There has been a recent explosion of tech options for real estate professionals across the board.

Commercial real estate and technology are continuing to intersect at a rapid pace, making tech adoption inevitable as firms large and small compete to maintain a competitive edge.

7 Ways to Be Sure You Have the Best CRE Tech for Your Team

We’ve seen how startups are using this boom to create an advantage over legacy companies and also how some brokers use this to overcome their fear of cold calling.

Are you taking advantage? If you’re not, here are a few things to keep in mind as you start to explore the CRE Tech landscape.

1. Identify the key problem(s) you want to solve.

Know from the outset that there won’t be one CRE Tech tool that solves every need you have. A good place to start your research is by honing in on your day-to-day pain points.

Once you have these pain points narrowed down, get acquainted with players in the CRE tech space.

CRE Tech Intersect’s 2015 Year End Report and CB Insights’ infographic will serve as valuable resources for your preliminary research into the CRE tech landscape.

2. CRE tech events help you nail the big picture.

Check out events produced by Disrupt CRE, CRE Tech, and Bisnow.

Networking at these functions is especially a plus since they’re well attended by members of the tech and CRE communities.

More importantly, these forums provide opportunities to meet founders, test drive products, compare competing tools, listen to innovators debate the latest in tech trends, and ask questions in person.

3. Free trials are king!

Always ask if a free trial is available before buying.

If so, get in there and actually use different tech tools to work on a project—ideally something you do everyday.

This will give you a good sense of features and the ultimate value.

4. An intuitive user experience rules.

Have you ever heard of anyone needing a training manual for Facebook? Probably not.

Simplistic, intuitive design is the difference between needing extensive training versus learning a new tool quickly and easily. If a tech tool is easy to use and has the features you need, go with it.

5. What’s a roadmap?

Speak with tech companies about the updates and new features they have planned over the coming months.

While these plans aren’t guaranteed to come into fruition, they’re a good indication of where a company’s product is headed. The tentative product roadmap can help guide your buying decision.

6. Seek advice from those in the know.

Get unbiased advice from early adopters who are already using tech products.

Do this in person by talking to peers, or consult industry bloggers (e.g. Duke Long , CRETech ) who regularly review tech products & talking to founders. They have the scoop.

7. Make the most of onboarding.

How you get acquainted with a new tech tool in the initial period after purchase is crucial for ensuring success.

Onboarding comes in a number of different ways–in-person training, webinars, emails, videos and more. Take advantage of these tutorials!

Although it may be tempting to forgo training, this initial support will show how to get the most value from the product.

We see it with Reonomy clients all the time – those who engage during the onboarding process with us much higher chance of success from the outset.

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