The use of CRE tech is no longer a question of “if,” but instead a matter of “when, how, and what kind?”
Here, we’ll delve into how commercial real estate firms should approach the implementation of new tech.
Transitioning team or company-wide processes to new systems can be a sizable project—but when done correctly, sets your business up for faster growth and scalability.
Implementing CRE Tech
CRE tech has a very distinct purpose. It drives efficiency on multiple levels, helping professionals work in a smarter, cleaner manner, which ultimately fuels success and growth.
CRE tech helps agents do and learn more in less time.
It helps teams collaborate more effectively and streamline workflows.
And it helps full organizations and companies establish systems for their employees, which ultimately fuels business growth efforts and overall scalability.
The issue can be, however, that companies sometimes don’t implement technology effectively (or efficiently)—leading to a tool not being useful, or even worse, creating more work for the company.
Why Some Companies Struggle with CRE Tech Implementation
In being one of the preeminent leaders in property intelligence, we’ve seen companies handle the implementation of CRE tech in very different ways.
Some organizations can be very proactive in setting up their agents with the best tools in the industry.
Others are reluctant to make a switch out of fear to the time commitment.
Some companies are willing to make a switch, but need a lot of coaching from others to actually get there.
The main reasons why companies struggle—or don’t follow through—with their implementation of CRE tech:
- They lack the necessary expertise—and don’t seek enough help.
- They’re scared off by the time needed to implement.
- They don’t put enough effort into implementation.
- They don’t understand the real value of the tool at hand.
The fact is, every company needs a “champion” to lead the charge in successfully implementing CRE tech—someone who will essentially manage the process.
Below, see five simple steps that you can follow to assure that your CRE tech implementation goes smoothly and sets your company up for ongoing success and growth.
Step 1: Don’t take preparation too lightly.
Proper use of the newest technology is something that can drastically change your company for the better.
So, make sure you have a very tight grasp on all of the pain points of your company, and the available tools on the market that can solve (or lessen) those pain points.
One of the most important factors of successful CRE tech implementation is first choosing the right tool for your business. Bottom line.
Step 2: Set goals and create a distinct plan.
Whenever you embark on a new phase in business, it’s important to set goals and create a distinct plan of action.
Who needs to be involved? Which decision-makers need to be persuaded to buy-in? What do team members need to know before implementation?
First, reach out to your tech provider for help in determining expectations for implementation.
Any CRE tech platform, whether it’s a CRM, data platform, property intelligence platform, or something else, will always offer the necessary tech help in implementing their products correctly.
Then work with your team to determine what your goals should be.
Set small victories so to keep things moving forward—set goals around completing certain training, adding new projects to the new tech system, and so on.
Step 3: Communicate thoroughly with stakeholders.
Communication is key.
If you want your team to embrace this new technology, you have to keep them informed, and you have to sell them on it.
That goes from the top, down as well.
Depending on your role, you may have to inform executives and decision-makers on why a new CRE tech platform is what your company needs.
If you’re a manager of some kind, or an exec yourself, then you need to effectively help your team understand (and believe in) the value of the new tool.
We suggest holding as many meetings as necessary to discuss the new technology and the impact it will have on the team.
Cover these main points in the discussion:
- Why the company is making the change.
- What the tool is.
- The benefits of the tool.
- Other firms that are using the tool.
- Who will have access.
- When they will have access.
- Where to find training resources.
- What your plan is to ensure success.
From there, you can address any questions or concerns that might arise in the moment.
In fact, it’s important that you prepare for resistance from your team.
In almost any case, someone is going to oppose the move to new tech. It’s a natural occurrence.
So, study the different forms of rebuttal you might face and be prepared to have those discussions.
Step 4: Invest heavily in training.
It’s happened to most of us…
You sit in on a demo, and everything seems great. The interface and workflow appear intuitive, and the value of the product is shining through the screen.
But then you get access to the tool and it feels completely different.
You login, and suddenly…
“Where was I when I found…”
“Isn’t this where…”
“How do I..”
You’re lost, with nowhere to go.
Luckily, there’s training for that—but it’s something that needs to be set up ahead of time.
Regardless of the CRE tech solution you choose, make sure to check what their training offerings are.
Can you get by just with videos and webinars, or do you need someone in-house giving hands-on trainings?
Most companies will offer training webinars, guides, videos, etc. Block off time in your calendar to review these resources.
Does your firm have an operations or IT manager that can train employees?
Step 5: Don’t try to be a hero. Ask for help.
When your team hits a speed bump, don’t try to be a hero. Ask for help.
Your tech provider should offer a support line or chat, so contact them immediately with your questions.
If there is an issue it’s important to get things fixed right away.
If not, your team will become frustrated and your implementation will be jeopardized.
That can be a big issue for some companies. This is where implementation can go awry and fall off the tracks.
It’s important not to let a simple hiccup end the process of implementing something that could improve your business exponentially.