rewarded with a higher volume of deals as well as a higher capacity to successfully convert their current pipeline of transactions into closings. It’s a simple notion – a better managed day means a more productive one that ultimately translates into the highest return on effort and an increased income.

Deal tracking has typically been done through a variety of spreadsheets and databases, but unfortunately, this outdated approach is rarely efficient and prone to errors. Overall, the commercial real estate industry has struggled when it comes to adopting technology. But for an industry that is data sensitive and in dire need of better organization when it comes to deal tracking, the good news is there are many new technologies available that can improve the day to day life of a broker.

Deal tracking technology creates efficiency and easier access to information. With the same level (or even less) input, brokers can get a more valuable output on their deals, client relationships, and a better handle on where things currently stand. This also creates deal automation with transaction alerts and notifications as well as the ability to share databases, track deal progress, record and follow up on communications and have access to a host of other critical items that translate into a higher return on the effort invested.

Today’s power brokers are most likely the ones who continue to implement technologies that help grow their businesses. They understand that the efficiency of bringing technology into their day-to-day business lives will result in improved time management, superior organization, better insight into where efforts need to be applied in order to convert deals into closings and the ability to capitalize on new and recurring client opportunities.

Technology will help brokers spend less time working on transactions and more time building stronger relationships with clients. The bottom line is brokers are needed for their industry knowledge and advisory skills, first and foremost, and cannot be slowed down with tasks unrelated to managing and eventually closing a deal. Through the adoption of technology, they can truly be trusted advisors at the table and allow themselves to focus on doing what they do best. It’s critical that today’s commercial real estate professionals incorporate new tools in the marketplace or run the risk of falling behind those who do.

The Eco-System of the Commercial Brokerage Office: Can Technology Eliminate the “Silo” Effect?

The Eco-System of the Commercial Brokerage Office: Can Technology Eliminate the “Silo” Effect?

For years, the commercial real estate brokerage industry has been known for its typically slower adoption of technology and its tendency to function in “silos.” Although this is still somewhat true today, more and more brokerages are implementing collaborative approaches to leverage the skills and strengths of every team member and also utilizing technology to manage their day-to-day processes.  It’s no coincidence that these are the firms that typically stand out from the competition.

If you own or manage a commercial brokerage office than you understand what makes up the so-called “eco-system” of a successful brokerage business:

  1. The Client Relationship
  2. The Transaction
  3. The Closing Process

While these three elements stand out as the most critical components of any brokerage eco-system, unfortunately, these are also the areas that also tend to function within silos. An individualized approach towards overseeing these components is also more likely to make them difficult to manage.

The client relationship is the first and arguably most important long-term element of the eco-system. In many offices, brokers are still using their own customer relationship management (CRM) system or other personal methods for managing these connections which are comprised of everything from prospecting to managing contacts to converting a relationship into a listing or an assignment.

Once an assignment is awarded and negotiations on a deal begin, the second component of the eco-system — the transaction itself—is set in motion.  When a prospect or client is now considered a “transaction in process,” many brokers still tend to manage the many critical and complicated details of deals on spreadsheets or even in their head.

After a deal is finalized, we move into the closing process. Essentially the “homestretch” component of the eco-system, a firm must now work with the broker to make sure all documents are collected, deal vouchers are prepared, and commission splits and co-operating broker payments are finalized. But the work does not stop there as firms must also oversee the many other important matters of the deal closing process such as invoicing, receivables, and other items that are a part of a seemingly endless list of procedures.

Most managers, owners, and even brokers understand these three components are the key drivers of their business, yet their existence within company silos is still prevalent in the commercial real estate industry.  From an administration standpoint, these silos create multiple data entry requirements, prevent a seamless process of managing the overall transaction and simply waste time.

The solution is having a product that allows all three components integrated into one, easy-to-use system that is specifically built for the commercial real estate brokerage office and addresses these core elements without being overly complex to understand. There are technology products in the marketplace that address each component but require integrations and multiple entries or are limited by the fact that the platform does not function as a seamless one-stop-shop offering.

Developing a single, fully integrated technology program that allows brokers to manage the entire transaction process from listing to closing will steer the future success of the commercial real estate brokerage profession, help break down the silo walls and mitigate the hassle associated with the more technical and time-consuming parts of the job.

 

 

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