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    September 27, 2022

    4 Real Estate Development Tools Project Managers Can't Live Without

    In the past,  real estate project managers had to depend on force-fit solutions like spreadsheets to monitor the status of their projects. However, thanks to recent technological innovations, teams no longer have to deal with limited project visibility, instinct-driven forecasting, and laborious critical reporting.

    Here’s a rundown of four real estate development tools project managers use to keep their projects on time and on budget, regardless of size or marketplace headwinds.

    Real-Time Data Analytics

    Project managers need real-time visibility into their spending to ensure that their projects successfully reach completion. Losing track of individual financial commitments can lead to major budget problems and delays. For that reason, data analytics are indispensable real estate development tools.

    Over the lifecycle of a complex project, project managers oversee the work of hundreds of vendors. With so many plates in the air, it’s easy to lose track of how much money has been spent on individual budget line commitments. If your organization depends on  generalist legacy software to manage project data, that issue is an even bigger problem.

    However, today’s real estate development software provides real-time visibility into costs that enable project teams to precisely chart their expenditures as they happen, and reflect on past transactions. The platforms come equipped with advanced artificial intelligence programs that can compile bids, contracts, change orders, and lien waivers into a single source of truth. The functionality gives project managers a 30,000-foot perspective on their spend in real-time instead of retroactive insight into significant cost overruns.   

    In addition, purpose-built real estate development budget trackers are seamlessly integrated into a firm’s email-based workflows. That means the tool can capture and log salient project data as soon as it becomes available, so things like commitment-exceeding invoices won’t slip through the cracks.

    Predictive Analytics

    Predictive analytics gives teams key insights about their projects that help them achieve better outcomes. However, instead of providing real-time visibility, it harnesses current and  historical data to forecast future budget challenges.

    The tool gives project managers insights that will enable them to optimize their project planning. Tapping into a firm's institutional knowledge can generate cost predictions from the investment and acquisition phase to property management. Instead of making a gut-based estimate about how expensive it will be to build a  superstructure for a new life-sciences facility, a modern AI platform will give you a data-driven forecast based on past projects.

    Predictive analytics can also help project managers navigate significant challenges related to market volatility. Let’s say a service provider sends you a change order regarding a major  construction hard cost increase related to the  labor shortage. The vendor’s request explains that due to the  widespread shortfall of construction workers, establishing the site’s utility infrastructure will be considerably more expensive than anticipated. A predictive analytics tool can create a forecast exploring how approving the change order would impact the budget.

    Allowing project managers to make proactive decisions with predictive analytics separates  best-in-class real estate development software from adequate but underwhelming solutions.

    [Resource Center] Access ebooks, infographics, whitepapers, videos and more,  all tailored to aid real estate developers and owner's reps.

    Project Communication

    Project communication is a hugely important real estate development tool because it enables internal and external stakeholders to contribute to a project's success.

    For project managers, team members, and leadership, having on-demand visibility into project budget health is a tremendous competitive advantage. Having the resources to collaborate with a remote or hybrid workforce in real-time promotes  significant improvements in organizational efficiency. Plus, if an executive has a question about project expenses, an employee can answer it immediately by accessing the firm’s centralized database and real-time dashboards. That workflow is much more efficient than exchanging multiple emails to get the same information.

    Communication tools let project managers bring investors into the loop. Real estate development platforms allow users to invite third parties to view project dashboards without permitting them to make changes. Operating with transparency can go a long way to  maintain financier and owner confidence throughout a project. Keeping the faith of your backers is essential to the project's success and opens the door for future partnerships.

    Automated Critical Reporting

    Automated critical reporting is another indispensable real estate development tool. The AI-driven software can harness an organization's project data to create  draw request packages in seconds. The positive impact of  eliminating 80% of low-value administrative tasks you’re your workflow can’t be understated.

    Since the tool pulls information directly from a company’s email-based workflow, no one has to spend late nights at the office collecting and verifying reporting data. As an added benefit, the automated reporting tool allows companies to sidestep any problems arising from manual data entry errors. Project managers don’t need to worry about a single keystroke mistake causing cash flow headaches or undermining the firm’s credibility.

    Most importantly, automated critical reporting tools let project managers spend more of their workday on value-added tasks. Being freed from the responsibility of sorting through a mountain of paperwork allows you to put all your energy into overcoming any obstacles that would keep the project from being as lucrative as possible.

    Real estate development software with critical reporting tools can also generate  anticipated cost reports. The forecasts include data-driven predictions about where your budget will be 3, 6, and even 12 months into the future in a visually streamlined presentation. Project managers can use the reports to keep their teams on the same page, leadership informed, and stakeholders happy.

    Want to learn more about how technology can help optimize your firm’s real estate development efforts? Check out our  Resource Center to download whitepapers, infographics, and e-books on how real estate development teams can run more effective projects and earn more.

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