Today’s CRE professionals literally carry their office in their pocket. Thanks to cloud technology they can have access to virtually any document, anytime, anywhere. Thanks to the cloud, real estate is becoming a digital service.
As the tech applications for CRE become ever more responsive to the needs of brokers, investors, and developers, they’re also becoming more compatible with other systems. The cloud creates the capability to integrate these applications and create a powerful system for managing business that’s unlike anything the industry has used in the past. It’s disrupting the industry in the best sense, and changing how business plans are modeled.
When it was first suggested that important and even sensitive documents could be stored and shared in the cloud, the idea raised some concerns. Why would one put the security of those documents at risk? Are they not safer on paper, in the office?
With a little consideration, that objection is quickly put to rest. Web services build in strict security and encryption procedures. They employ security experts to protect files. In contrast, files stored on a laptop are lost if that laptop is stolen or destroyed. Paper copies are much more likely to fall under unauthorized eyes, and they generally have to be mailed in order to be shared. Users can specify who has access to a given file, and change those permissions as the need arises.
In addition to being safely stored, documents in the cloud are instantly accessible, to multiple users, in multiple locations, and on a variety of devices. Many of the platforms designed for CRE also provide access to a vast amount of data and market information, which can be easily assembled into informative reports.
Data aggregation is a tremendous boon to the industry. These platforms combine information from an unprecedented array of sources, including “unstructured data” like social media, websites, video and more. They even incorporate information from devices like traffic sensors and smart building systems, which constantly record and submit data that enriches the picture data can generate. This so-called Internet of Things has the potential to become a primary source of information for CRE.
Managing business in the cloud means there’s less room for human error. Information can be entered once and then automatically distributed across the system, updating dozens of data points instantly. There is very little risk of any outdated information being found and used.
This is something that everyone –brokers, investors, lenders, and developers –desire in every transaction, and it’s integral to cloud-based technology. All relevant documents are centrally stored and available to all authorized users. It’s simple to trace history of transactions and locate information on your own.
Whatever the task, cloud computing can make it happen more efficiently. Brokers can supply in depth property details on demand, assemble and submit offers, and even get contracts signed online. Building managers can oversee maintenance schedules, fill vacancies, and collect rent within a single platform.
All-in-one solutions are a fast-growing segment of the CRE tech industry, and platforms offer flexibility with regard to the features their customers use. This can make it easier to get started with cloud computing and ensure that users only pay for the features that serve their needs best.