Key Takeaways:

  • The CRE industry spends millions on technology —but is it worth it?
  • Technology and collaboration tools enable real estate companies to provide mobility like never before and streamlines so many tasks and functions.
  • Learn five ways that collaboration is made so much easier by implementing technology.
  • And remember, It is important for us as an industry to not just focus on how the system works, but on the effect it is having in our organization.

Collaboration is easier with technology - or is it? The CRE industry spends millions on CRM solutions, cloud based platforms, and other tech tools in the hopes of improving collaboration among their teams. Is it worth the investment?

If you’re collaborating online, your answer to that question is probably a loud “yes.” If you’re not, consider the discussion below, and ask yourself: Can I afford not to?

Whether your team originates in a single office or are scattered across the globe, digital collaboration works. From investment to marketing to management –every area of CRE has applications for this approach to teamwork. Technology allows us to streamline all of the essential tasks of CRE, providing better customer service and eliminating redundancies –if we’re using it right.

Technology and collaboration tools have enabled real estate companies (even mine) to really provide mobility to property managers, engineers, etc. in the field —unlike I’ve ever seen before. Our response times to our most important and valued tenants and investors have dramatically reduced since we’ve implemented these systems. It has also allowed efficiency —beyond systems— in allowing people to become more human and be with the tenants and the customers/clients without feeling like they have to be attached to some terminal.

Here’s how it’s working:

1. Accuracy

Digital tools can be used to automate a wide variety of functions and calculations that are performed every day. Taking human error out of the equation makes these operations much more reliable and accurate. Teams can move forward confidently knowing that routine tasks are being handled automatically.

2. Security

Sharing documents in the Cloud and using electronic signatures for contracts and other critical “paperwork” is actually much more secure than traditional methods. The documents aren’t being stored on a laptop or other physical device that could potentially be stolen, and document-sharing platforms have layers of encryption and security to restrict access. Electronic documents don’t have to be put in the mail, another vulnerable position for important paperwork (no offense to the USPS).

3. Transparency

When teams collaborate online, everyone involved has the full picture in real time. It’s easy to keep up with what team members are doing and know when your input is needed.  It helps to keep team members accountable.

4. Efficiency

As noted above, online document sharing often eliminates the need for mailing paperwork. Documents are available instantly to anyone who’s been given access. This can drastically reduce the time needed to complete processes and transactions, as well as costs for supplies. In the case of electronic signatures, the need for attorney services –and the associated fees- is often considerably reduced.  

5. Access

Completely without regard to geography, online collaboration gives all team members equal access to the information they need to do their job. Here again, the time saved can be tremendous. No need to ask around to find a relevant piece of information that you need. All essential documents can be shared online. Market reports, maps, and relevant data can all be included in the team’s online space. Everyone is working from the same information, and any updates are visible to all in real time.  Contacting the team or specific members is quick and easy: all of the information is stored in the Cloud.

When the team is not spending time tracking down basic information or trying to coordinate schedules for face-to-face meeting, they’re more alert to opportunities and options. They can share ideas and develop strategies together.  Technology used in this way doesn’t remove the human element; it enhances and empowers it.

With all this great tech and collab tools now on the market it is important for us as an industry to not just focus on how the system works, but really focusing in on the effect it is having in our organization —and shouting from the mountain tops the results so we can create a less fearful and faster adoption process than our industry has been willing to do in the past.