FITECH Consultants http://www.fitechllc.com Real Estate Technology Experts Wed, 03 Jan 2018 19:51:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.1 CRM Systems: What are the real estate options? http://www.fitechllc.com/blog/crm-systems-real-estate-options/ Wed, 03 Jan 2018 13:00:25 +0000 http://www.fitechllc.com/?p=719   There are so many different CRM systems available, so how do you choose the right one for your needs? Whether you’re a new agent who needs to manage all of your client information or you are a seasoned agent who is looking for a better, more robust CRM, you are sure to find the [...]

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There are so many different CRM systems available, so how do you choose the right one for your needs? Whether you’re a new agent who needs to manage all of your client information or you are a seasoned agent who is looking for a better, more robust CRM, you are sure to find the perfect option for all of your needs. Let’s take a closer look at key elements your CRM should have.

Lead Aggregation

The right CRM will help you keep leads organized by automatically aggregating leads from various sources such as website visitors, newsletter sign-ups, social media and inbound calls. Your CRM should also assist with prospect nurturing by following up with leads automatically with preset emails and tasks. A good CRM will nurture prospects through the entire sales process from generating the lead to closing the sale.

Integration

Does your current CRM integrate with all of the applications and systems you use on a day-to-day basis for your business? One of the key features a real estate CRM should have is integration with MLS so that all of your listings will be easily accessible.

Your CRM is a central hub for all of your information needed to successfully run and grow your business, so integration is crucial to streamline tasks and save time. If your CRM software works with third-party solutions then all of your data will be streamlined throughout every aspect of your business. This eliminates the need to manually export or import information between two systems.

Drip Email Campaigns

Another great tool your CRM should offer is email marketing. With this feature you can automatically build email lists, send out drip email marketing campaigns and measure the performance of these campaigns. This is critical to staying top of mind for your clients and prospects. Many CRMs offer custom newsletters for you to send out to clients and prospects making it simple and easy.

Performance Tracking

CRM software generally gives every real estate agent their own account, allowing them to keep track of their sales numbers, incentives, quotas and other metrics needed to help them reach their sales goals.

Sales Forecasting

You can automatically project both short and long term sales potential and opportunities easily, eliminating the legwork need to gather information and produce charts from scratch.

Flexibility with a Cloud-Based CRM

Real estate agents are always on the go, meaning they need a CRM that works with their schedules. With a cloud-based CRM you can get access to your CRM data anytime, anywhere and on any device. You are no longer chained to your desk to get work done – you can be at a property showing, on vacation or at a coffee shop and you will be able to access all of the files and data you need.

FITECH Consultants IT systems have helped manage 150,000 residential units and 100 million square feet of commercial real estate…and that is all within the last 12 months. Contact us today to get started.

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4 Multifamily Trends We’re Watching as 2017 Comes to a Close http://www.fitechllc.com/blog/4-multifamily-trends-watching-2017-comes-close/ Wed, 27 Dec 2017 09:19:27 +0000 http://www.fitechllc.com/?p=714 The multifamily market has been an extremely active market in recent years, with absorption increasing in many major markets such as Dallas, Atlanta and Chicago. The competition is stiff for those looking to development new multifamily properties and it will take multiple defining factors to set multifamily properties apart. Let’s take a look at four [...]

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The multifamily market has been an extremely active market in recent years, with absorption increasing in many major markets such as Dallas, Atlanta and Chicago. The competition is stiff for those looking to development new multifamily properties and it will take multiple defining factors to set multifamily properties apart. Let’s take a look at four multifamily trends we are watching as 2017 comes to a close.

A Step Up in Amenity Offerings

Amenities now must go beyond the traditional gyms, business centers and pools that multifamily units generally offer. Amenities will need to reflect the lifestyle of the residents by including things such as bike rooms, high-tech gyms with Pandora and Bluetooth syncing, grocery delivery, resort-style pools, and various rooftop decks. Concessions are also set to increase as more units come online and apartment complexes are competing with numerous other complexes. Many complexes are offering 1-2 months free and move-in fees waived. We will see this continue as more complexes are developed.

