12 Commercial Real Estate Tools That Will Change How You Do Business

July 13, 2021

There’s a growing awareness in commercial real estate that adopting new technologies will be critical to future success. That awareness hasn’t yet translated to taking action.

A recent survey from Ernst & Young found that while technology as a strategic agenda is a high priority for 69% of CRE pros, less than a third have implemented more than one commercial real estate tool.

PropTech tools help brokers move faster, make smarter decisions, and more professionally present their firms. CRE brokers that move beyond the awareness phase of tech adoption will be well-positioned against the ones that don’t.


CRE tools to grow your network

No CRE deal is done in isolation. There are always sellers, buyers, brokers, lenders, investors, and a host of other professionals involved. You need a diverse network to move deals forward, and these apps help you build them.

RealConnex

RealConnex is a virtual networking platform created specifically for commercial real estate professionals.

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RealConnex is a platform where you can showcase your services so potential customers find you, generate new business with other members, and connect with other brokers.

The RealConnex dashboard lets you place public posts, ask for recommendations, and track all your interactions.

Cost: There’s no fee to join the RealConnex community.

CRE Members

CRE Members is a social media network and educational platform for commercial real estate professionals.

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CRE Members is a product of CRE Media and Events — a company that hosts live digital conferences for the CRE industry.

The Members platform works like a social media website with a scrollable news feed. There, you’ll see what other CRE pros are talking about and find new potential connections to build your network.

Your membership also gives you access to lender and vendor databases, industry training courses, and some of the most popular CRE virtual events going.

Cost: You can create a CRE Members profile for free. Unlimited membership, which gives you access to training, events, and databases, costs $25 a month.

CRE Tools to prospect faster

Prospecting is all about speed. The faster you can connect through cold calls and email campaigns, the more leads you’ll find. These commercial real estate prospecting tools will increase your lead-generation velocity.

ClientLook

ClientLook is a lightweight contact relationship management platform with built-in virtual assistance designed for CRE.

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ClientLook helps you gather and organize details about every aspect of your firm. The platform offers individual tabs for:

  • Contacts
  • Contracts
  • Properties
  • Listings

The back-office integration makes it easy to pull information from each tab and track prospecting and marketing — both company-wide and for an individual broker.

ClientLook also shoulders the load of data entry so you can focus on making more calls. Send a photo of a business card or a short audio recap of your last meeting, and they’ll place it on the platform for you.

Cost: ClientLook has a free plan for new brokers. For others, the platform costs $89 a month if paid annually.

Apto

Apto is a contact relationship management platform with a built-in property data aggregator.

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Similar to ClientLook, Apto is the place to store and manage contact information and track your deal pipeline. The platform differentiates itself in two ways.

First, Apto automatically pulls property data from national tax, deed, and mortgagee data, filling in white space in your property details.

Second, Apto includes a lightweight property website builder that pulls data you’ve already entered (similar to some of the marketing platforms below).

Cost: Apto’s plan is $129 a month with an additional charge if you need to migrate a lot of data into the platform.

CRE tools to list smarter

If finding leads is about speed, then listing properties is about reach. These marketplaces help you highlight your listings for a large audience of interested buyers and investors.  

biproxi

Biproxi couples a curated CRE listing marketplace with personalized marketing support and analytics.

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Biproxi is built around a CRE marketplace that’s regularly monitored for stale listings — meaning buyers won’t waste time searching through expired and sold properties.

Additionally, you can choose to use biproxi’s Buyer Connect to have your listing actively marketing across multiple marketplaces and platforms.

Biproxi’s marketing dashboard shows you which platforms deliver the best results and how potential buyers interact with your listing so you’ll know right when a cold lead turns warm.

Cost: Listing and searching properties on biproxi are free. Please contact us for pricing on other features.

Loopnet

LoopNet is one of the oldest commercial real estate listing sites and search engines.

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LoopNet has been around for a while and was the only real CRE listing website for brokers/buyers/investors before other marketplaces launched. The website maintains a large catalog of CRE properties for sale, lease, and auction.

