You can’t be a CRE blogger and not talk about Amazon. They have single-handedly impacted not only the way the entire retail space operates, but the physical structures of commercial real estate, as well.
These days, all you hear about is how millennials are settling into urban areas that are central to their work and entertainment options. While this is true, for the most part, the decline in suburban office real estate is mostly fear mongering and misguided speculation.
Ever since we became swept up in the smartphone revolution, it’s been hard to pry ourselves away from the internet. Having around-the-clock access to information in the form of a handheld device is, without a doubt, transformative, but it can also be a massive time drain and waste, if not used with discipline.
Technology disruption is a common theme that comes up when we talk about the labor market and the future for businesses across the world. To the average person, words like technology disruption and automation elicit images of factories and warehouses being staffed with robots instead of manpower.
Times are changing. Sure, that’s something that every generation says when they start becoming the old ones, but this time it’s for real. The way technology like the Internet of Things and social media have become part of our everyday lives, things are changing quicker than ever. Just think about how much of a novelty smartphones were at the beginning of the decade, and how they’ve now become an essential part of our everyday lives.
Business is changing at a rapid pace. So much so, that it’s almost hard to stay on top of the ways real estate is evolving. Figuring out how to keep current with the industry without sinking all of your time into reading publications and tweets is a challenge. This is why I’ve come up with a list of resources to follow for all of my day-to-day information. This way, I don’t have to spend too much time reading through information that doesn’t apply to me so that I can dive right into the relevant content.
There’s nothing worse than finding yourself on the wrong side of a tech trend. The commercial real estate industry has seen itself in that position more than a time or two, but I believe we’ve finally turned a corner where we’re actively focusing on new and emerging tech trends to keep the industry moving forward.
Crack open the beers and call your mom to celebrate —you’ve been promoted to a managerial role. Congrats! But, if there’s a little voice in the back of your head saying “what in the world do I do next” … you’re not alone.
Who are some of the inspirational and innovative people you follow on social media? Or, who has been a great inspiration to you that DOESN’T have social media? Share your “top list”...
This guest article originally appeared on VTS's blog.
Data is playing a much larger role in business these days, especially in day-to-day business operations. With the Internet of Things, companies can measure every aspect of their business at a truly amazing and granular level. CRE is no stranger to this data-everywhere approach to business. In fact, as a leader, not being fluent in data is quickly becoming a liability in today’s business environment.
With the tools available to us, we finally have a chance to actually know way more about our companies than we used to — even compared with just a few years ago. With this information, we can solve the questions and distractions we put on ourselves (and our team members). It's liberating!
Having said this, I recently read an article from the Kellogg School of Management from which my takeaway was that many business leaders are just overwhelmed by all the data and metrics they need to keep up with. I know I am. So, what are we going to do about it? How can we stay relevant and understand the data, as well as use it to make strategic and valuable business decisions?
Here are a few thoughts from me, the CRE guy, turned data freak:
#1. Don’t over tech it
The same Kellogg School article suggests that leaders should not “over tech” it — the author calls this a “working knowledge” of data science; being able to separate good data from bad, and knowing where analytics can add value to your business. I think “make it simple, stupid” applies here. If someone has to train you to use it, run for the hills!
Having a working knowledge of analytics and the data presented to you can have a major impact on your ability to make decisions. It’s allowed me to sleep better at night. For so long we have had to do a lot of hoping and praying that everything was what we thought — but not anymore.
#2. Do data with purpose
One of the biggest mistakes people make with data collection is gathering data just because they can. It’s easy to go overboard. Do data with purpose — collect specific data with a specific purpose in mind so you can prevent yourself from burnout and actually succeed.
If you want to know how productive a certain program or campaign is, collect data strictly for that purpose. Analyze it. Make decisions. Move on.
The key is finding the platform that allows your organization to change with ease. Once you have the data, you can attack different parts of the operation to create what you want to see — and get the answers in real time. What a novel idea! CREtech has been waiting for this for a long time. Thankfully, it’s sitting right in front of us.
#3. Give Your team power
I’ve talked at length about my belief that when you give your team members ownership over their roles, you create a happier work environment where your team members can thrive and actually enjoy their work.
Gamification, collaboration, company-wide hackathons — these are the ways to energize your team, gather the data you need, gain valuable insights from your on-the-ground team members, and more.
#4. Don’t expect data to reveal the future
Remember, data is a collection of metrics on past and current events — not events of the future. Your intuition as a leader, combined with an understanding of information in real time will help you predict the future. But, it’s not set in stone.
Be fluid. Be agile. Be ready to pivot as you learn more about what you’re seeing.
Making Data Work for You
Leaders have a lot of plates to juggle. While understanding and mastering the data around you is certainly one “plate,” when done right, it can help you juggle the rest. And who doesn’t want that?
Want more on this topic? You might also enjoy: 5 Ways Senior Leaders Can Use Data to Inspire
I read an article recently that said consumer-goods giant Unilever has been hiring entry-level team members using brain games and artificial intelligence. Wait a minute … hear me out.
It wasn’t too long ago that this CRE guy gave his thoughts on Amazon Go and everything that goes with that. But, as quickly as Amazon moves … it’s time to update that blog with, you guessed it, more thoughts.
Online retailers like Amazon have completely transformed the way we go shopping. We now have access to a 24-hour selection of everything we could possibly want, and the expansion of warehouses and logistical hubs mean that our biggest retailers can ship our items to us quicker than ever. If you've fully embraced the online marketplace, you're not alone. Millions of people are ditching brick-and-mortar stores for internet shopping, and big box companies are feeling it.
Did you ever read those “choose your own adventure” books when you were a child? I always loved the fact that I was able to exercise some control over the fate of my favorite character just by turning to a certain page. Well, if you did love those kinds of books then I have some good news for you: Netflix is taking that concept and bringing it to the television.
Remember back in the old days when job positions were more specialized? Managers and data entry clerks rarely performed the same daily tasks at work – before cross-training became the biggest buzzword in HR, that is.
More often than not, when we talk about creating a positive and healthy workspace, we go straight to the needs and expectations of millennials without looking at the psychological factors of the job. Yes, things like flexible hours and even more flexible vacation...
Big data, a profession once referred to as “sexy” by the Harvard Business Review, is believed to be the next big thing to disrupt commercial real estate. While some may argue that real estate has taken a more conservative approach to the data-driven model than other industries, things are starting to pick up in the field.
About a month ago, my LinkedIn profile was accidentally suspended. Shamefully, for the good part of an entire afternoon, I found myself constantly checking my phone to see if the issue had been resolved —to see if I was re-connected with the world. FOMO entered my brain, and I felt completely hijacked.