5 Challenges CRE Tech Tools Will Solve for Brokers in 2021

July 21, 2021

According to Apto’s most recent National Broker Buzz Poll, more than half of CRE brokers say they’ve become more reliant on technology since the pandemic. And 42% say they’re now more comfortable using CRE tech tools.

As Michael Beckerman, CEO of CREtech, put it: “...we will enter a period where those that are not embracing tech [as both a] powerful tool to improve every aspect of their business [and] to enhance their relationships with the people they serve...will be left behind.”

It’s unlikely CRE will slip back to its old non-tech habits—no one used an abacus after trying the calculator. The most competitive brokers will be the ones who identify challenges, like bad data and inefficient processes, then apply tools to overcome them. We’ll give you a rolling start with these five CRE tech tools designed to help your firm work faster and with more clarity.


Challenge #1: Stale, incorrect property listings

Sorting through out-of-date property listings that have already sold chews up valuable time. Incomplete and incorrect property information in listings leads to false conclusions during the underwriting process.

The solution: biproxi’s CRE marketplace

birpoxi’s CRE marketplace is internally regulated, so incoming property details are accurate and stale listings are removed, giving brokers and buyers faster, more accurate search results.

Source: biproxi.com

biproxi’s commercial real estate marketplace—one piece of the all-in-one CRE platform— was developed by CRE pros who understand the cost of stale and inaccurate listings. biproxi Founder Gordon Smith has more than 25 years of experience in CRE, and the board includes brokers and investors, each with decades of time spent on both sides of the closing table.

The result is a CRE marketplace that prioritizes clean, up-to-date property listings. The listing upload process has tight guidelines, ensuring data is correct. And each listing is regularly reviewed for days-on-market—brokers are automatically notified to update or remove old listings.

For brokers, that means properties that get found faster without the noise of stale listings, plus a better place to find opportunities for buy-side clients.

The marketplace is just one feature of biproxi’s all-in-one solution for brokers and buyers. Contact biproxi to start creating free property listings and learn more about how the platform enables each stage of the CRE process.

Challenge #2: Cumbersome appraisals and investment projections

The workflow to create price and profit models for commercial real estate is complex, time-consuming, and expensive when you have to hire additional analysts to manage the workload. On top of that, the complexity of the process often leads to errors and untrustworthy models.

The solution: Dashflow for CRE

Dashflow for CRE is an appraisal and profit projection app for IOS devices that makes data entry extremely easy and uses AI to double-check the accuracy of each financial model.

screenshot of Dashflow's website
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Data entry is the first challenge of building a financial model, and this is where Dashflow shines. The process is five intuitive steps, where you create your building digitally (number of floors and units), then upload lease data (expense, income, etc.) for each leasable space. You can even do this hands-free with voice-powered data entry.

Once your property details are set, the app produces a visual cash flow report you can manipulate with common gestures (tapping, swiping, pinching) to see various profitability scenarios.

Dashflow then error-proofs the analysis by instantly building an Excel model of the deal and comparing it to the AI version.

With Dashflow, brokers can help clients underwrite a deal or create profit-based pricing models for new listings in minutes. Plus, the trustworthy profit prediction Dashflow creates makes negotiations simple and data-based.

Watch this video to learn more, and attend a live demo to see it in action.

Challenge #3: Blind spots in your deal pipeline

Losing track of deals as they progress through the pipeline can cost a commission. A missed opportunity for the right follow-up or the next step at the right time might derail a deal. Teams without transparency into a deal’s progress are less efficient and effective.

The solution: Apto Deals

Apto’s recently released Deals feature eliminates deal blind spots with a visual interface, where you can track, manage, and share projects throughout the entire CRE pipeline.

screenshot of Apto Deals' website
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The kanban layout of Deals is the backbone of its simplicity and transparency. With a quick glance, brokers can track dozens of open deals, see their current stage, and understand which ones need immediate attention—something that’s impossible with a spreadsheet. You can even advance a deal through the sales funnel with a simple drag and drop.

Apto Deals also offers “deal rooms” where you can store all of the project’s documents. Any stakeholder can access the room and the documents they need at any time.

One really nice feature of Deals for brokers is the marketing report. With a few clicks, you can create a shareable marketing update, giving your clients a proactive view into how you’re marketing their property.

There’s a simple demo of Deals, or you can request a one-on-one demonstration of the entire Apto platform.

Challenge #4: Costly in-person property tours

In-person property tours are expensive, take work to coordinate, and aren’t always possible— particularly during a pandemic. Even when a tour does take place, potential buyers may quickly forget about key features they saw that would influence their decision.

The solution: Matterport’s Capture app

Immersive 3D tours can replace many in-person property visits and act as a reminder for buyers who physically walk a site. Matterport’s Capture app makes immersive 3D tour creation accessible to any broker with an iPhone.

screenshot of Matterport's website
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The Capture app is the next step in Matterport Founder Matt Bell’s mission to reduce the cost and technical barriers of creating 3D tours. Now, instead of expensive 3D camera equipment and a steep learning curve, all you need to create a tour of any CRE property is the app, an iPhone, and a few minutes.

The app works by guiding you through a simple process of snapping pictures at just the right interval. Then Matterport’s Cortex AI technology renders those images into a dimensionally accurate and visually realistic twin of any interior space.

Brokers can create an immersive tour experience by embedding notes, links, labels, and videos of key features, the history, or neighborhood attributes. And with one-click sharing, it’s easy to use your tour as an effective follow-up for buyers or as part of an email campaign.

To get started, watch this video, and then download the app.

Challenge #5: Expensive transcription errors

CRE finance workflows are complex, with dozens of people working from hundreds (thousands?) of document pages. Errors are common and costly.

As Brian Thompson, co-founder of CRE Simple Inc., explains: “With thousands of data points, hundreds of documents, and over seventy people involved in every transaction, a single piece of data can be re-entered 26 times over the course of a six-month transaction. The opportunity for errors is immense."

The solution: CRE Simple’s OneSource

OneSource brings everyone involved in a CRE transaction to one platform, eliminating the need for multiple versions of documents and reducing the opportunity for transcription errors.

screenshot of CRESimple's website
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CRE Simple’s OneSource is a data management and collaboration tool purpose-built for the commercial real estate financing process. In the platform, brokers, buyers, and lenders can work from a single set of documents, track progress, and manage tasks.

Deal rooms within the app are customizable, so you can create a unique workflow of tasks for each deal. You can also duplicate a deal room to save time managing repetitive workflows.

For brokers, OneSource provides a convenient way to manage and compare multiple lenders and financing quotes for each of your deals.

CRE Simple offers a free version of OneSource that gives you up to five deal rooms.

Stay ahead of the CRE tech curve

New startups continue to create inventive ways to help CRE firms with their digital transformation. How can you possibly stay current on what’s new? Via periodic reviews of the technology your firm uses.

You review your employees once a year to discuss what’s working and where everyone can grow. The same should go for your CRE tech stack.

To do it, simply schedule a time to meet with your team (or team leaders) at least once a year. Ask them which tools work well, which tools don’t work together, and what bottlenecks might be eliminated with new technology. Then apply that feedback to search for the tools that can help. You might even find some whitespace and develop your own tech tool.

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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