Friday, March 8, 2019

Technology I USE Everyday - Top 10

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Often, I have opined how our residential counterparts have the edge on commercial real estate professionals when it comes to our use of technology. Simply, it revolves around three reasons - the demographics of our industry, techno providers selling individual vs enterprise solutions, and the biggie - our available inventory is not shared with a Realty board - which means the consumer cannot widely view what’s for sale on-line. Some of us, however, have seen the light and adopted technology to benefit our practices and our clients. Below is a review of the technology I USE everyday.

iPad and iPhone. I spend the majority of my days on the road or in the field. Therefore - it’s critical for my technology to be mobile. The two Apple products above allow me to transact anywhere, anytime.

DropBox. My team saves all of our files - brochures, contracts, reports, offers, and correspondence to DropBox. We can then access the docs from our dining room table on Sunday or at client’s office on Tuesday.

I-Annotate. This cool app allows me to make changes to a PDF and forward the changes to our team for editing. Collaboration is enhanced as all of our team members see the changes real time.

Buildout. All of our marketing collateral originates here - brochures, presentations, opinions of value. If we change a square footage or an asking price - the edit occurs throughout all of the syndicated channels. Our listings are published through ten on-line broker portals with the click of a button. My favorite feature, however, is the document vault - a cloud based repository of every piece of paper related to a deal. No more endless emails with PDF attachments or files too large to forward. We simply send a link and anyone can access the important paperwork.

MailChimp. Email marketing made easy. The first 2000 contacts are FREE! Plus, you can see who opened the piece and who opts out.

DocuSign. Our residential brethren have used this for years. Commercial agents are slowly adopting this pain-free way to execute contracts quickly.

CoStar Go. All of our available buildings, comps, tenant and owner information is available through this app. Not quite as powerful as the desk top - but close - we can drill down from an aerial view and see particulars on any parcel of commercial real estate.

ClientLook. The heartbeat of our business! This Best in Class contact relationship manager allows our team to track conversations, follow-ups, tasks, meetings, and events. I especially am drawn to the CRM’s integration with our other technology such as MailChimp, Buildout, and DropBox.

Keynote. All of my listing and tenant rep assignment pitches are generated through Keynote - the Apple equivalent of PowerPoint. Super intuitive and flexible - I can sit in my living room and design a presentation in a flash - including live video, images, and internet links.

Zoom. Can’t be there? No issue! Just create a Zoom call and you and your client can share screens and see each other face-to-face.

Social Media. My use of social media alone is column worthy. Suffice it to say, I create two pieces of original content per week - this column and a video. We then re-purpose the content via several channels - Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Blogger.

Allen C. Buchanan, SIOR, is a principal with Lee & Associates Commercial Real Estate Services in Orange. He can be reached at or 714.564.7104. His website is

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