The Rise of the Brokerage Tech Stack


Turner Levison | September 7, 2017

If you think your commercial real estate office is technologically up-to-date because you’ve given up your fax machine in favor of email, it might be time to rethink what you thought you knew.

The technology behind CRE is changing quickly. Done right, tech stacks the potential to make your brokerage smarter, more agile, and ultimately more competitive and profitable. 

What is a Tech Stack?

Like most terminology, this is a fancy term for something you probably already know a bit about. A technology stack used to be physical infrastructure — computers and servers — but these days refers to all the business tools a brokerage and its agents use to source deals, close transactions and then… get everyone paid accurately and in a timely manner!

What Are the Advantages?

The wide variety of applications means new ways to gather, analyze, and use data for your brokerage. The fact that it’s cloud-based means that you don’t have to worry about infrastructure, and also means you can do more without being tethered to your desk at your office. Most new CRE technology comes as a native cloud application, which means you can access it from a smartphone or computer anywhere with an internet connection. 

What Should Be in Your CRE Tech Stack?

There are numerous options for each of the following categories of applications. We cannot possibly cover every last one of them; ergo, we’ve chosen instead to highlight a handful that we’ve found especially effective. When researching or asking for quotes, be sure to inquire about integrations among applications.

Lease Management

A good lease management suite is a stack-within-a-stack, since it encompasses a variety of CRE enterprise data, including payment processing, screening, property data, and much more. Imperium Powered by Acumatica is a prime example. Check out our friends at IBS to learn more! 

Software suites like VTS and RealAccess offer real-time data and analytics, giving you an instant snapshot of floor plans, suite interiors, occupant data, and more. This allows you to get maximum revenue out of every square foot.

Customer Resource Management (CRM) and Deal Pipeline Management

The right CRM helps your office manage listings, properties, contacts, projects, and more. Three applications stand out:

    • RealNex is a CRM and more. It’s a brokerage in a box! A fully integrated and seamless solution
    • ClientLook is ideal for those needing to maintain communication and collaboration among a team. They even give you a free virtual assistant so you NEVER have to enter any data or deal notes, just call your assistant and have them do it for you!
    • RethinkCRE is built on Salesforce’s FORCE platform, and leverages the strengths of arguably the most robust CRM platform available, but comes with the limitations (and costs) of Salesforce. 

Other Tools

Practically every facet of a CRE brokerage has an application that caters to it. These include contract management, procurement, field service management, site compliance, human resources, and commission and accounting management. A bit of research will uncover a multitude of options.

Many of these applications can be auditioned on a trial basis. See if they’re the right fit for your brokerage, exploring further if the application is nearly, but not quite, right.

A Thought in Closing

It’s likely safe to say that none of us enjoys change. We’ve evolved and refined our businesses with time, experience, patience, and grit. Against that background, “disruption” is a dirty word. Or is it an opportunity? Your attitude and approach make all the difference. Embrace the tech stack… it stands to revolutionize your brokerage.

How does your commission accounting fit into your tech stack? Are you still in Excel hell tracking commissions, receivables and payables? We integrate with all major accounting suites like QuickBooks and even MRI or Yardi! Get a CommissionTrac demo to find out how we save customers 30-90 minutes per transaction with the CommissionTrac Platform! 

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