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Commercial Department: From the Top: November 2006

 

From the Top

Many times, talk of “technological innovations” in commercial real estate can be boiled down to two words:

Nice widget.

As much as we can appreciate the sentiment behind, say, a flying robot that can calculate loan to value while vacuuming the office, we realize its usefulness is extraneous, at best. But there are occasions when we use the word “technology” to refer to less-“Jetsons”-esque endeavors.

With the growing universality of many Internet applications, the formula for actually using technology in the commercial mortgage workplace has been broken down to a layperson’s level.

Take the stuff you play with at home. Apply it to your office. Prepare for pats on the back.

Consider the following:

  • Instant messaging: It’s what your kids use to communicate with one another in nonsense acronyms (LOL, ROTFL, etc.). But it’s also fast becoming the communication norm for firms for whom e-mail just isn’t quick enough. Connect with co-workers who need quick yes or no answers — or with clients, should your company permit it.
  • Really Simple Syndication: Better known by its acronym, RSS, this is the method by which Web sites include “feeds” from various sources. You might use it on your work home page to keep track of the day’s news headlines or sports scores. But have you considered using to compile leads or market listings? Other companies have.
  • Wired buildings: Imagine the Wi-Fi connection you might have set up at home — except on a larger scale. As buildings offer increased, batched data capabilities, their sales potential can grow.

In this month’s Lead Article, Western Capital Partners’ Erik Svanholm clues us in to another option in the real-world potential of Google Earth, Microsoft Virtual Earth and similar geographic-imaging systems.

In addition to trying to spot your car in your driveway, you can use these tools to speed up the property-assessment process. As Svanholm explains, numerous county-appraiser Web sites also marry these images to valuation information, not to mention to commercial Web sites that provide similar information for buyers.

See, technology doesn’t have to be scary. It can be fun — and profitable.


 

Geary Britton-Simmons For questions on this article, call (800) 297-6061 or e-mail articles@scotsmanguide.com.

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