There are plenty of startups in the world of commercial real estate. While we certainly love having so many new players in the technology space, it does make it harder to determine which technology will truly benefit your business, and what is really useful —or not. And, if you’re like me, you struggle with wanting to be a first-adopter —to try everything out right away— and making mindful and strategic decisions on what technology you should implement.
That said, don’t just jump at the first new technology and immediately adopt it —test it out, investigate it, do research and understand all of the potential benefits it may have for you, your business and, most importantly, your team members.
This is not a top-down approach. This is a bottom-up approach. You need champions within your company within the area that you’re trying to improve or make more efficient via technology. Without that buy-in, your efforts to adopt new tech will be a sinking ship.
But, there’s a balance here. Let’s take a look at how to balance being a first-adopter with caution.
#1. Prioritize Areas of Opportunity
All companies, regardless of the new technology, need to prioritize and determine what are the most important areas of opportunity inside the business and how new technology can help them deliver unique services to their customers.
The first step is really to look at your business’ pain points and try to find a technology that offers a solution to these. You don’t want to adopt a new technology simply because it has all of the bells and whistles. You need to focus on finding the right technology that will help you streamline business and prioritize the customer.
#2. Don’t Forget About Your Team
As discussed above, one of the most important parts of adopting new technology is making sure that your team can learn it in a timely manner and that it doesn’t disrupt more than necessary. You don’t want to push technology on your team if it won’t genuinely benefit them. Chances are, if the technology is not something your team believes it needs, they’ll be slow to adopt it. But, most people do not like to change —so, don’t get discouraged if it takes longer than you thought.
Let the early adopters of your team do trial runs of technology before you bring it into your business group and get some real feedback before making any decisions.
Customer experience is so important and is the number one priority in business and any technology your interweave into your business should always benefit the customer. At the end of the day, your business is driven by two things: your team and your customers.
#3. Look at Costs
Technology is not always cheap. In fact, it can be one of a company’s largest expenses. Because of this, you need to really look at your technology budget and look at the potential return on your investment if you choose to adopt a certain technology —as well as why you really need to change.
You don’t want to spend a pretty penny adopting a new piece of technology because you “think” it will benefit your business. Get some hard facts and figures to back up why you need the technology. Also, keep in mind that purchasing the technology is not the only cost…you will need to factor in training, software, etc. that will also come with the adoption of this new tech.
Putting This into Play
There are so many new and exciting pieces of technology entering the industry and while it can seem overwhelming, with a little prioritization, consideration and in-depth looks at the cost vs. ROI, you can make sound decisions regarding your technology.
The bottom line is —it’s great to be a first-adopter, to stay abreast of new trends, new technology, and to always be watching for ways to improve your tech stack. But, before diving head-first, do your research. Give the tech time to simmer. There will always be a new shiny red ball … it’s finding the one that fits into your hoop that will win the game.