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As Property Technology Shortens Deal Cycles, CRE Becomes A 21st Century Industry

As commercial real estate moves beyond spreadsheets, property technology has emerged as more than an accounting tool.

Real estate companies have looked into cloud-based platforms to not only centralize information and track pending deals, but also to communicate more efficiently with teams that span multiple markets. Team members can benefit from real-time reporting and faster responses, allowing them to push out offers sooner.

Vancouver-based Nicola Crosby Real Estate experienced this after using the VTS platform. 

Nicola Crosby has a portfolio that extends across multiple asset classes in the U.S. and Canada. The private equity group manages 10M SF and nearly $2.5B in assets. The team focuses on asset management, and will often work with third-party leasing brokers. With so many different players involved, Nicola Crosby had difficulty managing workflows and tracking lease updates. Often, this would slow down the process. 

“We would get the leasing updates by Excel spreadsheet, email and even the odd napkin,” Nicola Crosby asset manager Anthony Paes-Braga said. “The biggest challenge was getting the reports on a timely basis.”

Paes-Braga came across VTS while touring properties in Calgary. After seeing a broker use VTS on his phone to log a property tour, Paes-Braga asked if he could play around with the software. After 15 minutes, he knew the private equity group had to adopt the platform.

“We're a small team, so we're always looking for ways to find efficiencies by using software tools,” he said. "It was pretty easy to roll out VTS."

VTS gives asset managers and leasing teams a unified platform to track deals, manage space and collaborate seamlessly. On the landlord side of the platform, users can monitor lease timelines, view stacking plans of tenant-occupied floor space and see detailed analysis on every deal. Paes-Braga and his team can track ongoing tours and current tenants in real time. 

While a large part of the real estate business is still handled in person and produces a physical paper trail, CRE companies have come around to using online services to speed up the deal cycle. Instead of receiving leasing reports at inopportune times, the Nicola Crosby team can track leasing activity as it happens and send out offers to prospective tenants within a few hours, Paes-Braga said.

Platforms like VTS keep brokers and leasing agents seamlessly connected to property data 24/7, allowing for faster decisions and reactions to data. Deals can be made quickly and remotely.

VTS helped Nicola Crosby optimize the leasing of its large inventory, proving the value of property technology in a world increasingly defined by a constant flow of information.  

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