New technology transforms real estate business

by Jeffery Hipschman

Once an afterthought, technology now represents one of the most significant financial and operational issues impacting real estate decisions.

It is also a surefire way in differentiating one firm from its competitors and is a key factor in maintaining and enhancing its client base.

For real estate service providers to remain competitive in today's aggressive market, they must ensure that their technology is incorporated into every strategy, providing technological insight into the opportunities or pitfalls presented.

However, one question arises: How to best deliver rapidly evolving technology to the real estate industry--a business that traditionally has been slow to embrace change.

Since CB Richard Ellis' acquisition of Insignia Financial Group,--creating the world's largest real estate services firm--a lot has been said about how the firm will bring technology to the forefront and invest in resources that drive true innovations.

CBRE has not only kept its promise, but in the process has transformed the way its real estate professionals conduct business in the New York area.

Most recently, the company provided all its brokers with new software and hand-held devices that give them instant access to information anywhere, anytime.

Tied into its proprietary Property-View market data system, the technological device offers access to listings, property data, deal comparables, and tenant information with a touch of a button.

Developed using Good Technology's GoodInfo application, which delivers valuable corporate data wirelessly to mobile users via Cingular's nationwide Mobitex network, this innovation is specifically designed to provide simple, anywhere, anytime access to the company's vast market knowledge.

Real estate professionals are continually on the move, canvassing, showing space, vetting properties.

With this latest technological innovation, they do not have to be in the office, or tethered to the Internet, to access the latest up-to-date information about any commercial office building in the Tri-State region.

In the time it takes others to power up a laptop or thumb through a report, CBRE's professionals can query for space, comps or building data for any building at anytime.

In addition to its innovative hand held software, CBRE has also redesigned its entire comprehensive market information system now called PropertyView.

As a result, for the first time ever in the industry, the firm has produced the first report on demonstrating the disparity between published asking rents for commercial space in Manhattan and the actual price per square foot tenants are actually paying.

This report gives transparency to the marketplace by providing the entire business community with information that has never existed before.

This has not only set the benchmark for others to follow, but has also revolutionized the way the business community will make all its real estate decisions going forward.

By bringing today's technology, its underpinnings, nuances and capabilities to the real estate industry the results are more creative solutions for clients that directly influence their lease terms, financial results, and operational efficiency.