As I travel about the country and meet with several people the conversation usually falls to some form of commercial real estate technology such as data the cloud mobile etc.Without fail I am asked about mobile apps. I posted Top 12 Mobile Apps for Commercial Real Estate in April of last year and it is still one of the most read posts on my blog.
Dominic has created a website just for review and aggregation of mobile applications for use in commercial real estate. God Bless you Dominic!
I encourage everyone to book mark the site and follow the updates on Twitter @CREAppReview
Since he and the contributors are doing such a fantastic job I hit Dominic up for a little knowledge and what follows is his response.
I’ve found that there are probably under 25 pure-play commercial real estate apps, but there are dozens of general apps which, when used properly, have significant benefit to CRE industry participants.
In my mind, there are 5 areas where apps add immediate value to CRE day-in-and-day-out. These five areas are:
- Document Management – this could simply mean using DropBox instead of emailing the same PDF over and over. It could also be e-signing of various agreements, so the CRE industry can finally kick its unhealthy fax machine addiction. It could mean a full-on project management application which allows uses to collaborate on documents, like Box.com. Posts on Document Management:
- DropBOx vs. Box: http://cre-apps.com/2012/01/box-verses-dropbox-whats-best-for-cre/
- DropBox vs. Apple’s iCloud: http://cre-apps.com/2012/02/dropbox-vs-icloud/
- DocScanner: http://cre-apps.com/2012/01/docscanner-app/
- CRE Console’s eCA App – http://www.creconsole.com/blog/2012/03/electronic-confidentiality-agreements/
- Mapping – this could be everything from Google Mapping utilities to Trade Area Analysis (demographics, competitor locations, etc), to 3-D marketing materials or Augmented Reality apps.
- Trade Area Analysis – http://cre-apps.com/2012/04/tas-mobile-app/
- Augmented Reality – http://cre-apps.com/2012/01/augmented-reality-for-commercial-real-estate/
- Google Floorplans – http://cre-apps.com/2012/01/google-maps-floorplans/
- Productivity Apps – These would include
- ToutApp for processing repetitive emails (http://cre-apps.com/2012/02/toutapp/)
- Evernote (http://cre-apps.com/2012/02/evernote/)
- There is also MAJOR room for improvement in the areas of accounting and rent collection. The best example of improvement in this area is RentPost: http://cre-apps.com/2012/03/rentpost/ but I am keeping my eye on folks like 10sheet https://www.10sheet.com/ for day-to-day bookkeeping, etc.
- Visual/Photography – specifically 360 Virtual Tours – The residential industry has been using 360 virtual tours for years, but Andriod and iOS mobile devices have not made something that cost a lot, virtually free. There is no reason every vacant space shouldn’t have a 360 virtual tour. Greg Hoffmeister is ahead of the crowd when it comes to this: http://occipital.com/user/06ad-155507/greg-hoffmeister. Reviews of 360 pano apps are:
- TourWrist: http://cre-apps.com/2012/02/tour-wrist/
- Photosynth: http://cre-apps.com/2012/02/photosynth-iphone/
- Occipital: http://cre-apps.com/2012/01/360-panorama-by-occipital/
- “New Markets” – The last category is really what I would consider undefined “Blue Ocean” solutions. This is probably rarest, but still the most exciting category for many tech-junkies like myself.
- The best example I can think of for a “new market” app would be Ten Eight’s office space rating app (http://cre-apps.com/2012/03/ten-eight-app/) and am trying my best to identify more examples…
I think the “best” apps really depends on a person’s specific role and/or situation, but these 5 categories are where I see the most opportunity for some major advancement for the CRE industry.
There it is.
Thank you Dominic and all who took the time and effort. I am looking forward to the comments links and responses.