For those who follow technology and real estate, Search is essential to success. Search is Google’s primary business and is how real estate buyers spend their day. When one carefully defines the relationship of search terms, the better the results. Likewise, when one defines the search parameters for property, the better the deals. Before the Internet, Real Estate Search was conducted by word-of mouth the Multiple Listing Service, and massive cold-calling. It was not easy to be specific. Today, new technologies allow pinpoint accuracy. CRM software, owner and tenant databases, search engines, aerial maps, mobile wireless internet cards and GPS enable one to segment the market into various product types. With massive amounts of capital looking to gain an advantage in different expertise areas, these new search tools have allowed Buyers to look more exactly than ever before.
Simply consider how Google Maps has changed Real Estate. I also like News Feeds because they can automatically track all types of current and specific information. Besides Search there are prototypical ways to conduct business. This next stage is typified by Social Networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook. While not business ready, these sites are based on creating community and relationships. A community, for example, can create an entire ecosystem of capital, lenders, tenants, and property in areas that are otherwise disorganized. Searching for like-minded people and telling others what you do is the basis for Social Networking. While none of these concepts are new to the business world, Search and Community sites will take you further, deeper, and faster. There are other parallels between how deals are sought logically and how their future will be enhanced digitally. Perhaps it can be seen by what is happening today. Search is being used to ferret out the bargains. For instance, any real estate occupied by companies associated to housing such as material suppliers, furniture makers, lenders, residential contractors or Home Depot vendors is being carefully examined for failing tenants. Other Searchers will look at property or companies who are caught in changing capital markets and will need new financing. The community of Buyers is also changing from those who relied on borrowed funds, to those that have cash and Community are excellent tools for Real Estate Professionals, and they enhance our ability in the most important way—finding and making deals.