Cost: Searching the marketplace is free. LoopNet offers several advertising tiers for listing properties.

CRE tools to find better deals and comps

To sell a property for your client, you have to understand how it compares to similar properties — both on and off-market. These apps help you build an intelligence portfolio about the listing so you can price and position it to sell.

Reonomy

Reonomy is a property intelligence platform that coalesces building and location information from a large network of sources.

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Reonomy is a source for every type of CRE property data, whether it’s for sale or off-market. On Reonomy, you’ll find building details, tax information, debt history, sales history, renovation status, and more.

The power of Reonomy is based in their data network. They pull information from 3,100 local county assessors, secretaries of state, census data, title companies, commercial data & geospatial providers. Then, their AI platform makes the data searchable in one place.

Cost: Reonomy doesn’t list pricing on their website, but they do offer a free trial.

CompStak

CompStak is a free, analyst-reviewed, comp data and analytics platform.

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CompStak crowdsources millions of CRE data points every week to create a searchable database of lease and sales comps, plus property details.

On CompStak, you’ll find historical rents, renovation updates, landlord concessions, sales histories, and physical property details to better market your own listings and negotiate from a position of knowledge. You can also see the big picture by analyzing an entire local market on ComStak.

Cost: CompStak subscription is free, in exchange for your email address.

Esri

Esri is GIS mapping and location-based market software.

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Where CompStak and Reonomy give you property data, Esri helps you visualize the location those properties inhabit.

Which side of the street has more foot traffic? Where do locals prefer wine over beer? Esri transforms this data into beautiful maps that help buyers make better location decisions and brokers create compelling analyses for their clients.

Cost: Esri doesn’t publish a price list but rather provides quotes on demand.

CRE tools to market more professionally

Well-designed marketing materials don’t just look nice; they also instill a level of confidence in your buyers. With these commercial real estate marketing tools, you can quickly create professional-level marketing assets without hiring a design team. Some even include an integrated CRM so you can seamlessly create and send flyers, reports, and more to all your stakeholders.

Buildout

Buildout is a CRE marketing automation platform with a built-in CRM and back-office tools and reporting

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Buildout integrates your contact database and deal database with your marketing materials, meaning you can create email campaigns, websites, and proposals and even update third-party listing sites from one set of data.

The back-office functionality of Buildout includes deal pipeline management as well as accounts payable/receivable and commission tracking.

Cost: Buildout does not publish their pricing, but you can contact them for a quote.  

RealNex

RealNex is business development, marketing automation, and deal management software.

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RealNex offers several of the same capabilities as Buildout, such as the ability to quickly create marketing assets and track your deal pipeline.

RealNex stands out in two ways. First is their marketplace. You can post your listing in their property search engine to be found by interesting buyers. The second is their relational CRM, which shows how your contacts are connected.

Cost: A subscription to Realnex costs $129 a month if you pay for the year upfront.

Matterport

Matterport is 3D imaging software, plus services and hardware.

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Matterport’s flagship product is software that makes it easy to create a 3D rendering of any space — then, turn it into immersive walk-throughs with an experience, similar to Google Maps, that people are used to.

Matterport also sells 3D cameras and has recently released an iPhone app that captures renderings right from your phone.

Once you’ve captured your rendering, you can add information tags to produce an interactive tour, create floor plans, or turn it into 4k images for marketing materials.

Cost: You can try Matterport for free for one space or move up to paid plans for multiple locations starting at $9.99 a month.

Choose commercial real estate tools that work together

Brokers who leverage tech in their firms move faster and with more confidence, but many (58% from this study) say their new technologies don’t integrate with each other.

Solutions that don’t work together can create problems bigger than they solve, such as duplicate work, inaccurate data, and siloed knowledge bases.

As you create your own tech strategy, look for tools that easily integrate with your current platforms. Or, even better, find all-in-one solutions that tackle all the jobs you need to be done.

Ember Hansen
With over a decade of marketing & business development experience, Ember brings a fresh perspective on CRE to the biproxi leadership team by turning her passion for SaaS into actionable insights for brokers and investors looking leverage technology to create a more successful business.
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