On its surface, commercial real estate is just a business. Decide between buying or building a building, then find tenants, sign leases, rinse and start again. But in reality, there is so much more than that. Not only is there an almost endless list of things that can go wrong with a building, renting a building has its own complications. Marketing a space, meeting prospects, closing a deal, negotiating terms, and executing a contract all have their own pitfalls. To make matters worse, the rental process has always been difficult and time-consuming and requires several full-time professionals to get it right. But now landlords and property managers are using technology to find ways to streamline and even automate parts of the rental process. The investment required to develop the ability to automate rental can be quickly amortized with time savings and increased revenue.
In the age of fast transactions, automation is key to seizing opportunities and securing the most advantageous leases. For example, Macerich (owner, operator and developer of commercial and mixed-use properties in the United States) has launched a digital platform that offers tenants the possibility of renting spaces on a short-term basis, doing their research online and even visit spaces virtually. Quikspace, powered by CommercialEdge Marketing and Deal Manager, is a short-term retail solution that leverages automation to streamline the entire rental process and simplifies the transaction cycle by making it as easy as booking of a hotel room.
One thing that complicates the commercial leasing process is the size of the teams needed to accomplish it. Several agents are usually working simultaneously on a transaction and often several brokers are involved. It’s hard to connect these teams when they’re all using different systems. Landlords use lease management software to create continuity, reduce errors and speed up the process. Good software should be easy to use and work on smartphones and tablets, as many brokers use them when visiting and visiting sites.
The Internet has changed the way property is rented forever. In some ways, this made the process so much easier that it allowed agents to market to anyone with an internet connection. But it also complicated things in other ways. As more and more listing sites appeared, agents began to need to log in and navigate multiple portals to list their property. This problem is solved by syndication software that automatically pushes information and marketing materials to all SEO sites simultaneously. These types of automations can save time and ensure that rental teams cast the widest possible net for their listings.
Leasing is a relational process. Building these relationships takes time and constant contact. Reaching and tracking customers is much easier with technology. There are many ways to write, plan and send communications in a way that is both personalized and automated. There is always a limit to the number of customers a salesperson can follow consistently. Tech-savvy leasing agents are using automation to increase that number and stay top of mind more often for more leads.
Brokers are notoriously busy, they only get paid on the deals they close, so they’re not always keen on spending time entering data. For rental software to work best, all wishes, needs and interactions of a customer must be recorded. Software that connects emails, calendars, phone calls and meeting notes can greatly help brokers do more with their time. As most rental teams work on several platforms simultaneously, it is also possible to save a lot of time by using software that synchronizes them all automatically. When communicating with landlords, the software can also help brokers calculate net effective rent by subtracting concessions or rent reductions from lease totals.
We are still at the forefront of technology-driven process automation in leasing. Software and hardware can do much more to simplify the rental process and provide more valuable data to occupants, brokers and owners. Keeping up with the innovation that happens in leasing means investing in technology. A recent report by JLL shows that 59% of respondents say they either do not enter/report real estate data regularly or only do so intermittently. This number seems likely to change, as 45% of survey respondents aim to accelerate investments in technology to optimize their workplace. Smart software has proven effective in increasing productivity, so it’s no surprise that there’s a rush for this type of technology for rental teams, who often have more leads to pursue than time for them. to research.