The real estate industry is well known for the seemingly endless paperwork and involves countless tasks from when a property is listed to when it’s sold. Real estate brokerages, title companies, mortgage lenders, home inspectors, and other parties are involved in various phases of each transaction. With so many moving parts and entities involved, real estate companies must execute a balancing act, especially when processing multiple property purchases or sales, each at a different stage. Just as it enables other industries to be more efficient and secure, the cloud offers several benefits for the real estate industry through enhancements in efficiency and security.
Improved efficiency for real estate companies
Whether the housing market is booming for buyers or sellers, any efficiency in purchasing or selling a property can be a great asset that offers your customers and employees reassurance. Clients can often be easily overwhelmed by paperwork and questions about their purchase, leading them to lean on their agent or representative for guidance. When multiple clients ask a single real estate agent about their specific processes, the agent can quickly become inundated with client inquiries while trying to manage other day-to-day tasks.
By using cloud solutions, anyone involved in a transaction can have a more efficient experience with the ability to track the status of relevant documents and paperwork in one centralized location. Agents, clients, lenders, and other involved parties can access, complete, and send relevant documents thanks to cloud-based solutions like DocuSign. Instead of calling around to multiple offices just to determine which parties are at which steps of the process, cloud-based solutions keep everyone informed of the overall process and the actions needed on specific forms.
Jason Monroe, Director of Solution Consulting at Bit-Wizards, says the cloud also provides efficiency through mobility that other methods lack. Instead of being tied to a computer and printer, individuals who need to complete paperwork for the next transaction phase can do so anywhere because of the cloud.
“With the cloud, real estate agents who need to access documents while at showings can do so right from their phones,” says Monroe. “Without the cloud, they’d have to return to the office to handle client or vendor requests.”
When mobility isn’t as much of an option in a transaction, the cloud gives real estate agents and companies a more effective way to list and share a seller’s property with potential buyers. Features like virtual property tours and digital staging programs enable clients to get a feel for a property even if they’re on the opposite side of the country. 3D modeling programs can help give vendors an accurate depiction of a property’s dimensions and make quotes for services like repainting, cleaning, or renovating more efficient and precise without requiring intensive on-site visits and assessments.
Increased security through cloud computing
Businesses in the real estate industry often manage and store personal information online to process property purchases and sales. In addition to implementing basic security measures, companies that handle these sensitive data must take significant precautions to protect their operations, clients, and employees.
In processing transactions, businesses like mortgage lenders and title companies often have access to personal and financial information such as:
- Current addresses
- Driver’s license information
- Social Security numbers
- Credit scores
- Bank account statements
Monroe emphasizes that title companies can often be uniquely targeted because of their role in these transactions and the potential benefits for hackers who execute successful cyberattacks. Title companies usually hold a buyer’s initial deposit in escrow until the property’s closing. This in-between time, where money sits in an account until the transaction closes, is often the perfect time for bad actors to execute an attack through a business email compromise. Without implementing protective measures, a buyer’s wire transfer can end up in the wrong hands with no way to trace the perpetrator.
“Some hackers take a slow-burn approach where they get into a company’s system and wait until the moment a deposit is ready to be wire transferred out of escrow,” Monroe says. “The hacker will generate paperwork in an email that matches the company’s tone and appearance, and they’re gone without a trace by the time the company realizes the money was wired elsewhere.”
Major public cloud providers like Microsoft Azure make extensive efforts to ensure that security is paramount. In prioritizing security efforts to protect user information and mitigate cyber threats, Azure has invested over $1 billion in security research and development efforts. Sam Blowes, Director of IT at Bit-Wizards, says partnering with a Managed IT Service (MITS) provider like Bit-Wizards to harness the power of the cloud can help businesses in the real estate industry and beyond protect sensitive information through a multilayered approach he fondly refers to as the Swiss Cheese Model.
At Bit-Wizards, the cybersecurity component of MITS involves elements like advanced threat protection (ATP), enterprise-grade firewalls, virus protection software, and regular system updates. Each of these layers of protection has its individual strengths, but also a few weaknesses—much like a slice of Swiss cheese is mostly dairy, but you’re going to see a few holes. ATP is an excellent measure to protect against ransomware but could be more effective against persistent phishing attempts. On the other hand, firewalls cannot necessarily detect email threats but are effective at blocking hacking attempts. Each security measure type has pros and cons, so Bit-Wizards layers them—like slices of Swiss cheese—to cover collective weaknesses and reinforce common strengths. By taking a thorough, multi-faceted approach to each client’s security needs, Bit-Wizards strives to provide comprehensive protection in a time of heightened cyberattacks.
“We assess each security measure and identify strengths and potential weaknesses,” Blowes says. “When layering multiple security efforts, we do everything to ensure that there is no direct path for a potential hacker to find and take to access your business.”
How Bit-Wizards can help
Whether you’re looking for an experienced provider to connect your business to the cloud or help you solve your IT woes, look no further than Bit-Wizards.
“By partnering with Bit-Wizards, your business gains a suite of services that help your employees and processes run more efficiently while keeping your information secure,” Monroe says.
Our team of experts has extensive experience providing MITS assistance, facilitating cloud infrastructure migrations to Office 365, and creating custom solutions for clients in the real estate industry, including:
Even with the inherent fluctuations of the real estate industry, Blowes affirms that Bit-Wizards provides effective and proactive services regardless of whether interest rates and prices are on the rise or downtrend.
“When the market is turning down, our services help your business make the most of every dollar,” Blowes says. “When the market is booming, our service gives your business a competitive edge to support your employees and clients.”
Ready to make the most of the cloud? Contact us today.