We're Making Some Improvements in the New Year
November 1, 2018
Dear CBA Members,
In alignment with CBA’s mission to help you be more productive and successful, we are pleased to announce the upcoming rollout of a new property research and listings platform and proprietary Legal Library application in 2019.
Over the past two years, the CBA Team and its Board of Directors have been strategically developing and investing in improvements to our current tools and services. As a result, CBA has established partnerships with industry innovators that will benefit our members by enhancing our essential services and the platforms you need to run your business on a daily basis.
As we proactively look to the year ahead, there will be some important changes forthcoming. I strongly encourage you to stay abreast of our announcements regarding specific rollout dates, new product training and orientations, and support tools and services offered to help ease and simplify the transition for all members.
Here’s What’s in Store for You in 2019:
A Powerful New Property Research and Listings Platform
In response to member feedback and requests for improved property listings search functionality, CBA recently entered into a long-term, strategic partnership with Catylist, the leading listings software and technology provider for commercial real estate associations nationwide. We are thrilled to be partnering with this innovative, industry-recognized leader. We are confident that combining our researched and verified listings, properties, and comparables data with their technology platform will provide you a more robust, productive, and user-friendly experience. It will increase the visibility and exposure of your listings, as well.
For those of you unfamiliar with Catylist, they have been building software solutions for the commercial real estate industry since 2001. More than 60 markets in the U.S. and Canada use the Catylist platform to share commercial real estate information. Catylist partners with local associations like CBA, as well as economic development agencies and brokerage firms to create customized, local databases that serve as the most trusted source for local information in their respective markets.
CBA’s new Catylist-powered platform will provide advanced property research and listings technology, enhanced marketing capabilities, and national visibility for our members. In addition, CBA and Catylist are closely collaborating to deliver unique, customized functionality to further streamline operations for our members.
The new platform will retain all of the features and functionality of our current system, with the addition of new, high-value features and a substantially more intuitive and user-friendly interface.
KEY NEW FEATURES:
• Custom geospatial (polygon) searching with satellite imagery and 360-degree street views
• Improved reporting, including:
o Parcel boundary maps: With a single click, generate a printable PDF for your client displaying relevant parcel boundaries overlaid on an aerial image of the property.
o Google Earth integration: With a single click, generate a Google Earth site analysis bundle for your client including parcel boundary, basic information on the target property, 3/5/10 minute drive-time rings, traffic counts, and nearby retail locations.
• Mobile-friendly property listings search experience and capabilities via Catylist’s responsive site
• More sophisticated marketing materials for tenants, clients, and prospective clients
• National and expanded listing exposure through Catylist’s website and SEO capabilities for search engines
As mentioned above, we are working with Catylist to further develop custom features and functionality for CBA members and migrate historical data before we make the new platform available to you. We are currently targeting rollout for some time during the 1st Quarter 2019. Watch your inbox and CBA’s website and social media channels for rollout updates and information about opportunities to receiving training on the new tool.
Our New Proprietary, Cross-Platform Legal Library Application
I am also pleased to announced CBA will be rolling out a new, proprietary Legal Library application in the coming months. Over the years, we have understood the current Legal Library applications to be unsatisfactory. While the legal content of the forms is exemplary and represents the industry standard for commercial real estate contracts in the state of Washington, the dissatisfaction has stemmed from many issues, including ongoing software licensing issues, difficulties with Microsoft product updates, and the lack of in-line editing in the zipForm Plus product. Additionally, CBA has been made aware that Microsoft considers COM Add-ins “outdated technology” and will eventually phase them out. Without this technology, CBA’s current Microsoft Word Legal Library products will be obsolete and nearly impossible to support.
Therefore, after extensive research into our options, CBA determined the best, most cost-effective, and most user-friendly solution was to develop a proprietary system that incorporates our users’ most-requested critical features. Our new web-based, cross-platform tool fully replicates the functionality of our current form's tools, with the addition of new, key features.
That said, the experience will not be exactly the same as you have grown used to within MS Word or zipForm. Users will need to invest a nominal amount of time to learn how to use the new application and features. Once you become comfortable and proficient with the new system, we are confident you will find it delivers the functionality and features you have requested over the years.
KEY NEW FEATURES:
• An enhanced user-interface with inline editing, which means you can see all changes as they are made before going to signature versions.
• A cross-platform, browser-based system that works seamlessly on both Mac- and PC/Windows-based computers.
• No more licensing issues: CBA wholly owns and operates the new tool, so there is no need for licensing. All members have automatic, 24/7 access that never expires or needs to be updated.
Once you sign in with your CBA credentials, you will have immediate, full access.
• No more frequent, time-consuming upgrades of Microsoft Word.
• CBA controls product updates, upgrades and enhancements, which means no delays in service for you.
• Online video tutorials, user guides, and in-person training and webinars.
We currently expect the new Legal Library application to rollout in January 2019. We will be working closely with our Legal Library users over the next two months to start the transition and product-education process. In the coming weeks, watch your inbox and CBA’s website and social media channels for more detailed information about the Legal Library rollout and opportunities to receive hands-on training to help you leverage this powerful new tool. Once the transition has taken place, CBA will begin the sunsetting and retirement of the current platforms. We will provide ample advance notice of the retirements. We strongly encourage users to invest the time to take advantage of hands-on training and make the transition to the new system as smooth as possible.
In closing, the CBA staff and Board of Directors remain dedicated to providing you cost-effective, essential tools and services, a trusted relationship and partnership, and invaluable service and support. We sincerely appreciate your patience with us and loyalty to the CBA platform over the years. We do not take your membership for granted and will do everything within our power and resources to provide you the best possible experience and toolset within the industry.
If you have any questions or concerns about the upcoming rollout of our new tools, please contact Mary Lyell Larsen, SVP, Research and Customer Service at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425.952.2722.
We look forward to continuing a great partnership with you in 2019!
President & CEO
Commercial Brokers Association