3 Emerging Tech Solutions Every Commercial Real Estate Operator Needs
It’s a demanding environment for commercial real estate operators, and you need every advantage you can get to keep your NOI positive and achieve consistent growth.
You’re likely already familiar with several tech tools like CRM, PMS, and BIM, but let’s look at three emerging types of platforms that will help you better manage your operations and unlock opportunities to scale.
This article will look at tools for managing your data, legal entity, and software subscriptions to increase team productivity, boost ROI, and deliver greater value to your investors.
Some of the features of the technologies I’ll mention here are based on Thirty Capital’s tech offerings; however, to be fair and help you do your due diligence, you’ll find embedded links to review sites for each category of SaaS solution.
1. Data management — property intelligence
As a CRE operator, you’ve got a mountain of data available to you — even if it’s something you never think about.
From property financials to the market, acquisitions, marketing, leasing, property management, CRM, and public information (census, crime, tax, weather, etc.), there’s a plethora of internal and external data to keep track of. The latent knowledge that data represents can be harnessed and analyzed to provide insights to power your decision-making processes.
Now, you could stick with excel spreadsheets and disjunct platforms, but dealing with various documents and software wastes labor hours and makes it difficult to get a high-level view of what’s happening across your portfolio and at the individual asset level.
Many of the tools available, including Lobby CRE (Thirty Capital’s data management solution), offer automated functionality to gather, index, monitor, and analyze data and visually report it. With customizable dashboards, it’s much easier to see the precise information you need without consulting the numerous departments, third parties, documents, or software connected to your organization.
When you have the highest quality data available in real-time, you can more quickly pivot to address changes in the operating environment and embrace fleeting opportunities to acquire value-add properties. Data management provides centralized access to property details, cash flows, operating history, budgeting, and forecasting models.
Another advantage of data management systems is the potential for improved team collaboration and the deconstruction of traditional data silos within. And depending on the solution you choose, you can take advantage of native integrations to bring together all your data systems. When a platform includes team communication tools, it facilitates the ability to quickly share data, files, and tasks between any stakeholder to the organization.
This unity of data and teams adds value and projects a strong message to investors evaluating your enterprise value and corporate culture. Data management systems may also offer the capability to configure alerts for numerous metrics that can signify opportunities and threats such as declining NOI, occupancy, or if an asset is a candidate for refinancing or exit.
Various data management tools are available specific to particular applications, so do your research to find what fits your organization, team, and processes.
2. Legal entity management
When you reach a tipping point in scaling your operations and portfolio, you may be overwhelmed with data, filings, and tasks associated with all the legal entities that comprise your enterprise.
In real estate, particularly, we’re prone to creating numerous entities for the various projects and partnerships we’re involved in for each asset and sub-portfolio within our broader organization.
For any operator who wants to continue on the path of scale, it’s crucial to stay on top of everything regarding our legal entities to ensure a clear picture of our organizational structure.
Indeed, you could recruit and retain a team of in-house and outside legal staff, but that won’t generate the best efficiency, time to action, and coordination with other departments. However, you could retain a legal advisor to accompany any entity management platform you select.
An effective entity management solution, such as EntityKeeper (Thirty Capital), will allow you to securely centralize, manage, maintain, and visualize all your entity information throughout your operation and reduce related management expenses.
To manage exposure, you can track annual filing deadlines, registered agents, and configure automated notifications to help avoid penalties and compliance issues. A viable solution will generate accurate reports and allow you to visualize your organizational structure.
Entity management software also reduces manual errors and enhances the security and accessibility of your corporate data when shared internally and with third parties.
3. Vendor/subscription management
With the rising volume of subscription SaaS platforms available today, of which many organizations adopt a multitude in pursuit of operational awareness and efficiency, the costs and tracking can get out of hand. This situation is prevalent in organizations facing an onslaught of shadow IT — software deployments not implemented or managed by the central IT department.
Subscription management software, a class of vendor management platform, is the emerging solution to manage IT risk exposure. For CRE operators specifically, SaaSTrax is a solution built by commercial real estate stakeholders (Thirty Capital).
This class of software aids in managing vendors across your enterprise and auditing staff use. It allows operators to identify the unauthorized use of cloud-based software and reveals underutilized subscriptions and duplicate software licenses. It can also mitigate free trials that revert to automatic billing, unused licenses in seat-based accounts, and redundant accounts — before they incur unbudgeted, wasteful expenses.
Finding the solution to scale
Many commercial real estate tech solutions are available to help operators manage their organizations with greater efficiency, generate decision-making insights, bolster team collaboration, and spot and fix financial and compliance issues.
In addition to the numerous other software categories available, data management, entity management, and vendor/subscription management tools are indispensable for CRE operators, given the complexity of our organizations. Take your time and conduct due diligence to find the optimal tech solutions to enable your enterprise to scale unrestricted.