Under-Construction Totals are Increasing

According to CBRE Research, May 2017’s seasonally adjusted total of 602,000 multifamily units under construction was down slight by .01% from the prior month, but was up from 2016. On a year-over-year basis, the May total of multifamily units under construction reflects a 5.6% increase. As we see an increase in population and as millennials continue to hold off on buying homes, we will continue to see an uptick in construction on multifamily properties.

Investors are Looking Beyond Primary Markets

As more companies are choosing to place headquarters in secondary markets, multifamily property development is following suit by creating multifamily units within secondary markets to accommodate the growing workforce in these areas. According to JLL, secondary markets comprised 44.6% of multifamily transaction volumes at mid-year, as investors look for opportunities beyond the primary markets. JLL also reported that the appetite for investment remains stable for the sector across the buyer pool given historic sector performance and favorable demographics.

Multifaceted Multifamily

According to Multifamily Executive, the demand for multifamily housing will continue to expand in the next year, across many demographic lines, in large part for the large millennial and boomer generations and in both student and senior housing. Developers will work to meet the increasingly sophisticated expectations of the residential and multifamily market sector.

The Future of Multifamily for 2018

The multifamily market in the United States has yet to hit its peak and will continue to show positive movement. From the increase in concessions and the uptick in construction, the multifamily market will continue to be attractive to investors, particularly in the secondary markets. Absorption levels will continue to rise and the market has no signs of slowing down as 2017 comes to a close and as the new year begins.

FITECH Consultants IT systems have helped manage 150,000 residential units and 100 million square feet of commercial real estate…and that is all within the last 12 months. Contact us today to get started.

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Cloud-Based Services Help Brokers Maximize Agent Productivity http://www.fitechllc.com/blog/cloud-based-services-help-brokers-maximize-agent-productivity/ Wed, 20 Dec 2017 13:00:50 +0000 http://www.fitechllc.com/?p=707 Cloud-based services give brokers the opportunity to truly be flexible and to work from anywhere, boosting productivity. Brokers need to be able to continue working as they are out in the field and the cloud allows them to do so. There are more opportunities for growth and an increase in sales volume with these tools. [...]

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Cloud-based services give brokers the opportunity to truly be flexible and to work from anywhere, boosting productivity. Brokers need to be able to continue working as they are out in the field and the cloud allows them to do so. There are more opportunities for growth and an increase in sales volume with these tools. There are various services available to make the day-to-day work flow more smoothly for brokers including Box and Quickbooks.

Let’s take a closer look at a few of the cloud-based services that can help brokers maximize agent productivity.

Box

Box is like My Documents on your desktop, except it lives online and can be accessed from any device, anywhere at any time. You can drag and drop files you want to access on the go so that you never have to worry about losing files or not being able to access them in important meetings with clients. This is a great cloud-service for collaboration as well, since everyone can update documents in Salesforce and other programs.

Quickbooks

This online accounting service will help with all of your accounting needs, such as VAT returns, setting budgets, monitoring cash flows and creating business reports. The SME-focus accounting functionality can be accessed from anywhere in the world. All of your transaction management can be performed with this cloud-based service, making it simpler than ever to close transactions.

Salesforce1 Mobile App

You can take your CRM with you with the mobile app. Use it to plan your day out in the field and make sure to also keep track of all leads and prospects from your phone or tablet. You can also share and edit files easily for more collaboration with your clients and team – it is truly everything you need to close a deal, all on your mobile device.

Evernote

Evernote is a great place to store notes and client info that once cluttered your desk. You can even use it to scan images for words, so you can upload a picture of a page full of notes and find it later using text search. Long gone are the days of desks full of handwritten sticky notes. Evernote will keep all of your client communications and notes from calls and meetings in one place that is easily accessible.

Brokers are constantly on the move, running from client meetings to property tours and jumping on conference calls all day long. It’s not feasible to expect a broker to be chained to his desk, which makes cloud-based services more useful than ever. These are just a few of the cloud-based services that brokers can utilize in their everyday work lives. Having the ability to truly work from anywhere, helps brokers improve their client communication, close more deals and complete more tasks.

FITECH Consultants IT systems have helped manage 150,000 residential units and 100 million square feet of commercial real estate…and that is all within the last 12 months. Contact us today to get started.

