Maybe you own a portfolio of shopping centers, and simply need to keep track of all the income they are generating. Perhaps you're in charge of leasing mall space, and want to be able to print out a graphic representation of your available slots and the stores that surround them.
Or you could be an asset manager that needs to slice, dice and report on the reams of data generated by the operations of the shopping centers under your care. Then again, you may be on the other side of the table completely - you could be a chain-store retailer that needs to keep tabs on what kind of rents your stores are paying in different markets throughout the country.
Whatever you have that needs doing, there's a piece of software out there that can help you do it better - and quite possibly faster and cheaper, too. Listed below are the makers of the top software packages currently available for use by the many players involved in today's retail real estate industry, along with an overview of their leading product offerings. If you've got a job that some new software might make easier, contact these companies directly for more information.
A select number of Internet companies also appear in the list that follows, and are marked with an asterisk (*).
ACG Professionals Inc. Headquarters: Atlanta
Primary Product(s): LDSOne
Function(s): Tracking leases from proposal through execution, LDSOne is a lease-abstracting system designed to bridge withmost popular property-management and accounting systems so that input redundancies are avoided.
Target User(s): Retail owners, managers, investors and leasing agents
In a Nutshell: ACG services include financial analysis and modeling, due diligence and lease abstracting, property management/accounting implementation and data conversion, off-the-shelf product offerings, and IT consulting, according to company head Todd Zeldin.
ARGUS Financial Software Headquarters: Houston, Texas
Primary Product(s): ARGUS Lease by Lease, ARGUS development & Unit Sales, DYNA for Windows
Function(s): Real estate software
Target User(s): Developers, brokers, appraisers, bankers and property managers.
In a Nutshell: ARGUS products perform valuation, underwriting, due diligence and investment analysis of all types of real estate for transaction-oriented customers.
ASI International Headquarters: Walnut Creek, Calif.
Phone: 925-906-4644 or 800-421-8191
Primary Product(s): Strategic Lease Processing (SLP)
Function(s): Lease processing
Target User(s): Retail owners, managers and leasing agents
In a Nutshell: SLP software features built-in workflows to automate entire leasing processes, including routine tasks such as approval routing, critical date reminders and lease creation.
AVM Technologies Headquarters: Valencia, Calif.
Primary Product(s): Realwise Millennium and Millennium "PLUS" for Windows
Function(s): Property and asset-management accounting, lease tracking, budgeting and job-cost accounting for the real estate industry
Target User(s): Developers, managers, owners, construction companies, and corporate real estate groups
In a Nutshell: Realwise Millennium offers full 32-bit Windows implementation and built-in distributed processing features for remote-site processing, according to AVM's Steve Sturgeon.
Captial Thinking Headquarters: New York, New York
Primary Product(s): Online Commercial Mortgage Marketplace
Function(s): Internet-enabled commercial capital sourcing and processing
Target User(s): Borrowers, brokers and lenders of commercial real estate
In a Nutshell: CapitalThinking combines the Internet with market-trained real estate mortgage professionals to substantially increase the speed and efficiency of securing commercial mortgage financing.
CENTERLINQ Headquarters: Van Nuys, Calif.
Primary Product(s): CENTERLINQ
Function(s): CENTERLINQ is a network of touch-screen computer kiosks and television monitors, located throughout the common areas of shopping centers, which combine interactive software technologies with traditional advertising to broaden a participating retailer's customer base and encourage repeat business to the shopping mall.
Target User(s): Mall developers, marketing directors, leasing agents and retail owners
In a Nutshell: CENTERLINQ's network consists of large video monitors in common areas and interactive kiosks that offer coupons, sales and premiums along with links to an advertiser's website.
*COMPS.COM Headquarters: San Diego
Primary Product(s): Spectrum and Pipeline
Function(s): Spectrum is a subscription-based report and analysis tool and data-warehousing application platform that allows users easy access to a variety of sale, lease and expense comparable data, property profiles, appraisal information and proprietary data. PipelineSM, a subscription-based search engine, allows you to search a database of published, unpublished and non-market transactions currently in the research process.
