Adopting “The Cloud” in Commercial Real Estate

by siamak farah on May 25, 2011

Published in CityBiz Real Estate.

A Cloud-based intranet is a virtual office accessible from anywhere there is a web-enabled device and an internet connection. The Cloud provides 24/7 accessibility and real-time information – two key features that are of particular benefit to the real estate professional.

Cloud-based  applications and secure intranet systems work on any computer or laptop whether the computer is old or new, PC or Mac. They work on Internet Explorer, Firefox or Chrome; they don’t require updates or licenses to operate; and they most often work on a pay-as-you-go basis.

One of our clients, Baltimore, MD-based Keys2Day Real Estate, had grown rapidly and faced many issues common to the real estate industry:
• Hardware was purchased over a period of years as the company expanded;
• Software was purchased that was compatible with newer computers but not necessarily older ones;
• The company used multiple vendors – one to host its website, another for email, still another for lead generation; and
• It employed various software applications from a host of suppliers.

Too often, these issues are dealt with individually, but what this agency needed was a global solution that provided a platform powerful enough to handle their demands yet simple enough to accommodate their growth pattern and personnel.

Rather than fix the agency’s disparate problems, my company, InfoStreet, built a Cloud-based private environment that hosted their website, email, lead generation tools, and CRM; a private and secure environment where they could share information and updates in real time, communicate with each other, and access all of this from any web-enabled device.

We were able to do this in less than half a day.

A real estate professional with this firm can now pull up the latest data while in the field with a client, get listings while at a networking event, or can update information during a meeting. Since all of the firm’s tools are now based in the proverbial Cloud, the ages and makeup of the computers no longer matter, and PC users and Mac lovers alike are all on the same page.

In a report titled The Role of Cloud Computing in Commercial Property, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) explains that, “Cloud computing is a model that takes away the need to know anything about technology- you can just use it to do your work and not worry.”

This solution is what InfoStreet aims to provide for our clients.

Real estate companies, like other industries, grow in spurts. In an ideal world, a business would create a strategic plan, begin operations, and everything would fall into place precisely according to plan. But that isn’t how the real world works. Business growth isn’t like driving on the Autobahn but instead resembles highway driving in rush hour traffic: periods of slow growth followed by spurts of acceleration. And too often, the technology that sustains the business grows the same way.

InfoStreet, a Cloud app provider, helps clients navigate the multitude of Cloud apps launched daily to develop a customized, comprehensive solution to allow both management and sales professionals to work on their core competency. Siamak Farah is the company’s Founder and CEO.

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