Technology makes investing in commercial real estate easier and more efficient.
We recently sat down with Chris DeAngelis and Ben Zises, the Founder and COO of TriArch Real Estate Group, to discuss how they employ cutting edge technology to grow their firm’s portfolio and enhance client relationships.
The two are well aware of the fierce competition they face in New York City’s idiosyncratic CRE environment, and view early and strategic adoption of digital tools as an essential way to distinguish themselves from industry peers. As Zises explains, “we’re making a point to separate ourselves by leveraging technology, which can be a huge advantage in an industry that is largely comprised of legacy players whose families have owned properties, quite literally, for 100 years.”
Managing Assets Efficiently
One of the greatest advantages CRE tech offers investors? A more efficient way of doing business. From real estate lead generation, to asset acquisition to property management, technology has the potential to greatly reduce human error, centralize and organize client and property data, and accelerate the rate at which new business is completed. “Technology has allowed us to keep closer track of expenses, to monitor work that’s being performed, and to really understand everything that’s happening across our entire portfolio,” says DeAngelis.
DeAngelis also stressed the importance of flexibility in determining which combination of tools will have the greatest impact on business. “We’re always willing to change the methods we use to gather data and track performance of our properties,” he explains.
Streamlining the Acquisition Process
When it comes to investing in commercial real estate, particularly property acquisition, Zises notes that the ability to visually capture and record property nuances has been extremely beneficial. “We look at countless properties each year, and one of the challenges has always been in remembering what we’ve seen” he says. “Recently while touring a property, one of our investment partners walked the building with a GoPro camera strapped to his backpack. That allowed us to record everything — the number of rooms, what the hallways look like — and then upload the video onto the cloud where we can all access it.” This seemingly simple step, he says, has streamlined a time-consuming internal communication process and empowered the firm to move on deals more quickly.
The pair also notes slow but significant shifts taking place on a citywide scale that have made property data points more easily accessible. “The city’s technology is improving, and has been extremely helpful in giving us access to data and records,” says Zises. “Reonomy takes that one step further by aggregating that data. That’s why we’ve been fans of Reonomy from the beginning, and have been rooting for the company to grow and succeed.”
Building Stronger Tenant Relationships
TriArch also uses CRE technology to improve property management processes — efficiencies that Zises says positively influence tenant relationships. “From the outset, we want all of our information on the cloud,” he explains. “That means tenants can apply for our apartments online, submit repair and maintenance requests, pay all fees, deposits, and rent in one place.” They are also working on setting up online lease signing features.
“Our tenants are our clients, so building stronger relationships with them builds our business,” DeAngelis says. “By using technology to make everything they do relating to a property easier, we are improving their experience.”
A Future-Proof Attitude
When asked about the future of technology in the CRE industry, the pair predicts increasing opportunities for integration and experimentation. In addition to strategic implementation of digital business tools, they see huge potential for growth and community building on social media platforms. In fact, TriArch has already made use of platforms like Instagram to not only market properties, but expand their recruiting efforts.
Whatever the future holds for CRE tech, TriArch’s forward-thinking mindset and continued agility renders them poised for future-proof success.
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