How technology is changing commercial real estate

Real estate has always been a thriving sector with  fast developing business models. Evolving from the word-of-mouth and knocking-on-the-door traditional marketing style, it has moved  to the latest explosion of internet technology as in the online auction mode, continuously leapfrogging to incorporate the latest trends in its marketing modules. 

There was a time when real estate sales were made directly by the property owner or broker. The tools available for advertising and marketing were limited. So what did we have? The ubiquitous verbal networking and brochures or ads placed via signs and local newspapers. The reach was localized and offers limited. 

As marketing strategies evolved, direct mailers and leaflet promos came into the picture. With the involvement of audio-visual media, ads on local radio and television widened the contact base. This obviously translated into better offers and prices for properties. 

The Internet explosion however took the real estate business by storm. Sellers and brokers could directly post their ads and offers online. Online platforms provided the buyer easy access to properties, with details available on-site. Contact details posted on the site, brought the buyer and seller together for mutually beneficial speedy deals. We saw some of the best real estate firms listing at sites like Loopnet, the largest commercial real estate online listing platform. 

As Realtors were leveraged as the best proposition in property dealings, the role of the broker became supreme. Harnessing the power of the Internet as an effective marketing tool, real estate professionals are now using email marketing for an increased ROI. One of the top notch names in commercial real estate, broker CB Richard Ellis, continues to send out email blasts to its brokers or owners database, as a sustained promotional campaign. 

With a boom in commercial real estate, the custom marketing tool in the Real Capital Market (RCM) model has been used, with use of virtual or digital deal rooms. 

Establishing a strong online presence has taken an aggressive form with the extensive use of viral and social marketing campaigns. While sites like Facebook provide the platform with business account profiles, blogs support online presence of Realtors and tweets propel the marketing campaign of broker houses. 

Yet, what about the real estate business when the sellers market is weakened in the face of huge numbers of sell-offs as compared to the buying? 

At such times, properties listed for sales reach huge numbers, while the seller wants to dispose of the property fast for his liquidation needs. So a speedier and more effective tool is warranted to get the seller a better deal. 

This is where online auctions come in. Buyers can view properties listed online and brokers can get the best bid for the property within the time frame. However, existing online platforms like eBay are fraught with disadvantages, as both parties are bound by terms, that may often end up in bad deals. 

So, how does the broker get the best deal in the shortest time possible? How could he be more involved in the auction or bidding process and stake his own territory? 

To take care of such a gap, sites like the Auction Point have stepped in. Essentially broker-centric, such auction sites are geared to give the broker the cutting edge for an effective deal. The broker is the driver here, in complete charge of his auctions. This is the most trend-setting application of technology in real estate, where the broker has a platform to maximise sale proceeds while shortening the time line of property sale