Introduction: Real Estate’s Time Has Arrived

Until recently, some of the best retail technology was saved for running stores–capturing sales and traffic data, managing inventory, securing goods, monitoring, modifying and managing work forces. Over the last several years, though, real estate like operations has benefited from business-changing technology and solutions. In this special supplement to Chain Store Age, entitled “Real Estate Technology & Solutions,” we spell out the emerging technological trends and applications, as well as point you to companies that are setting the trends and delivering the applications.

Each of the technologies and solutions described in the following pages can make a difference in and of themselves. But, some can be used in combination for pretty powerful results. For example, certain site-selection services give you customized mapping, others provide site photos, still others demographic information and traffic counts. Some providers are consultants. A few supply all of the above. But even if they don’t, you can combine the various offerings to maximize your real estate potential.

The trick is knowing what you need and when you need it, and realizing that by incorporating the right technology into your real estate activities, you will reduce the chances of bringing on bad locations. And that’s just the site-selection end of things. Today’s technologies drill much deeper into your real estate department, managing rollout activities and efficiencies, administering leases, and helping you to trim back the low performers, so that even if you do bring on a bad location or two, you won’t have to live with it forever.

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