Are Legacy Systems Holding Back Your CRE Firm?


Logan Paton | August 28, 2018

In today’s global economy, it comes as no surprise that business partnerships still hold the keys to success. And, in our fast-paced digital world, the business partnerships of today are based as much on, if not more than, technology as they are on products, services, and strategy. To be more specific, a recent study conducted by Gartner, a leading industry analyst firm, discovered that “participation in digital ecosystems and technology” was found to be a primary attribute or characteristic of nearly 8 out of 10 of the companies identified as being “top performing.”

And, ironically, the very system that helps serve as the backbone for these types of strategic relationships, the organization’s very own technology, could be the thing that is most holding them back. In fact, a full 90 percent of I.T. decision makers report that legacy systems are preventing them from embracing and harnessing the digital technologies they feel are necessary in order to grow and operate more efficiently.

Legacy Systems are Outdated

Simple. Legacy systems simply were not built to support partnerships based in technology. Legacy systems were built with the intention of operating only within the company, and assuming that any change or growth would be slow and steady. But as businesses continue to expand their networks, and operate in global, national and regional markets and with digital ecosystems, legacy systems simply can’t keep up the pace and will continue to be many companies’ biggest barrier to growth.

Not surprisingly, many companies are aware of this and are already investing heavily in redesigning their outdated systems. But, in order to make these types of investments pay off, these new systems will need to be able to increase productivity, be transparent and repeatable.

These systems must be based on architecture that will allow them to interface with other new systems and in some case, existing systems. Two technologies that can play a big role in helping to overcome these challenges for commercial real estate brokerage companies are customer relationship management systems (CRMs) and Fintech applications.


There is a wealth of CRMs available in the commercial real estate space. Some of the leaders are Rethink, Apto, RealNex and ClientLook. With so many options available, when selecting a CRM it’s important to look at things like functionality, accessibility, features and support. Companies should also consider the cost and time for onboarding.

FinTech Applications – Financial Systems

FinTech applications are also plentiful in the commercial real estate space. Some of the leaders are Delius, the brokerage applications by Costar, and CommissionTrac, which can help with back-end accounting, commission management and more. Similar to selecting a CRM, it’s important to pay attention to features, support, accessibility, functionality and onboarding time/costs when implementing new FinTech systems.

Putting It Into Perspective

Partnerships based in open architecture technology are part of nearly every business “best practice” strategy today. In order to be successful into the future, organizations will need to embrace tomorrow’s technologies sooner rather than later. This will allow for new opportunities for innovation and growth. There is an old adage in business that says – if you aren’t moving forward you’re moving backward.

To find out how you can use technology to simplify your CRE back office by managing receivables, commission plans, invoicing and agent distributions,  please sign up for our blog and learn why Techstars Atlanta, selected CommissionTrac as their first CRE application for their intense 90 day mentorship program joint ventured with Cox Communications.

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