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Bringing on high-profile clients that aren't just looking for one or two projects but a continuous partnership is the goal of any owner's rep firm. Earning the best clients requires being the best firm.
But being known as the best option in the industry doesn't happen overnight...or can it?
As we head into 2022, we are seeing technology that was once thought of as futuristic, making a significant impact on real estate development projects and teams.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and automation aren't necessarily buzzwords in most industries anymore, but commercial real estate, on the other hand, has historically lagged behind other industries due to a lack of investment in CRE technology.
According to Ernst Young, 33% of real estate firms integrated one or two technology solutions, but 35% are still piloting, evaluating, or assessing the market. And a slim fraction of 4% has not started thinking about how technology can be applied at all.
With technology being fast and easy to implement and a pandemic that has highlighted how the old school project delivery process is holding businesses back, solutions have arrived to meet the market need. Owner's reps are starting to modernize their business and are impressing current and potential clients in doing so.
How CRE Technology is Impacting Owner's Reps
When you're managing multiple projects, quickly seeing their vitals is key to keeping them on schedule and keeping your clients happy. When you are tracking your progress and large amounts of information in spreadsheets, you're opening up your firm to mistakes and a loss of confidence in your clients.
Spreadsheets aren't able to provide you with real-time project data, milestones, and financials across your entire portfolio. And if it can, it's certainly not quick. Being able to report back to owners on their projects consistently, in a way that leaves no room for miscommunication, is a challenge in any industry. Modern development platforms allow you to do just that.
AI married with automation automatically imports key project information like invoices, contracts, potential costs and organizes that data into a dashboard that gives you a clear picture of each project without you having to do a lot of data entry or manual uploading of files.
Armed with this dashboard, you're able to anticipate issues that can lead to upset clients. Communicating project progress to owners becomes easy and you’re able to provide updates whenever they are needed. Furthermore, these tools allow you to produce accurate spending projections which can be shared to build trust between your firm and your clients.
Owners know that modern teams prioritize communication, collaboration, and transparency, which sets the foundation for a strong relationship.
How CRE Technology Helps Owner's Reps Earn More Clients
As commercial real estate technology becomes increasingly available, owners will be looking to the firms that are taking a modern approach to development projects. They want to ensure that they are working with the firms that have the capabilities to complete their projects within or under budget.
When your firm's development management process comes up in client pitch meetings, uttering the term ‘spreadsheets’ can be costly. Competitors that jump on proven technology solutions now will likely win those close decisions.
Showcasing your ability to bring projects in under budget with clear, consistent reporting has a ripple effect. Proven results tracked in your portfolio data can be shared with prospects as proof of your firm's modern approach and successes.
While technology will play a major role in bringing in new clients, people and relationships are the driving force behind the commercial real estate industry. But when your top project managers are tasked with daily data entry and time-consuming report generation for your clients, they may not feel fulfilled. And, if your competitor is offering another way, they may just jump ship. Project Managers prefer working at firms that give them the tools to make them more effective at their jobs. When top team members leave, the relationships they’ve built with your clients go with them, and so does their historical process knowledge.
Coming to the deal table with an experienced, fulfilled, and tech-savvy team, you'll be in the very best position to win those close decisions. You'll win more work in project pitches when you're asked, “what project controls software do you use?” And your response is, "we use an automation and data analytics platform to ensure projects are delivered on time and within budget.”
The benefits of modern CRE technology for owner's reps are clear: You'll be able to run a leaner team and make your company more profitable by modernizing your development process and instilling confidence in your clients.
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