Commercial real estate firms are transitioning to electronic technologies that increase productivity, accuracy, and efficiency. This digital transformation within the real estate industry, coupled with analytics and blockchain technology, is changing how commercial real estate does business. The use of secure cloud e-documents, investor dashboards, and reporting impact investor and sponsor decisions.
Digital document management uses computer software and systems to organize, access, control, secure, store, share, retrieve, manage, and track e-documents and business files. These document management systems enable commercial real estate firms to create a single, centralized hub, streamlining business workflow, efficiently handling contract documents, and allowing organizations and their investors to quickly and intelligently extract critical data.
Consumers Benefit from Working with Progressive Real Estate Firms
While adopting these technologies can make for initial transition challenges for traditional real estate organizations, ignoring the potential growth it can afford would be wrong. The benefits include:
- Increase in workflow collaboration
- Adaptation to the demand for mobile device integration and shift to a paperless society
- Enhancing layers of security
- Enhancing focus on investor experience
- More recognized standards around e-document security and governance
As of 2021, according to Investor Management Services, more than 50 percent of commercial real estate firms use data and analytics in their decision-making, and the gap between the innovating firms and those slow to adapt is widening. Digital transaction management (DTM) is an encompassing term for cloud computing services allowing users to manage document-based transactions digitally.
The Power of Real Estate Technology
DTM speeds up the signing of contracts and other business agreements through automated processes that are faster, more accurate, and more secure than traditional paperwork. Operating costs are lower as e-documents can be instantly signed and transmitted rather than printed, physically signed, scanned, emailed, or sent via the postal service.
These efficiencies are cross-department benefitting sales, human resources, finance, information technology, procurement, and legal departments but particularly benefit real estate transactions in the online facilitation of secure e-document signing and processing. Because these services are cloud-based, the technology allows access to key documents, enabling you to do business on any device, anytime, anywhere, with an internet connection.
Major industry players specializing in digital signatures include names such as DocuSign, Adobe, and OneSpan (previously VASCO Data Security International). Other DTM companies include:
- BOX (cloud storage, team collaboration, and business workflow automation)
- Fluix (storage files, document collaboration, e-signatures, and conversion of paper documents to digital files)
- Mi-Corporation (mobile-based solutions collecting employee data, barcodes, and signatures in the field, GPS, and photos)
Data Security and Greater Efficiency
Commercial real estate document management solutions provide repositories for crucial data like K-1s, broker/property management documents, and waterfall-audit files. Investors or colleagues may access, view, and share specific content and documents depending on permission levels.
Security – Improper document management can leak vital, sensitive information, changing leverage positions before and during a real estate deal. Providing end-users with on-demand access to key documents while safeguarding sensitive and confidential business data is now possible with systems that can prevent security breaches using banking and military-level encryption protocols. Real estate DTM also provides more robust backup, file, and disaster recovery scenarios preventing unrecoverable data destruction.
Access – The commercial real estate market is increasingly becoming a global business. DTM permits access to information without being tethered to an office. Anywhere access through the internet of things via the cloud addresses data access if remote working, traveling, and even commuting.
Efficiency – Research shows that documentation challenges in traditional paper offices (misfiling, loss, etc.) account for 20 percent of productivity loss. A real estate document management system enhances the proper handling of e-files with stringent protocols while still providing easy access. Retrieval speeds of documents improve dramatically using DTM. E-signatures increase savings per document, which adds up quickly while reducing turnaround times by as much as 80 percent. Close more deals, and make more money, more quickly.
Knowledge Management – Data is crucial when doing business in commercial real estate. Silo data control points (information confined to a single server, computer, or filing cabinet) create chokepoints, reducing information flow and efficiency. Eliminating internal silos of information with selected or general permissions to internal employees removes these data chokepoints. Notifications to relevant users when new documents become available will accelerate business processes.
More recently, real estate technology is breaking into blockchain technology, enabling trading platforms and online marketplaces to comprehensively support real estate and rental property transactions. ATLANT developers have a platform using blockchain technology that tokenizes real estate property, allowing assets to trade like stocks on an exchange and facilitating online transactions.
There are many real estate tools, platforms, and digital management technologies to research to find the right fit for your business. Moving forward, Deloitte, an innovative solutions specialist, recommends for the commercial real estate market include embracing the complexity of integrating these advanced applications of technologies. Utilizing digital transaction management, cloud investments, and data analytics can take your organization beyond cost optimization and business continuity. Position your real estate group for success in the 21st century. Real estate attorneys specializing in current technologies can help you find the best solutions to implement for your real estate digital document and transaction needs.