Technology Solutions

Powerful Platform

CCIM Institute has teamed up with ESRI, a private geographic information systems and mapping software company, to launch a new commercial property information exchange portal that allows institute members to enter all their property information into a database just once and have it distributed. This multifaceted platform is yet another tech tool to add to the institute’s growing list of member benefits.

What It Is

Commercial real estate professionals who enter for-sale and for-lease properties into multiple databases “have to repeat it several times, and it’s frustrating, especially because if you forget something it could [prevent] you from doing a deal,” says Jay R. Lucas, CCIM, president of STDBonline in Dallas. Because of this frustration, an idea for an all-in-one platform was born in spring 2007. Through the site, members can share commercial property information, intelligent maps, photographs, and detailed property information. They also can access data from ESRI at no additional cost.

Information put into the platform can be distributed, as directed by the user, to local, regional, and national commercial information exchange sites, Lucas says. In addition, information can be integrated into property analysis marketing tools such as expresscopy.com, MindMatrix, and REI Wise. Data from CCIMNet and STDBonline such as aerials, flood maps, and demographic information also can be put into the platform.

The Benefits

One key benefit of the platform is that it’s a time-saver. After entering data, users can change and update it as needed, Lucas says. On the marketing side, if users want to send e-mails or postcards to clients, they can choose information to send electronically to a marketing service that will design and send materials for them. And, over time, as more CIEs and marketing services are added, members will be able to choose from several options, shopping to find the best prices, Lucas adds.

“One future benefit will be the option to use the portal as a resource for historical purposes — for analytical data,” says Dewey Struble, CCIM, senior adviser for Sperry Van Ness in Reno, Nev.

Users marketing properties can get “a handle on what surrounding properties have done in that market,” says Linda Peters, sales manager with ESRI in Redlands, Calif. Also, if a member is building a new development in a specific area, he or she can access the area’s lease rates and other historical data, she says.

Overall, the platform was designed to help make institute members more “efficient, effective, and better professionals,” Lucas says. Scheduled to launch later this year, the portal initially will be available to CCIM Institute candidates and designees only. In the future, however, a fee-based option may be made available to all commercial real estate professionals.

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