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5 Reasons Why Your Business Should Outsource These Back Office Tasks http://www.fitechllc.com/blog/5-reasons-business-outsource-back-office-tasks/ Wed, 13 Dec 2017 13:00:46 +0000 http://www.fitechllc.com/?p=704 An entire office can be halted if the back office work is not operating in an efficient manner. Back office work such as managing commissions and other administrative tasks are crucial to the success of a company. While there should be someone responsible for performing these back office tasks, it doesn’t necessarily need to be [...]

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An entire office can be halted if the back office work is not operating in an efficient manner. Back office work such as managing commissions and other administrative tasks are crucial to the success of a company. While there should be someone responsible for performing these back office tasks, it doesn’t necessarily need to be done by someone within the company —it’s beneficial to outsource these tasks for a variety of reasons.

#1. Gain Time

When you don’t have to handle back office tasks yourself, you have more time to dedicate to increasing sales and focusing on tasks that will directly affect your bottom line. Outsourcing these tasks and assigning them to someone else will free up your time to really focus on increasing your sales volume.

Think of it this way: if you don’t have to focus on back office work and choose to outsource the work, the amount of sales you can generate in the time it takes to do all of those daunting back office tasks will ultimately provide higher profits.

#2. Ensure Accuracy

Back office tasks are often complex with an incredible amount of detail that can pose a threat for errors. When you outsource back office tasks to an outsourcing company you can gain assurance that you’ll receive 100% accuracy by experts. The outsourcing company

#3. Achieve Faster Results

Hiring the in-house staff, training them and setting the infrastructure all require time and money. Investing this time and money on activity things to do not affect the core business is not ideal. By outsourcing this back office work, you can achieve faster results without disturbing the main business activities.

#4. Cost Benefits

Many companies are choosing to outsource back office tasks because of the cost benefits it provides. Outsourcing back office work can ensure that top quality work is produced quickly and for less in comparison to hiring an in-house team.

#5. Expansion

The goal of any company is to increase profits and to expand the business, but it’s difficult to expand if most of the business’ time, energy and finances are being dedicated to back office tasks. The ideal solution for this is to outsource the work to a reputable and efficient company and let your staff focus on profit-increasing activities that will help grow the business.

These are five reasons why your business should outsource back office tasks, although there are many reasons to choose this route for your company. You can save time, energy and stress and focus more efforts on increasing profits all by outsourcing back office tasks. Just think of how much more your company could grow if you had more time to spend on the tasks that directly affect your bottom line.

FITECH Consultants IT systems have helped manage 150,000 residential units and 100 million square feet of commercial real estate…and that is all within the last 12 months. Contact us today to get started. We look forward to working with you!

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5 Ways Property Management Companies Can Streamline Operations http://www.fitechllc.com/blog/5-ways-property-management-companies-can-streamline-operations/ Wed, 06 Dec 2017 13:00:00 +0000 http://www.fitechllc.com/?p=699 Whether you’re a small property management company handling a portfolio of 10 buildings or a huge real estate management firm handling buildings in several different regions, the task of managing these properties can seem stressful and time consuming – but luckily, it doesn’t have to be. Here are five ways property management companies can streamline [...]

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Whether you’re a small property management company handling a portfolio of 10 buildings or a huge real estate management firm handling buildings in several different regions, the task of managing these properties can seem stressful and time consuming – but luckily, it doesn’t have to be.

Here are five ways property management companies can streamline operations for a more effective and efficient management process.

#1. Create a Tenant Portal

How do you communicate with tenants? With a tenant portal you can allow tenants access to information about their accounts and their property. They can ask questions, search for answers and complete tasks such as rent payment online. New tenants can also apply for a space online. This helps to streamline the communication with your tenants and frees up time for you to tent to urgent and more important matters. Reducing tenant turnover can streamline your business and make it more financially viable.

#2. Determine Your Property Management Marketing ROI

Are your marketing strategies effective? Use marketing analytics software to understand both the strengths and the weaknesses of your marketing so that you can focus your marketing money on qualified leads. Search for marketing software that provides month over month comparisons of lead conversions, prospect metrics and overall marketing ROI.

#3. Analyze Accounts with Property Management Software

Accounting software can help your business stay on track and can help you locate problem areas and find solutions. If you notice that late payments are an area where you are losing profit, you can develop strategies to address this with your tenants. If urgent repairs are putting a dent in your budget, you can also form strategies for ongoing maintenance. Utilize your accounting software to assess your financial strategies on a regular basis so that you can find the right solutions.

