Revolutionize Your Work
Find the resources you need to work faster and smarter.
How do you catch up with commercial real estate professionals who are ahead on the technology curve?
In a word, change.
Change How You Work.
"I use technology big time," says Stefan M. Cihylik, CCIM, a broker
with the Frederick Group in Allentown, Pa. "My computer is never more
than three years old. I have the fastest processor with the largest
hard drive and the best video card and monitor. My office has had a
scanner for the past eight years. I extensively use CorelDraw,
PhotoPaint, Win2Data (assessor info, tax maps), MapExpert, Excel, Act,
Omni-Pro, Word, Outlook, Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Photoshop Elements,
WinFaxPro, PureText, Keyhole2 Pro, STDBOnline, and TerraServer."
Change How You Think About Technology.
"Our choice to adopt a technological advantage has rewarded us time and
again," says Michael K. Houge, CCIM, SIOR, a principal of Upland Real
Estate Group in Minneapolis. His company's Web site, www.nnnsales.com,
showcases net-leased properties "24/7 for review by  investors."
His company recently brokered an $11.5 million tenant-in-common
sale-leaseback transaction, which the buyer found through nnnsales.com.
Change How You Use Technology.
"I am in the car every day and thrilled that I can either speak into my
Kyocera smartphone and tell it whom to call or touch a name in my
address book and it makes the call," says Skip J.Weber, CCIM, a broker
with NAI/Latter & Blum in New Orleans. "Usually I print out my to
do list - and it totally organizes me and eliminates the need for the
old legal pad."
Change What You Spend On Technology.
"Now that technology is cheaper, our money goes much further - and for
things that are more of an intangible," says Todd Clarke, CCIM, a
partner of NMApartments in Albuquerque, N.M. "We spend close to $500 a
month for our [Internet service provider] serving up a gigabyte of
online info to clients and save $40,000 a year in production of
newsletters, fliers, and bulky marketing material."
Take a look at these recommendations for commercial real estate professionals and decide which change you're going to make.
Free World DialUp
Unlimited worldwide calls; users may also call other Internet phone networks; works with computers, laptops, or PDAs
Cost: Free; users receive a phone number; calling outside FWD requires dialing additional numbers
Requirements: All users must download the software or use an FWD configured phone
Unlimited calls worldwide between Skype 1.0 users for
computer-to-computer and -PDA access; SkypeOut allows
computer-to-landline and -cell phones
Skype 1.0 is free; SkypeOut requires a $12 minimum account and offers a
global rate of 2 cents a minute to 22 countries; sample international
Germany: 2 cents
Iceland: 4 cents
Mexico: 9 cents
All users must download application for free calls; SkypeOut users can
call nonusers; headsets or cyber phones needed; up to five conference
VoiceWing service provides unlimited local and North American long-distance calls
Cost: $39.95 a month; sample international per-minute rates:
Germany: 4 cents
Iceland: 8 cents
Mexico: 6 cents
Requirements: Includes telephone adapter and features such as call waiting, voice-mail, caller ID, and three-way calling
Unlimited local and North American long-distance calls
Cost: Plans range from $14 to $50 a month; sample per-minute international rates:
Germany: 4 cents
Iceland: 26 cents
Mexico: 8 cents
Requirements: Adapter provided, several calling features included; users can add more lines or create a toll-free number
Digital Aerial Photography
Price: $599 per annual subscription; CCIMs receive a discount by ordering through STDBOnline
Covers more than 80 metropolitan areas, from a resolution of 3 inches
per pixel for San Diego and the Las Vegas Strip, to 1 to 3 feet for
Features: Users can import
their own data through drag and drop, ?fly? from satellite images to
properties, and tilt or rotate views; Keyhole 2 Pro version includes
measurement tools and additional features for inputting data as well as
shopping center and traffic count data
Price: $19.95 for a 10-day subscription, $399.95 per year; Pro version costs $399.95 for 90 days and $899.95 per year
Complete national coverage at a minimum black-and-white
1-meter-per-pixel resolution; color and resolution at 1 foot per pixel
available for most urban areas
Includes access to aerial photographs, satellite images, topographic,
street, and FEMA maps; Pro version adds demographic and consumer
expenditure reports and thematic maps; traffic count data are available
at an added cost; users can search by address or GIS coordinates;
online measurement tools and ring analysis available
Price: $29.95 per month, $250 per annual subscription; downloads of large digital files are $35 per transaction/ $26 for members
Complete national coverage includes every U.S. address; most metro
areas provided at 6-inch or 1-foot-per-inch resolution; includes street
maps, aerials, satellite, and topographic images; claims the most
up-to-date, high-resolution coverage available
Users can search by street or geographical coordinates; features
overlay street-name map; users can print, order photo quality prints,
or download digital files
Price: Free; designed to work with slow-speed Internet connections
This online public access database covers the United States and
provides topographical maps and aerial photographs supplied by the U.S.
Geographical Service; resolution varies but can be .25 meter per pixel
Users can search by street address, geographical coordinates, and place
names; each search returns a list of images available and their dates,
as well as source information and resolution; maps can be printed,
downloaded, or e-mailed