With the constant evolution of technology, as business owners, there is now a plethora of different beneficial IT solutions which will contribute towards encouraging productivity and streamlining processes. Technology continues to revolutionise every industry, and real estate is no exception. It is thought that, on average, around 80% of real estate organisations utilise a form of IT solution, in particular, Cloud Computing.
What Is Cloud Computing?
The term ‘cloud computing’, at first, does appear to be somewhat complicated. While there are many different components that work towards a fully functioning, successful cloud computing system, the concept is relatively simple.
Think of an individual who has the role of a partner or director in a business; let’s call them ‘CC’. They are responsible for making sure that the company continues to run smoothly. This includes setting up software, managing servers and implementing security measures, along with communicating with clients or customers. In many cases, ‘CC’ may need to consider employing someone to manage IT and another to stay on top of business updates. Not only is ‘CC’ responsible for processes, but also employees. Each employee within the business has a different role, and all require their own desks, chairs and equipment. Employees will also need a computing system to work on, which they are all going to use in different ways. Before you know it, it is chaos, and ‘CC’ is overloaded with responsibilities; they have their hands full.
So, imagine if all of these responsibilities could be taken away from the hands of ‘CC’ and stored in one place. This is where cloud computing comes in. Everything from software and hosting to business processes and updates can all be stored in the ‘cloud’. All you’ll need to access your cloud is the internet.
What Are The Different Types Of Cloud Computing?
It is your choice whether you opt for a public, private or hybrid cloud; all have different benefits and drawbacks.
A public cloud is just that, public. It is owned by your cloud service provider and can be accessed by anyone within your business and in some cases the service provider. The public cloud provider you use will dictate where your data is stored and how it can be accessed. Many consider a public cloud due to its efficiency and accessibility perks. On the other hand, a private cloud is a private network which is created for just one organisation, making it incredibly secure. A hybrid cloud is a combination of on-premise solutions with public or private cloud technologies. You are able to set specific resources as private and others as public; this is often used to increase efficiency as you can choose the data you share.
What Are The Different Service Models?
There are three key types of service models, these are:
- IAAS – ‘Infrastructure as a service’
- PAAS – ‘Platform as a service’
- SAAS – ‘Software as a service’
Although, at first, these terms do sound more like a foreign language than types of services, however when broken down, they can be related to your business to provide a number of benefits.
Choosing IAAS means that you will be provided with both computing power and storage. You will have full control over the whole infrastructure. This service model is quite similar to that of the conventional on-premise systems and allows flexibility when migrating legacy applications. However, it is likely that with IAAS; additional staff will be required to maintain the platform.
PAAS provides you with only a platform which will allow you to create and implement applications. Your business will only be responsible for the development, maintenance and management of the applications made.
Lastly is SAAS, which relates to ‘ready to use’ applications. It is a combination of both cloud computing, and storage solutions, which will give your business increased capabilities in terms of IT solutions. Many software providers such as My Desktop, Property Me and alike represent a SaaS solution.
How Cloud Computing Can Benefit Real Estate?
If you are yet to make the move, transferring over to a cloud system and making use of cloud migration services, ideally, should be included on your business road map. It is vital to stay up to date with the latest technology to remain successful and stay ahead of your competitors; and in many instances the solutions can also save you time and money and protect your intellectual property.
If you are in the process of considering real estate IT solutions and aim to implement cloud computing, take a look at the main benefits.
Having the ability to store all business data and documentation in one place via the cloud means that your business will no longer require an in-house team to manage hardware. The money saved in hiring less staff can be invested in improving processes.
Utilising cloud computing will also save money in the event of damage in the workplace. As mentioned previously, even if all hard drives are wiped or there is a drastic disaster such as the office catches fire, all of your data will still be stored safely. Your real estate agents can continue their job remotely or relocate to a temporary workplace. Even if your business does not have a physical office or headquarters, which is often not required in real estate, you can continue trading and do not lose out on any profit.
Work On The Go
Real estate work is rarely completed from the comfort of an office. As an agent, you are always on the move to stay just that one step ahead of schedule and to meet the demands of this ever-changing industry.
Cloud computing allows you to stay mobile and manage your business from any location that you may need to visit, whether this is locally or overseas. The cloud can be accessed from any device including tablets, smartphones and laptops, allowing you to become as flexible as necessary. All documentation and accounting can be done there and then without having to travel to and from the head office. No vital paperwork will be forgotten, essentially promoting an increase in productivity.
Cybersecurity continues to pose one of the main threats to businesses in all industries, which is why many business owners remain somewhat dubious about putting their full trust into internet-based systems. Those who work in real estate will be handling sensitive information such as client’s government ID and social security number on a daily basis, which means security is imperative.
However, when opting for cloud computing, you can be reassured that technologies are available to ensure all data will be secure through added encryption. Even if there is a problem in the office, such as a flood that wipes out hard drives, all data will still remain safe and readily accessible on the cloud.
In more recent years, we have all become aware of the growing encouragement by authorities to become paperless. Although it may prove tricky to become entirely paperless, cloud computing will exclude the need for physical documentation.
The cloud will allow you to take digital notes and set reminders to ensure that you never miss a task or lose valuable knowledge because you misplaced your notes. It’ll also allow real estate agents to show data and vital pieces of documentation to clients within just a few clicks. There will no longer be the hassle of filtering through paperwork to find the relevant information. Virtual copies of paperwork can also be sent back to the office or to clients to improve efficiency. Tasks can be completed there and then without a delay, ultimately promoting a more professional, yet reliable reputation.
Business Growth Made Easier
All services, processes and data stored on the cloud can be accessed and modified quickly and efficiently, therefore, making business growth considerably easier. You will be able to log in and make edits whenever you need to do so. It only takes a few clicks to expand your cloud, add more storage or even create a new, unique log in details for the latest members of the team. You are also free to contact your cloud provider at any point to make alterations to your subscription.
Create Better Strategies
Using a cloud-based system allows you to achieve better data tracking and process large sums of data at once, therefore, helping you to create a more effective marketing strategy. Many companies opt for cloud-based emails, which allows you to track email marketing. Not only can you see who has opened the emails, but also which links included in the emails have contributed most towards an increase in website traffic.
Being able to track the progress of your marketing efforts will allow you to easily spot strengths and weaknesses, along with how you can improve in the future. You can then share this information with the marketing department and create tailored strategies for each business goal.
Utilise Cloud Computing To Your Advantage
To summarise, opting to invest in cloud computing as one of your real estate IT solutions comes alongside a variety of different benefits. Not only will it allow team members to become more productive and efficient while on the move, it will also guarantee the security of all sensitive client data. You will no longer have the worry of the potential risk of a wiped hard drive, or a problem in the office which forces you to relocate, because no matter where you go, the cloud and all data stored will come with you. All real estate agents and members of the management team are able to have their own access to the cloud and add, edit or transfer data when required.
We hope our article has helped to answer any questions in terms of what cloud computing is and how it can benefit the real estate. If so, then why not share on social media?