Property management software can also keep you privy to lease expiration dates and can create reports based on things including the length of time left on a contract, etc. You can set an automated report to be delivered directly to your email account and you can keep your properties occupied.

#4. Utilize Spend Management Software

If you are looking to both streamline and decrease expenses on property management, you should highly consider standardizing these expenses. Spend management software can help you spend wisely and stay within your budget to adhere to your bottom line. This helps make spending practices consistent and helps simplify the buying process, saving you time and money.

#5. Take Advantage of Opportunity

Having instant access to data on your whole portfolio of properties is important in order to capitalize on the growth opportunities in the real estate business. Property management software can provide this experience that gives property managers the critical and standardized info they need on any individual asset or property.

From assessment to configuration to customization to long-term management of your computing infrastructure, our expert consultants and engineers will create the efficiencies, integrations and insights so critical for success in today’s competitive business world. Contact FITECH Consultants today to find out how we can save you time and money.

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Cyber Monday Shopping Safety http://www.fitechllc.com/fitech-in-the-news/cyber-monday-shopping-safety/ Mon, 04 Dec 2017 21:40:35 +0000 http://www.fitechllc.com/?p=695 Ian Marlow of FITECH speaks on FiOS1-LI about how to keep safe shopping online during Cyber Monday. Original air date 11/27/17.

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Ian Marlow of FITECH speaks on FiOS1-LI about how to keep safe shopping online during Cyber Monday. Original air date 11/27/17.

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Ian Marlow on Good Morning with Gordon Deal http://www.fitechllc.com/uncategorized/ian-marlow-good-morning-gordon-deal/ Wed, 29 Nov 2017 15:56:26 +0000 http://www.fitechllc.com/?p=690 Ian Marlow’s radio appearance on the Compass Media Network Morning Show hosted by Gordon Deal. Air date 11/22/17

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Ian Marlow’s radio appearance on the Compass Media Network Morning Show hosted by Gordon Deal. Air date 11/22/17

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Secure Online Shopping http://www.fitechllc.com/fitech-in-the-news/secure-online-shopping/ Wed, 29 Nov 2017 15:37:32 +0000 http://www.fitechllc.com/?p=687 Ian Marlow of FITECH speaks with CBS about keeping yourself safe during online holiday shopping. Original air date 11/22/17.

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Ian Marlow of FITECH speaks with CBS about keeping yourself safe during online holiday shopping. Original air date 11/22/17.

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3 Ways to Determine if the Cloud (and What Cloud) is Right for You http://www.fitechllc.com/blog/3-ways-determine-cloud-cloud-right/ Wed, 27 Sep 2017 12:00:47 +0000 http://www.fitechllc.com/?p=677 Cloud-based solutions offer access to software and files from anywhere at anytime on any device. As business becomes more mobile, companies are taking advantage of the flexibility the cloud can offer their company. The question quickly becomes what cloud is right for you? Depending on what information you need to store on the cloud, there [...]

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Interior of a data center.

Cloud-based solutions offer access to software and files from anywhere at anytime on any device. As business becomes more mobile, companies are taking advantage of the flexibility the cloud can offer their company. The question quickly becomes what cloud is right for you?

Depending on what information you need to store on the cloud, there are three different cloud-based solutions your company can use. Let’s dive into the three different types of clouds.

Public Cloud

The public cloud utilizes the Internet to connect services and customers by providing easy and inexpensive access to storage and software. All Google Apps, Salesforce.com, Amazon Simple Storage Service and others are all examples of public clouds. This is a great cloud option for smaller real estate firms that do not have an IT staff.

The key thing to remember about public cloud software is that it is public, which deters many companies from hosting their highly sensitive data or proprietary files here. While security is a concern, many modern cloud providers make security a top concern and make security protocols accessible for public review.

Hybrid Cloud

This system is a combination of the public and private cloud solutions that offers the advantages of each. You may put sensitive production data on a private cloud to increase security and then archive less sensitive data on a public cloud to take advantage of less costly storage solutions. For private cloud solutions, your firm may have to pay for operational costs and the infrastructure. Utilizing a hybrid cloud can help provide with more cost-effective stability and your company can take advantage of all that the private and public clouds have to offer in the most cost effective way.

