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DALLAS-NetStruxr Inc. and LoopNet Inc., both San Francisco-based operations, are aligning forces, using Realcomm 2001′s Dallas e-conference as a venue to announce their high-tech collaboration.

In the bricks-to-clicks evolution, it marks the first teaming of a demand-driven platform with a listing service. But it won’t be the last, Edward McFarlan, NetStruxr’s president, promises GlobeSt.com. Talks are ongoing with other Internet listing corporations, but he’s not saying who or when the next alliance will be capped.

“It’s in our clients’ interests that we begin to knit together this community,” McFarlan believes. NetStruxr’s Fortune 500 client list, more specifically the corporate real estate departments, is now linked, to LoopNet’s 190,000 members. NetStruxr is using a “push” technology that immediately connects clients’ space needs to the property listing partner, with the end result being a roster of possible sites to fit the bill. By year’s end, McFarlan says there will be 60 major corporate real estate clients in NetStruxr’s portfolio.

LoopNet’s Mark McLaughlin, vice president of business development, says the best part is that the alliance isn’t mortaring two competitors, but rather “two companies sticking to their core practices and using their expertise” to benefit tenant and building owner. The alliance, in turn, enhances NetStruxr’s “search, negotiate and execute online” premise that is being embraced industrywide.

Just Wednesday, CB Richard Ellis, headquartered in El Segundo, CA had inked a partnership with Independence, MO-based Xceligent Inc., says Whitney Peyton. That alliance will roll out its high-tech contribution in the third quarter.

It’s these kind of alliances that are emerging from this year’s Realcomm third annual e-conference at the Adam’s Mark in Dallas. Noticeably absent from this year’s event are the dot-coms, in their place more high-tech, back-office innovations and e-partnerships. The first full seminar day had been dominated by talk of what is to come, what needs to be done and how to do it.

The listings, property and market data session by far had the largest attendance. But the reality of what can be done actually had surfaced at the commercial lenders seminar, which was being streamed to the CSMA convention.

Imagine a paperless operation, says GMAC’s Tom Gimpel, technology director. That was last year’s marching order from GMAC’s president to its Horsham, PA-based staff. Today, all internal operations are truly paperless and inroads are being made with a handful of external operations. For now, it’s vendor partners, procurement and contractors, but technological advances now sweeping the industry are sure to lead to transactions. The bottom line is saving time plus eliminating filing cabinets stuffed with paper. With the paperless operation in place, a GMAC credit memo that needed 14 signatures had taken just hours instead of three weeks, Gimpel boasts.

Gimpel isn’t talking cost to implement GMAC’s initiative, but he does admit it’s costly. And, it’s well worth the undertaking. “This is an enabler of what all of you are going to do in five or 10 years,” he told the gathering. One of GMAC’s incentives to build a paperless operation had been last year’s decision to open a servicing center in Ireland.

There’s pain and there’s gain, the corporate real estate panel had told its audience. The “New World workplace” is going to be adopted “down to the shoe salesman,” says Christine Ross of Cisco Systems Inc. The best advice is to get ready for the revolution by understanding the technology that’s available and accepting the ways of the mobile office. “No longer is mobility for a few. No longer is mobility just for the roadrunners,” she says, noting that the trend is sweeping through sectors that historically have relied upon employees who are literally “tethered” to their desks.

The high-tech industry’s greatest challenge, say the conference goers overall, will be to develop, integrate and implement standardization in everything from platforms to documents. In the document-intensive lending world, the panel says its high-tech playing field is somewhat of a mess. The E&Y Kenneth Leventhal Real Estate Group is in the process of surveying the industry, says James Rubin. “Not only is it a mess, but there’s nothing to tell us how messy it is,” he says. “There are tremendous inefficiencies right now.”

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