Today’s real estate professionals are operating in what is quite possibly the most exciting period of innovation our industry has ever experienced. Over the last few years, we have seen both an explosion of new tech tools designed to make each stage of the asset lifecycle more efficient, and a crop of early adopters eager to test-drive them. Weirdly enough though, adoption of these tools isn’t widespread but the votes are in: technology is providing real, tangible savings in two big ways … time and money.
1. Data Drives Dollars
This isn’t news anymore. In fact, a 2012 study published by the Harvard Business Review found that “companies in the top third of their industry in the use of data-driven decision making were, on average, 5% more productive and 6% more profitable than their competitors.”
What is news is how data can help CRE professionals. It doesn’t matter whether you’re on the investment, brokerage or financing side. Technology has made it possible to gather, cleanse and organize infinitely more data than ever before. More importantly, this technology enables us to pinpoint the exact pieces of information we need, akin to finding a needle in the haystack.
This level of data access has huge implications across the real estate lifecycle. Brokers can now easily use historical sales data to pinpoint properties likely to sell as opposed to cold-calling owners at random. Owners can track building performance and enjoy the benefits of cost-cutting decisions in real time, as opposed to waiting for the end of a cycle. Access to actionable data ultimately enables you to increase efficiency and drive down costs.
2. Time is Money: Organize and Automate
Time is a very limited resource–we all feel this every day. But for CRE professionals, time is the difference between closing that big deal and missing your quota. One of the major ways CRE tech delivers value is by helping you organize your day-to-day workflow and operations. Ultimately, this means spending more time on the things that will make the biggest impact.
The latest crop of CRE Tech software tools generate efficiencies at each stage of the asset lifecycle:
- You can now automatically filter through every property in New York instead of combing through documents in a record room
- You can quickly find the contact you need to close the deal instead of trying to find them in your rolodex
- You easily keep track of every detail in of all your leases in one place instead of looking through folders in a file cabinet
By investing in tools to automate certain tasks, or simply make them easier to manage, real estate professionals can leverage time to their advantage and focus on the areas where they can add the most value–whether that be to make more calls, spend more time networking with potential clients, or to push more deals across the line. We all want to make more money–ultimately your ability to do this comes down to optimizing how you spend your time.
3. Technology Won’t Replace You
There’s no doubt that CRE success is deeply rooted in human relationships. Technology will never displace the need for human interaction. In fact, some tech can actually help you to establish and build these relationships–whether that be making it easier to find the right person to connect with, reminding you when the best time is to reach out to them, or helping you find common interests. The CRE technologies that will ultimately prove (and are already proving) to be the most valuable are enablers–the tools that allow you to really focus on what you’re good at.
Every day we read about new apps coming out for dating, shopping, eating, transportation and more, and we are quick to adopt and embrace the simplicity that these tools contribute to our lives. Commercial real estate technology is no different.
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