Technology Tools that the Real Estate Pros are Using

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By Chris Rising

I host a podcast called The Real Market. I started this podcast as a way to bring the real estate conference panels to your headphones — on your time, wherever you wanted. I interview some of the biggest names in the real estate industry — brokers, architects, investors, and developers to learn what they do, how they do it, and what drives their success. We talk about the latest trends across regional markets, capital flows, both national and global, and explore technology’s role in shaping all of them.

I am deeply passionate about the technology component and like to have my finger on the pulse, as it’s truly the lens into how buildings will operate in the future and this lens also guides our investment decisions. I’ve summarized the most popular technologies that I see our guests using:

For Communication

If you know me well, you know it pains me to say that email is still one of the tools that is among the top tools that we all can’t seem to get rid of. While I see some of our guests trying to get away from it by utilizing other platforms such as Slack and Asana for internal communication, it’s still the the most-used form of external communication.

This tool has been a popular one among the real estate pros that are constantly on the road. Zoom allows them to connect with their team via video chat and share screens for ultimate productivity. Given Andy Cohen’s (ep. 3), Co-CEO of Gensler, busy schedule, video conferencing allows him to talk to 50–60 different people a day.

This, personally, is one of my favorite tools at Rising. It keeps the team on track and helps us cut back on internal emails. I was happy to hear that Andre Beuno (ep. 13), founder of The Bueno Group, uses this tool as well.

Nick Romito (ep. 6), Founder & CEO of VTS, and Brendan Wallace (ep. 15), Co-founder and Managing Partner at Fifth Wall, swear by this instant messaging tool for internal communication. It truly helps to cut down on emails between colleagues.

Matthew Lopez (ep. 11), CEO, MBL Title, uses this tool to auto-populate documents, search through files, print reports, analyze data and pull entire files to send to regulators when needed.

For Leasing

Now this is a company I truly admire and one that we use at Rising with our leasing brokers as well. Carl Muhlstein (ep. 2), International Director in JLL’s Downtown Los Angeles office, mentioned that the level of services that are demanded by owners and tenants are greater than ever and VTS has really improved the flow of information.

Andy Cohen (ep. 3), Co-CEO of Gensler, is now working on projects in 4D. Giving clients the ability to feel and walk through a space via virtual and/or augmented reality has been a game changer. It has given architects the ability to get their ideas across and to show the vision and strategy behind their work. From my standpoint, it’s been a great tool when touring potential tenants through The Trust Building, our latest historic office project on Spring St. in DTLA.

This third-party CRM software focused in the venture world is something Casey Berman (ep. 17), General Partner at Camber Creek, uses. DealFlow Technologies specializes in developing custom solutions for the financial services industry.

It comes at no surprise that Salesforce makes this list. Darla Longo (ep. 9), Vice Chairman, Managing Director at CBRE, mentioned that CBRE uses Salesforce quite often, in addition to a number of other technologies they’ve had custom built. The web-based app allows them to reduce paper by tracking relationships and deals through this software.

Computing Devices

The Surface is essentially Andrew McDonald’s (ep. 4), President of the West Region for Cushman & Wakefield, office. Given his busy schedule, this convenient tablet gives him the chance to have video calls with people and see their face — which makes a huge difference when communicating digitally.

For Market Research

This tool is one of the hubs for real real estate information, analytics, and online marketplaces. Real estate professionals, brokers especially, look to this service, among many others to conduct market research.

For Storage

This tool allows Casey Berman (ep. 17), General Partner at Camber Creek, to access documents no matter where he is. It’s flexible enough and provides exactly what they need.

This file storage software is something we at Rising use religiously. One of our favorite features, from the asset management perspective, is the ability to lock a file, like an excel spreadsheet, while you’re working on it to avoid overriding versions and to ensure ultimate efficiency and accuracy.

While I mentioned we at Rising use Box, we also use Google Drive. The Google Sheets, Forms, and Docs give us the ability to work on a document simultaneously, chat, and make comments. Andre Bueno (ep. 13), founder of The Bueno Group, uses Google Docs a lot — helping cut back on paper.

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Rising Realty Partners is a full service real estate platform, specializing in world-class commercial and industrial properties.

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