Price Edwards & Co. reserved some space in its new office market summary for boasting of its technological prowess.
Having been allowed to see its innovations early over the years, let me just say: The firm's leadership and its five full-time information technology staffers give it actual bragging rights.
First the Web page, www.priceedwards.com. Unlike far too many business Web pages, it's kept up to date — and that means as needed. Daily is just the start when it comes to “current.”
The first click on a stale webpage is usually the last. Any real estate site with property listings surely keeps them current. But if you're going to include market statistics and analysis, it should be fresh, too.
One commercial realty firm in Oklahoma City has a city economic overview that has not been updated since 2005. That firm is not Price Edwards.
Price Edwards' site also has staff information, announcements, press releases and other data and is meant to be a gateway to its other online tools, such as www.okcmarketdata.com. Search engine optimization is a priority, and a mobile version uses the GPS in smartphones to get clients on the streets data on nearby properties and connected to the right brokers fast.
The firm also keeps its “inside baseball” data and functions working smoothly with a work-order system utilizing text messaging, email and other Web-based communication. It keeps tenants, field superintendents, building engineers, property managers and owners in touch and working together.
The secret's in the source — a system that makes it painless to check the status of a given work order, which tends to satisfy tenants and keep everyone on their toes. Price Edwards said it “can report on all open work orders by property, by engineer or by status.” Trends and problems can be spotted early, the firm said.
Price Edwards' semiannual market summaries — office, retail, industrial, apartment — are available online, of course, but also are interactive, allowing viewers to review data by property type, lease rate, submarket and sale dates, with photos and floor plans of buildings the firm represents.
Price Edwards' extranet for clients gives them access to monthly summaries as well as historical property and data reports, leases and contracts.
The firm's email marketing starts with a list of thousands of investors and others in the business that can be targeted for best exposure.
Price was first here, in commercial realty, with its own apps for iPhone and iPad, available in the Apple App Store — and created in-house. It is working on a way to make them compatible with Android.
“Location, location, location” will always be the first rule of real estate. “Data, data, data” has always been the close second. Price Edwards is first with that second, in my estimation.
The firm's websites and apps honestly are the only local commercial real estate sites I consult regularly.