Target User(s): Commercial real estate professionals, lenders and appraisers
In a Nutshell: Comps.com is a national provider of comprehensive real estate sales information. In addition to Spectrum and Pipeline, the company has created E-COMPS, another software tool allowing users to search for and purchase proprietary property reports.
CTI Limited Inc. Headquarters: Dallas
Primary Product(s): CTI Real Estate System, SingleStep Lease Entry, and Horizon Global Asset Planning
Function(s): CTI's SingleStep Lease Entry' ("SSLE'") provides automated workflow and approval for leasing agents. After a lease is signed, the actual contractual lease terms are exported from SSLE into the CTI Real Estate System' - CTI's property management and accounting modules.
Target User(s): Developers, owners, managers (including owners and fee managers), leasing agents, investors and advisers
In a Nutshell: CTI's Application Service Provider ("ASP") program allows Internet access to its applications for one low monthly fee - software, hardware, connectivity and support included.
DataScape Technologies Inc. Headquarters: Don Mills, Ontario, Canada
Primary Product(s): Daily Sales Advantage (DSA)
Function(s): Allows shopping center managers to track a center's retail sales on a daily basis.
Target User(s): Shopping center owners, managers and developers
In a Nutshell: DSA can be used by marketing managers to determine the performance of promotions. It can also be utilized by leasing personnel to highlight the performance of particular spaces and shopping centers.
Easy Analytic Software Inc. (EASI) Headquarters: Fresh Meadows, N.Y.
Phone: 800-HOW-EASI (469-3274)
Primary Product(s): Updated Demographic Software
Function(s): Demographic analysis, ring studies and Zip+4 clusters
Target User(s): Developers, analysts and direct mailers
In a Nutshell: EASI, publishers of The Right Site(r) CD ROMs with unlimited ring studies, updated demographics and more.
Integration Technologies Inc. Headquarters: Newport Beach, Calif.
Primary Product(s): AnySite
Function(s): Site analysis and site selection mapping and reporting system
Target User(s): Real estate executives, marketing professionals, corporate executives (retail, restaurant chains, real estate brokerage and development companies, convenience stores, financial services), entertainment company retailers (theater chains) and media companies
In a Nutshell: Integration Technologies (IT) is a leading developer of business intelligence software used in the implementation of a company's bricks-and-mortar strategy, from initial concept build-out to market capitalization.
J.D. Edwards World Solutions Co. Headquarters: Denver
Primary Product(s): J.D. Edwards OneWorld' and J.D. Edwards World' Software
Function(s): Fully integrated, multi-platform, enterprise-wide solutions designed for the real estate industry's needs.
Target User(s): Retail owners, developers, property managers, REITs, corporate real estate owners, and third-party facility managers
In a Nutshell: "J.D. Edwards has been providing integrated software solutions to the real estate industry since 1989," notes worldwide marketing specialist Staci Henderson.
Locus Communications Headquarters: Markham, Ontario, Canada
Phone: 905-948-0093; 888-ASK-LOCUS
Primary Product(s): Locus Looking Glass Daily Sales Software and Locus Looking Glass Head Office Version
Function(s): Locus Looking Glass Software gathers daily sales data from retailers via touch-tone phone, allowing regional mall managers to generate reports that assist them in marketing.
Target User(s): Mall general and marketing managers; leasing representatives; investors, lenders, asset managers
In a Nutshell: "The Looking Glass system has been designed so that anybody with a working knowledge of Windows-based applications can use it effectively," says account executive Robert Burland.
Management Reports International Headquarters: Cleveland
Primary Product(s): MRI for Windows(r) suite
Function(s): The MRI for Windows(r) suite is a modular-based real estate management software for property and asset management.
