Mobile and Commercial Real Estate? Not So Fast.

cre, cre tech, mobile apps, real estate apps, cre appsEvery day, virtually every tech and major media publication touts that the world is moving towards mobile at an alarming rate – the world that is minus the commercial real estate industry.

At The News Funnel, we see proof of this each day as we analyze where, how and when our subscribers access our site. As a news site, you would think our product would be one of the first to get traction on mobile. But in fact, one of our recent customer feedback surveys concluded that twice as many subscribers use desktop devices to access news as opposed to mobile.

I continue to be stunned and perplexed by this. In talking to a few professionals in the industry, I think that the answer is actually very simple. They aren’t on the "go" as much as other professionals - I get that. They are typically in the office and while they leave for meetings and networking, their most important part of the day is when they are at their desk working on a transaction or a project.

So what’s the solution then? How do we get more CRE professionals to embrace all of the efficiency tools that mobile solutions can offer?

In my humble opinion, the solution is also obvious – what if the companies that employed these professionals equipped them with the tools to be more mobile in their workplace, to encourage inner office communication, to promote networking among piers? I think that's what it is going to take to get the CRE industry to embrace mobile.

The more difficult question then becomes are CRE companies willing to invest in these efficient mobile tools for their employees?

There are tons of amazing CRE apps that can dramatically enhance a real estate professional’s productivity.

With help from CRE marketing expert, Dave Lewand, we came up with the following list of (in our opinions) the best mobile apps out there for real estate professionals.

  • ICSC Mobile App - Connections: Perform member directory searches, access attendee lists, register for events, and more.
  • Brewster – Contact Management: Search, share contact information, see who you’re losing touch with, and more.
  • Esri ArcGIS – GIS/Online Mapping: A platform for designing and managing solutions through the application of geographic knowledge.
  • Property Capsule – Listing Search/Marketing: All your portfolio data is available offline, no Internet connection required.
  • Sphere (TourWrist) – Virtual Tours/Marketing: 360 degree panorama photography for virtual travel around the world.
  • Cubits – 3D Visualization/Marketing: functional app for discovering, viewing, and saving 3D models

For the industry as a whole to truly embrace mobile and catch up to other sectors, like residential, tech, and financial, I believe it will need to start with the companies themselves and not the individuals. Every day, we see the irony in this reality. Companies across the industry are using social media and mobile applications to promote their brand but are largely forgetting to encourage their own employees to adopt these tools.

Who are some of the companies taking the lead in this type of initiative? Is anyone out there supplying all of their employees with the actual devices or training?

I would be really curious to get feedback and example on this topic.