Information Distribution with Aids of Information Technology

In today's information age, everybody demands instant accessibility of information at his fingertips. When the management of a company wants to share the information with its staffs, traditionally, they will write a memoand distribute through the internal mail system. This method generates largeamount of paper works and human handling thus it increases chances of makingmistakes. Now many large organizations have devised an internal network(Intranet) which enables their staffs to send and receive e-mail within theorganization simultaneously. Details of all e-mails are saved and storedsafely for the future references.

In real estate industry, the majority of mediums to large size companieshave their own database linked together through a network. These networksystems are mostly run on DOS environment and the primary function is toretrieve basic property information from the main database and display onscreen. The drawback of DOS technology includes lack of future upgrades,incomparability of most industry standard data format and inflexibility ofinterface modification and Y2K problems.

For those small size companies, developing a custom networking system may bean expensive consideration due to a high cost of maintenance and informationupdate. In particular, after July 1, 1999, real estate agents need to obtainlots of information to complete a translation. Information retrieval anddistribution thus becomes more important. Without aids of IT, smallcompanies face a big problem of paying high cost to retrieve and distributetimely information. Ideally, a third-party company holding a largeup-to-date database and universal pre-approved information on real estateindustry may play a role of data warehousing for a monthly data maintenancefee. That company can also provide Internet advertising services availableto the industry. In the US, many IT companies now offer this kind ofservices and receive good responses from the industry.

Management Information System (MIS) for Real Estate Industry integrated withWWW Applications

A successful realty agent requires professional knowledge and up-to-dateinformation to provide good services to his / her clients. A well-developedinformation system must be user-friendly and has fast data transferringspeed. And it also allows the agents to retrieve, transfer and share datainstantly within the organization or on the road. The company should assigna control person to screen, analyze and organize all data in the system sothe agents can systematically search and retrieve the desired information atease. In real estate industry, every agent relies heavily on the timelyinformation to analyze the market and thus speeds up the closing of eachtransaction. Perhaps, the scenario below will depict a better picture of howMIS applies in real estate industry with WWW applications.

An agent called Gary at a small to medium size Realty Company is planning totake on a new listing for a property owner who wishes to sell his apartmentthen purchase a new one. Gary will act as both a selling agent and then as apurchasing agent for his client. After verbally confirming his undertaking to list the property on the market, Gary rushing back to his office turns on the computer to activate the network and start to prepare the documents. The computer through the network obtains all necessary forms so he can fill the client's property information on screen. He then starts off with entering data for the estate agency agreement and finishes with the vender statement based on the seven procedures established by Estate Agents Authority (refer to CAP 511). All data entered will be saved in the central server and will be transferred to a central search request station for immediate search for property information. While waiting for the search result, he starts to enter his client's personal data, which includes preferred selling prices,expected time frame, budget for the future purchase and etc, into the client's database. This data if desired can be shared with other database to generate a report when the matching is located. Gary then inputs the site information such as size, price, parking space and a brief description in a predetermined format for display advertisement. Preview option is available for confirmation before sending out to the public. According to the new EAA regulations, since all information on the display advertisements shown in the public must be true and accurate, Gary needs to wait until the search is back before releasing the advertisement to different media. However, the site information can be immediately shared within the designated branches.The search results have finally returned and Gary has made accordingly necessary corrections on the advertisement. Now, he can transfer the electronic advertisement to the connected web sites through the data line and the advertisement will be simultaneously posted on WWW for viewing. In addition, electronic file can be sent to the newspaper printers by the internal modem. If the client has an e-mail address, Gary can even send him a copy of the display advertisement for his reference. Within 20 to 30 minutes, Gary can complete the estate agency agreement by following all necessary steps in front of his computer. As a control, the company's supervisor is able to modify the levels of accessibility by different grades of agents.

After Gary prints out the agency agreement for his client to sign, he starts to search for the potential properties for his client according to his personal preference database. A local real estate website called "" is also a good resource to search for listed properties and it provides information such as the follows:

- Interactive maps including school location data, populations, transportation routings, local landmarks, restaurant information - Property information including basic listings and advertisement, property pictures or videos, market analysis and recent transaction record - General information including news on housing markets, government announcement about real estate industry and developers' projects

With this kind of information on hand, Gary should be able to answer majority of questions his client has. Now, Gary can print all the required data and listings from his computer then go to visit his client together with the estate agency agreement. Remember. Gary with help of MIS can perform his tasks efficiently and productively so he can spend more time on bring about the next deal. In short, an well-integrated and maintained MIS with WWW application facilitates the agents to become more competitive and effective in this ever-changing real estate market.