Target User(s): Real estate managers, developers and investors worldwide
In a Nutshell: Management Reports International has been a provider of software and outsourcing solutions to the property management industry, including commercial, retail, residential, and manufactured housing, since 1971.
National Facilities Group Inc. Headquarters: Chicago
Primary Product(s): SLIM/Windows and SLIM32
Function(s): Commercial lease administration and property management
Target User(s): Corporate real estate departments, retail organizations, property owners, educational institutions, government agencies, developers and real estate-service organizations
In a Nutshell: "SLIM manages lease options, rental commitments, percentage rent issues, CAM reconciliation, lease clauses and much more," according to marketing manager Heather Gagnon.
National Research Bureau Headquarters: Wilton, Conn.
Primary Product(s): CD-ROM Shopping Center Directory
Function(s): Enables users to search the 38,000-center NRB database, print 10 different industry reports, and print mailing labels for key center contacts.
Target User(s): Retail owners/developers, brokers/leasing agents, retail chain store executives, shopping center managers, suppliers of goods and services to the shopping center industry
In a Nutshell: NRB data is licensed on a yearly basis. Support is given for as long as the product is licensed. Searchable data includes center name, geography, size, year open, marketing strategy, enclosed/strip and more.
Newstar Solutions Inc. Headquarters: U.S.: Rosemont, Ill.; Canada: Markham, Ontario
Phone: 847-318-9600 or 888-884-8866
Primary Product(s): Software
Function(s): Information management solutions
Target User(s): Commercial, retail and residential property owners, developers, managers and builders
In a Nutshell: "With Newstar, you can compare lease expiration, tenant roster, vacancy, security deposit and other data across companies, active projects, or lots," says spokesman David Lewand.
PlanData Systems Corp. Headquarters: Huntington, N.Y.
Primary Product(s): SpaceMan Software
Function(s): PlanData's SpaceMan software turns floor plans into business graphics by connecting them with property management, accounting and other types of data.
Target User(s): Retail owners, managers, leasing agents, investors and asset managers
In a Nutshell: "PlanData has been used to document over 175 million sq. ft. in 16 years," says company executive vice president Ronald Beattie.
*SalesMountain.com Headquarters: Los Angeles
Primary Product(s): Sales advertising for products and services
Function(s): Marketing and promotion of all types of products and services.
Target User(s): Vendors looking to promote their sales and store traffic and consumers looking to find out "what's on sale"
In a Nutshell: SalesMountain is a resource and portal for product and service-related sales information - in essence, an aggregated and searchable sales database. Vendors post their sales with SalesMountain.
*Sitesnet.com Headquarters: Seattle
Primary Product(s): sitesnet.com -"The web's most advanced commercial real estate portal."
Function(s): Sitesnet.com links the nation's retailers with brokers, developers and investors to directly submit property for lease or sale.
Target User(s): Retailers, brokers, developers, property managers, investors and insurance users
In a Nutshell: Retailers use Sitesnet.com free of charge, reports spokesman David LePenske.
*SiteStuff.com Inc. Headquarters: Austin, Texas
Primary Product(s): An e-marketplace providing products, services and information needed to run commercial real estate properties.
Function(s): Through aggregated purchasing power and improved efficiency of acquisition, SiteStuff will reduce transaction costs, reduce cost of products and services and increase operating control of spending at the site level.
Target User(s): Commercial property owners and operators (office, multifamily, industrial, retail corporate and hospitality)
In a Nutshell: SiteStuff.com is the emerging e-marketplace for owners and operators of commercial real estate properties. By using web-based procurement and the consolidated buying power of multiple real estate portfolio owners and managers, SiteStuff will dramatically reduce the cost of property operations for its customers.
Spatial Insights Inc. Headquarters: Vienna, Va.
Primary Product(s): TrendMap - Trade Area Analysis System
Function(s): Allows owners to analyze retail store trade areas from customer-level POS data.
