Over the past two years, the commercial real estate industry’s engagement with early-stage technology companies has seen a significantly uptick.
Despite the growing excitement, we are still in the early stage of the adoption curve. Most real estate professionals do their job in more or less the same way that they have for decades.
While innovators and early adopters aggressively incorporate data, analytics and automation into every level of the business, the early and late majority are still waiting to see how it all shakes out.
This thinking is understandable. Real estate requires strategic long-term planning to be successful and letting others test the water before jumping in makes sense.
What the majority doesn’t understand is the numerous tangential benefits from piloting new technologies that are missed in simple payback calculations.
Instead of sticking to processes just because “it works,” seeing technology in action encourages teams to think differently about their roles and responsibilities.
The more technology helps automate workflows and prioritize activities, the more teams begin to see opportunities for how digitization could improve their jobs and the company’s performance.
This positive view of technology facilitates two important transformations. For one, in addition to technology deployments being driven by the top from managers and innovation officers, there is complimentary input from those in the field who understand the current processes most intimately.
Second, getting buy-in around automation, accountability, process standardization, and data-driven decision making encourages teams to think strategically and implement long-term solutions.
Given the opportunity, nobody would choose to be reacting to unpredictable events at work. Unfortunately, maintaining the status quo in many real estate portfolios is a full time job. Providing the tools needed for teams to be proactive and forward-thinking today could make all the difference tomorrow.
Instead of seeing only the risks in new technologies, more portfolios should also recognize that their participation shapes solutions to meet their needs.
Technology changes and adapts at a pace that is completely unfamiliar to real estate. Most software solutions are updated weekly based on the input of current clients and their pain points. This means that technology seen a year ago could be 10x more valuable today than it was then.
But without participating in pilots and joining the ongoing conversation, these updates will be geared towards another portfolio’s most pressing needs.
In addition to getting to participate in the development of technology, piloting new technologies gives companies insight into the future and potential “unicorns.”
Along with an enormous potential financial upside for making early investment, beginning to understand which companies will become major forces helps long-term decision making.
It is incredibly difficult to predict the future. It is simply impossible without testing the possible options and getting a sense for what will work and what will not.
The alternative is to maintain the status quo until there is no choice except to be reactive to other players in the market who have piloted technologies for years.
Interested in piloting new technology? Contact us today!