REoptimizer® Blog

Top 5 Commercial Real Estate Apps for Android Devices

Posted by Michael Sweeney on Sep 17, 2013

The iOS platform isn't the only one that draws commercial real estate app developers. Android phones and tablets also benefit from a broad range of programs to help you do business when you're on the go. 


PowerOne Financial Calculator ($4.99 in Google Play Store)

Regardless of the role you play in commercial real estate, doing the math is an unavoidable part of being in the business. The PowerOne Financial Calculator application is one of the best financial calculators available, making it an indispensable commercial real estate app.

Using a form-based interface, PowerOne is much easier to use than a traditional financial calculator. Its built-in templates provide you with fill-in-the-form tools to solve many commercial real estate problems and it lets you build your own for your frequently completed calculations. PowerOne also runs on just about any platform that you can imagine, so you can take its familiar user interface top devices above and beyond your Android system. 


WorldCard HD/Mobile ($5.99 or free in Google Play Store)

While WorldCard Mobile isn't a dedicated commercial real estate app, it solves one of the biggest challenges that people in commercial real estate face - managing business cards. WorldCard Mobile lets you capture contact information right into your Android phone's contacts, your Google contacts or your Exchange contacts by taking a photograph of the business card with your device's built-in camera. It uses optical character recognition technology to read the card, saving you from having to type it in.

The Mobile version works on Android phones, while the HD version is optimized for tablets. Both also have free "lite" versions that you can use to try the software out, although the lite version has limited capabilities.


Cloud Storage Applications (Free in Google Play Store)

Your Android device can connect to just about any cloud storage system. Dropbox, Google Drive, Box and Skydrive all have free Android apps, so you can choose the service that you provide. Any of them will let you access all of the data you have in your cloud drive from your Android device. They can be very useful when you need to review a lease from the field, check a spreadsheet, or even do an impromptu PowerPoint presentation. How can cloud apps benefit commercial real estate?  Click here to find out.


LoopNet (Free in Google Play Store)

Quite possibly the most ubiquitous commercial real estate app, LoopNet runs on Android. As on other platforms, it offers a range of different ways for your to search LoopNet's list of for sale and for rent properties.

The free application lets you search all of LoopNet's Premium Listings. In addition, if you have a LoopNet subscription, you can also search non-premium listings as well as manage your portfolio of LoopNet listings, right from your Android device.


SiteWise ($0.99 in Google Play Store)

The SiteWise commercial real estate app lets you do demographics analysis for site selection right on your Android device. It covers the United States and Canada with census data and lets you pull basic data based on every geographical distinction used in the census as well as doing radius searches and searches by drive-time.

The basic application contains U.S. and Canada census data as current as 2010 and 2011, respectively. You can also purchase an upgrade for more current and more complete private-company data. Either version lets you directly share or email your reports in Excel or PDF format.


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Topics: Commercial Real Estate App

Top 5 Commercial Real Estate Map Apps for the iPad

Posted by Michael Sweeney on Aug 29, 2013

For all of the controversy over Apple Maps and Google Maps, one very simple fact has been forgotten. Regardless of which "big" map app you use, the iPad is an amazing mapping tool for commercial real estate applications. Whether you use a map-based commercial real estate app or you use a specialized mapping tool, the iPad can let you get better information faster while you're in the field. Here are the top five must have mapping applications for your iPad: 

1. CoStar Go. The LoopNet commercial real estate app is an industry standard for accessing listing data, but LoopNet is actually owned by the leading commercial real estate industry information provider, CoStar. If you want map-based access to LoopNet listings as well as listings that CoStar has entered in their more complete separate database, the CoStar Go app is the way to go. The app is free, although it requires you to have access to the CoStar Suite of data services. In addition to listings for both for-purchase and for-lease spaces, CoStar Go also gives you access to the CoStar Comps database of sold properties and their Exchange and Tenant databases of space, tenant and leasing data. It's all available on your iPad, and it's all displayable on a map.

2. Scout GPS . Part of being in commercial real estate is getting from point A to point B quickly. With the amount of time that you spend on the road, getting stuck in traffic isn't an option. Scout GPS is a mapping and navigation application that takes advantage of live traffic data from people like you. Like Waze, which is a free alternative, it uses crowdsourced data to give you routes that take traffic conditions into account.

3. Planimeter . Sometimes, you need to know how big a building is or the acreage of a given parcel. If that property is on a satellite map and you can see its borders, the Planimeter commercial real estate app will let you measure it. All that you have to do is draw a box around its perimeter, and the software will give you a measurement. Planimeter even supports irregularly shaped properties, so you aren't limited to measuring boxes.

4. ArcGIS ArcPad . When you're doing site selection in the field, having access to GIS data is crucial. The free ArcGIS application plugs into ESRI's industry standard system for providing geographic information. Other applications plug into its framework to give you even more property data.  If you aren't a user of the ArcGIS system, other GIS tools have iPad applications as well. Some alternative options include ICMTGIS, GISRoam, and Garafa GIS Pro.

5. MagicPlan . Every other commercial real estate app here is concerned with mapping external space. However, most tenants are interested in internal space. MagicPlan helps you build your own maps of internal space - namely floor plans - by using your iPad's camera to mark the corners of rooms and build accurate maps that take dimensions into account. If you need to get quick measurements of space in the field when the owner doesn't have floor plans or blueprints available, it's indispensable.  
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Topics: Commercial Real Estate App

Best Mobile Apps to Help Aid in Your Site Selection Process

Posted by Michael Sweeney on Aug 01, 2013

While computers have made it easier to do site selection from your office, a smartphone with the right commercial real estate app package gives you the best of both worlds. Instead of having to be stuck at your office to get access to the data that you need, you can be in the field at potential sites and still have access to all of the data that you need to support what you learn on-site. To be truly productive in site selection, you only need three apps:

Space Availability Application

CoStar's commercial real estate app is probably the best example of this type of application, although Loopnet and other companies offer similar ones. These tools let you search the universe of available spaces in a given area while you are there. they provide you with lease data, broker contract information, and anything else that you might need to quickly decide whether or not to cross a site off of your list. Most also offer map views to help you visualize where space is available. The ability to break out properties by age also lets you see where the new construction is occurring at a glance. 

The problem with apps like CoStar or LoopNet are that they require relatively expensive subscriptions for you to be able to get maximum value from them. To help combat this problem and to potentially offer more comprehensive access to market data, some states and communities are creating a market-specific commercial real estate app that helps you find sites in the area. Some examples of this are the Access NC and YesVA apps for North Carolina and Virginia, respectively. Both are free and available for both Apple and Android devices.

Staying Connected

Site selection doesn't happen in a vacuum. To be productive in the field, you don't only need access to site information. You also need access to your company's data. Whether you accomplish this through a VPN connection, a private cloud application, or a public cloud tool like SkyDrive, Google Drive or Dropbox, being able to get to proposals, specifications, timelines, and everything else you need will make you more productive in the field.

Skype, FaceTime, and every other video conferencing program didn't start out as a commercial real estate app like GoTo Meeting or GlobalMeet. However, given the high quality of the cameras built-in to many smartphones and tablets and the high-speed 4G cellular service that is readily available throughout the country, your smartphone is a window into potential sites for people back at the office. Your team may not make a decision over a video conference, but the ability for more people to see the site before a decision gets made can help you to uncover potential issues or to get different perspectives on which site is best. 

Installing and using a commercial real estate app or two will help you to get better data about what's available, do a better job of understanding each site, and better communicate with the home office. In addition to the ones identified here, which commercial real estate app do you find indispensable?
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Topics: Commercial Real Estate App, corporate real estate