Private Cloud (Infrastructure Only)

Many larger real estate firms that are concerned about security often opt for a private cloud system. This cloud is operated exclusively for one organization within their firewall to restrict access to business information. In addition to providing more enhanced security, the private cloud also allows the company to easily customize their applications and data.

The only con to the private cloud is that it requires a significant and in-house IT resource to set up and operate the private cloud —if you’re looking at an infrastructure-only type service. On the flipside, there are managed service providers (like FITECH) that will provide the infrastructure, installation, management and help desk as a full turnkey solution.

If you are housing sensitive company information, client information or information relating to deals or medical records, you should consider housing information on the private cloud to ensure security.

Making it Work for You

The type of information your company is planning to host on the cloud will truly determine what type of cloud is your best option. If your firm has a lot of sensitive information, you should consider a private cloud. If your company has less sensitive information, the public cloud may be your best option. If you have both types of information, you should look into a hybrid cloud for cost saving solutions. Not sure what you need? Maybe a combination? FITECH is flexible enough to provide any variation of these services.

Running a successful and growing business takes enough of your time without having to worry about your business technology maintenance. But, in a world of high-profile data breaches and expanding cloud computing capabilities, it’s a must!

That is why engaging FITECH’s technology team makes excellent business sense. Our IT specialists can handle all your technology maintenance and support needs and can provide a secure, flexible (and in some cases, unique) cloud computing resources on our FTHosting Private Encrypted Cloud. Contact us today to get started.

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5 Property Management Companies Doing Social Media Right http://www.fitechllc.com/blog/5-property-management-companies-social-media-right/ Wed, 20 Sep 2017 12:00:42 +0000 http://www.fitechllc.com/?p=672 Just about every company is on social media. From restaurants to real estate firms, companies are using social media to establish a digital presence and connect with their clients and customers in real-time. Even property management companies are seeing the value social media can offer their business. Clients and consumers appreciate seeing valuable information on [...]

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Just about every company is on social media. From restaurants to real estate firms, companies are using social media to establish a digital presence and connect with their clients and customers in real-time. Even property management companies are seeing the value social media can offer their business. Clients and consumers appreciate seeing valuable information on social media sites that they are already using everyday.

Here just a few property management companies doing social media right and continuing to establish themselves as a leader in the digital world.

Balfour Beatty

Balfour Beatty is a leading international infrastructure group. They finance, develop, build and maintain the vital infrastructures of properties. They have over 54,000 followers on Twitter and share everything from real estate market facts to photos of charity events they sponsor and participate in. They spark engagement by making their timeline visual and conversational.

Simon Property Group

Simon Property Group is a global leader in retail real estate ownership, management and development. The property management company shares plenty of useful content on their Twitter, including information on company news such as the launch of their Chabot designed to deliver useful information to customers as they shop as well as articles that give retail industry related information. They currently have over 3,400 Twitter followers.

Lincoln Property Company

Lincoln Property Co. is a nationwide property management firm that focuses on conventional, affordable student and military housing. The company currently has over 4,800 Twitter followers. They use social media to share company blog posts, charity participation, and articles that feature properties they manage. They embed images and plenty of visuals to keep content eye-catching. They also make an effort to engage with their followers on social media in real-time to keep them interested in their content.

Brixmor Property Group

Brixmor Property Group owns and operates one of the largest portfolios of open-air shopping centers in the United States. The company shares everything from their career opportunities to news articles and roundtables their professionals host and participate in. They also include streams of live tweets they send out during big retail events such as ICSC. The group has over 6,600 followers on Twitter.

DLC Management Corp.

This leading private retail real estate company that specializes in acquisitions, development, leasing and property management offers a Twitter timeline full of facts and statistics surrounding real estate. You can find plenty of visuals on their Twitter timeline along with relevant articles and company news. With over 2,100 followers, DLC Management Corp. reaches a wide audience and continues to grow its social media presence.

Social media marketing is continuing to make headway in becoming one of the most useful forms of digital marketing. With 2.56 billion people on social media sites globally, social media is not going away.

FITECH Consultants IT systems have helped manage 150,000 residential units and 100 million square feet of commercial real estate…and that is all within the last 12 months. Contact us today to get started.

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