Technology Gives CRE Professionals Boost with New Mobile Tools
- Dec 19, 2013
By Gail Kalinoski, Contributing Editor
From an app for frequent note takers to a software-as-a-service management platform, a continuing evolution in technology is giving commercial real estate professionals new mobile tools to help them with their jobs.
“As is the case throughout much of the rest of the business world, commercial property management is increasingly adopting mobile solutions,” Terri Dowen, senior vice president of sales for Yardi Systems Inc., told Commercial Property Executive. “Leasing agents and brokers want to access their contacts, deal pipelines, property management data, business intelligence and other information when they’re out of the office, which is much if not all of the time.”
Yardi, a Santa Barbara, Calif.-based company that designs, develops and supports real estate investment management and property management software, recently released Yardi Voyager 7S, a mobile-enabled version of its core SaaS real estate management platform. The product is compatible with all major Internet browsers so it gives CRE professionals access to the platform from any mobile device.
Yardi, a private firm and CPE’s parent company, does not release sales figures but did say this week that more than 500 Yardi Voyager clients have adopted the newest version and the number continues to grow.
“We anticipate working steadily through 2014 and beyond to complete the migration of thousands of Yardi Voyager clients to Voyager 7S, for those who are ready to upgrade,” Dowen said.
She also said that the Voyager 7S, “greatly increases response time and the speed at which space can be leased and deals can be made.”
It’s also helpful on the operations side, giving maintenance managers the ability to dispatch work orders, and for engineers to respond and fulfill work orders from their mobile devices, Dowen added.
Users choose one of three options to deploy the program: SaaS, in which updates are automatically applied; SaaS Select, in which the client determines when to apply updates; and Private Cloud, which gives clients their own dedicated network.
“If their needs change, for example they merge with another company or adopt new policies regarding software upgrades, we can put them in another SaaS option,” Dowen said.
Super Note 4.0 is an app that makes it easier to take notes, record a meeting or conversation, take photos and then transcribe them or transfer them later on, according to Benny Shaviv, CEO of Clear Sky Apps, the Tel Aviv, Israel-based company that developed Super Note 4.0.
While the app is not only for the commercial real estate market, Shaviv said, “It is exactly one of the industries we designed it for.”
Shaviv said the updated version of the Super Note app has been available for a few weeks now at $2.99 at online app stores and has received good feedback.
When thinking of who would use Super Note 4.0, Shaviv said his team realized those in commercial real estate would be natural choices.
“One thing we noticed before we went about developing it was other note-taking apps were super simplistic or super complex,” he told CPE. “One thing we felt everybody missed was helping the person who needs to take notes fast, people in meetings, and people on the go.”
Shaviv said the app enables the user to take notes but to also record a conversation and tap a button as a timestamp for something important to be played back later. Photos can also be added to the notes and easily transferred or shared, a plus for real estate agents and insurance adjustors, he added.