When it comes to commercial real estate software, Realhound, based in San Clemente, Calif., hopes to be one of the most innovative. Established in 1998 by software developer Andrew Blount, a former executive with Comps Infosystems, which merged into CoStar, Realhound has an impressive client list. It counts most large national commercial real estate service firms among its clients, including Grubb & Ellis, Marcus & Millichap, Colliers International, ReMax Commercial, CB Richard Ellis and Sperry Van Ness.

Josh Fadley, Realhound's vice president of operations, spoke with NREI about the company’s latest industry software and the compelling need for commercial real estate firms to focus on internal efficiencies using the latest tech tools.

NREI: What is RealHound’s niche in the commercial real estate technology world?

FADLEY: Our services include providing deal-tracking and custom-reporting tools, cold-calling and document management software. We also provide a function for “auto matching,” which gives an agent the ability to automatically match potential clients to available buildings and spaces just as they come onto the market. Storing comprehensive property data about your key clients is one thing, but having a powerful way to actually use that information is even more critical when you’re trying to add value to a real estate business. That is especially true in this economy.

NREI: You have a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software program known as RealHound Live! What does it do?

FADLEY: Over the past few years, our original Realhound IP product has essentially evolved into the current Realhound Live!, which allows agents to share information without the typically slow performance that comes from a shared database environment. Realhound Live! provides automatic synchronization of an individual or team's Realhound database with just a simple internet connection. There’s no need to use remote-access tools, a virtual private network or other clunky tools. This brings together teams or also allows individual team members to work seamlessly whether they’re at work, home or on the road.

NREI: Does this work when the Internet is unavailable?

FADLEY: Yes. If you're on the road or anywhere else without an Internet connection, you can still make any changes you want to your database. The next time you pick up a connection, all the changes that you made offline will automatically sync up. Many groups in the Southeast U.S. took full advantage of Realhound Live! in recent hurricane seasons. A lot of real estate offices had no viable network following the storms, but Realhound Live! users were able to access and use their databases by running off a generator.

NREI: You also offer something called the BullsEye! Information Retrieval tool. What is it?

FADLEY: BullsEye! is a great resource for “look-up,” or retrieval, of company names, postal and email addresses, phone numbers, and other information about contacts. The tool is a replacement to calling "information" and it allows for quick identification of the individuals in question and pulling desired information directly into the program without having to re-key.

NREI: How much do these products and services typically cost?

FADLEY: Realhound has an annual license that includes unlimited upgrades, unlimited technical support and live training sessions, plus open Q&A support and access to our online Realhound University of guides and tutorials. The retail price for Realhound Live! is $695 per year but we offer group and corporate-licensing discounts.

NREI: How has the ongoing soft market impacted your business?

FADLEY: While we’ve seen significant attrition in commercial real estate, our business has continued to grow. Those who plan to survive the economic downturn are retooling and focusing on ways to build internal efficiencies, which is something that a lot of real estate companies haven't looked at until recently. That’s translated into steady growth in our client base. We are seeing consistent renewals by existing clients who have seen the dramatic improvement it’s had on their business.

NREI: What’s next for Realhound?

FADLEY: We’ve steadily built up our corporate relationships to where we have licensing agreements with most of the largest brokerage firms. With our integration approach, the tools we can offer are unlimited. We are also continuing to make our entire suite of tools more user-friendly.