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Reporting is an essential part of real estate development but also a source of frustration. Drafting draw request packages for complex projects can involve hundreds of thousands of documents, and gathering that information is very labor-intensive. Then there’s all the manual work involved with inputting bid, invoice, and change order data from countless emails onto a spreadsheet program.
During the pre-development process, pausing everything and performing accounting tasks can damper your momentum. And in a potential recession economy, you can’t afford to spend time on anything other than bringing your latest project in on time and on budget.
Thankfully, the right real estate development software will help keep your projects on track and moving forward at a good clip.
How Slow Reporting Hurts Real Estate Project Development
Taking a large commercial real estate project from conception to completion can take years. Planning, hiring architects, securing permits, rezoning, and procuring vendors are time-consuming tasks with many moving parts that development teams must finish before construction begins. Hiccups during pre-development stages can cause severe delays, cost overruns, and damage investor confidence.
For that reason, developers shouldn't underestimate the impact of slow reporting on project outcomes.
The issue isn’t just that preparing monthly cost reports traditionally pull staffers away from more high-value assignments like vendor negotiations; drudgery can affect employee performance. One survey of knowledge workers revealed that 71% of respondents said that performing too many simple, repetitive tasks makes them feel like their lives are being wasted. That dissatisfaction can undercut employees' motivation and presence of mind to find new solutions to unexpected project roadblocks.
So, let’s say you hire someone to handle your project reporting to prevent your team members from burning out. On the one hand, taking a repetitive, energy-draining task off your team’s to-do list would boost morale. But on the other, adding to your headcount would increase operating expenses, which is never a good idea during periods of macroeconomic uncertainty.
Additionally, manual reporting can undercut your project development even if you’ve assigned someone to handle that specific responsibility. With complex projects involving hundreds of vendors, it’s impossible to pull a cost report together overnight. And the reality is that it’s difficult to sustain total concentration when filling out a seemingly endless series of spreadsheets. Unfortunately, creating error-ridden draw request packages will get them rejected quickly and negatively affect your stakeholder relationships.
However, by taking advantage of automation, project managers can avoid the cascading problems resulting from a slow reporting process.
How Automated Reporting Can Improve Project Outcomes
Developers can gain several advantages by moving from a traditional reporting method to one driven by a modern intelligence platform.
A key benefit is significantly improved productivity. Unlike a spreadsheet program that requires manual inputs, an automated solution can collect all the information needed for a monthly cost report as it comes in. The software captures and indexes salient project information via integration with your existing email-based workflow. That way, no important details will be lost following an abrupt staffing change or the loss of a company computer.
In addition, real estate development software is sophisticated enough to prepare draw request packages in seconds. That means no team members need to stock up on caffeine to get through several nights of tedious data entry. Instead, your employees can direct their time and attention to the strategic tasks you hired them to perform.
The same knowledge worker survey cited that busy work can destroy enthusiasm. It also found that 97% of respondents believe they’re “happier, smarter, and more efficient” when they spend their days working on more challenging and rewarding tasks. Eliminating the data entry aspect of project management is an easy and effective way to improve morale and free up your team to focus on bringing in projects within budget.
Similarly, today’s real estate development software is incredibly sophisticated but not difficult to navigate. The best real estate development platforms feature highly intuitive interfaces that staffers can use without exhaustive training.
You can also forget about project setbacks related to manual reporting processes. A state-of-the-art AI solution isn’t going to make any typos or submit any error-laden files to your financial backers. After upgrading your workflows, you can rest assured that your vendor invoices will be paid on time, and your stakeholders won’t have any reason to question your project management skills.
Expediting real estate development reports through automation is just the tip of the iceberg. Real estate software platforms can help you slash cost overruns, make better decisions, and achieve more predictable and profitable project outcomes. Download The Ultimate Guide to Commercial Real Estate Technology to learn more ways you can streamline your operations and improve your earnings.
Tag(s): Real Estate Development
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