Target User(s): Retail owners
In a Nutshell: Spatial Insights Inc. provides project consulting and mapping services, mapping software, training, and customized geographic and demographic data products and mapping systems.
SRC LLC "Spatial Re-Engineering Consultants" Headquarters: Orange, Calif.
Primary Product(s): www.DemographicsNow.com
Function(s): www.DemographicsNow.com generates custom market information reports and fully interactive maps for any geography in the U.S. in seconds.
Target User(s): Developers, site-location experts, leasing agents, investors, retail owners, and brokers
In a Nutshell: SRC is a developer of custom Internet/Intranet micro-marketing and mapping systems and software.
SS&C Technologies Inc. Headquarters: Windsor, Conn.
Primary Product(s): SKYLINE II and PRO-JECT
Function(s): SKYLINE II is a real estate property and asset management software package; PRO-JECT is real estate investment analysis software.
Target User(s): Small property owners and fee managers, large institutional investors, commercial banks, life insurance companies, mortgage bankers, financial services firms
In a Nutshell: Available in single-user, network and multi-site configurations, SKYLINE II features full, 32-bit Windows(r) operation and complete integration of its management, accounting, reporting and analysis modules.
*Storetrax.com Inc. Headquarters: Bethesda, Md.
Primary Product(s): Website dedicated to meeting the information needs of the retail real estate community
Function(s): Storetrax.com's database contains current information, including location, rates, site plans, photos, tenant and broker information on available properties across the country, 24 hours a day.
Target User(s): Landlords, developers, retailers and brokers
In a Nutshell: Storetrax.com is a web-based service devoted to meeting the information needs of the retail real estate community.
Tactician Corp. Headquarters: Andover, Mass.
Primary Product(s): MapScape.com, Site Targeter and Tactician
Function(s): Tactician's MapScape.com line of Internet and Tactician's line of desktop Geo-Marketing products feature geographically based sales, marketing and advertising functions.
Target User(s): Real estate managers and analysts, market researchers, marketing directors and advertising managers
In a Nutshell: Tactician's online and desktop products allow real estate, market research, marketing and advertising personnel to evaluate existing sites/markets, identify prospective site/market opportunities and develop appropriate marketing/advertising strategies.
Tetrad Computer Applications Inc. Headquarters: Bellingham, Wash.
Primary Product(s): PCensus - Profile and Target Edition
Function(s): Profiles new locations and targets a lessor's markets.
Target User(s): Leasing agents, property developers, retail chains, franchises and banks
In a Nutshell: PCensus gives a demographic profile report for user-defined study areas that can be described using circles, polygons, drive-times, or standard U.S. Census areas, according to Tetrad president Wilson Baker.
Timberline Software Corp. Headquarters: Beaverton, Ore.
Primary Product(s): Gold Collection(r) for Property Management
Function(s): Accounting, lease and maintenance management
Target User(s): Owners, developers and managers
In a Nutshell: The Gold Collection(r) for Property Management integrates accounting with lease administration and maintenance management. Recent enhancements include the adoption of client/server SQL database technology.
Trade Dimensions Headquarters: Wilton, Conn.
Primary Product(s): Retail Tenant Database
Function(s): Users can perform searches by location, retail categories and store classifications to find the exact company they are looking for from more than 5,000 companies listed.
Target User(s): Owners/developers, management/leasing companies, and real estate executives
In a Nutshell: The Retail Tenant Database is available both on-line (at www.retailtenants.com) and on 3-inch diskettes. Data can be directly exported to ASCII-compatible programs.
Yardi Systems Inc. Headquarters: Santa Barbara, Calif.
Primary Product(s): Yardi Enterprise, Yardi Advantage and Yardi Professional Function(s): Property management accounting and financial reporting.
Target User(s): Property and asset managers
In a Nutshell: Yardi's Property Management software caters to all property types and their management issues, and is seamlessly integrated with the company's accounting and financial-reporting system.