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Project managers are responsible for overseeing many components of a complex real estate development project, ensuring capital is strategically deployed, creating and executing timelines, and navigating the regulatory and zoning process. As a result, project managers are often overburdened with administrative tasks, from managing documentation such as permits, contracts, change orders, or zoning requirements, to allocating resources and managing budgets. The right real estate project management tool can help you reduce the time and burden of administrative tasks on project managers, ensuring they can focus on high-level decision-making and tasks.
Historically, project managers have relied on outdated and error-prone spreadsheets to facilitate the development process. Now, it’s clear managing and organizing documentation manually is taking up time project managers should be spending on strategy and overseeing critical project components. Compiling project data in spreadsheets can also lead to internal information silos and create poor visibility among key stakeholders. Leveraging new and innovative real estate project management tools empowers your team to automate time-consuming admin and find opportunities to lower costs at every stage of the development process.
Here’s everything you need to know about using real estate project management tools to deliver projects successfully, and how to choose the best solution for your development team's needs:
The Role of Real Estate Project Management Tools
Real estate project management tools are primarily innovative software designed to reduce manual data entry, increase productivity, and maximize returns from pre-development to stabilization. Technology adoption in the development industry has been slow, but competitive firms are already using these solutions to reduce the burden of administrative tasks on project managers and help manage budgets better. Development teams that implement a real estate project management tool can lower costs at every step of a project’s life cycle, drive predictable outcomes on complex projects, and recruit top project managers to their firms.
Top real estate project managers can use development software to act as their command center, helping understand the viability of a potential deal, manage a project from start to finish, uphold clear and transparent stakeholder communications, and deliver projects on time and under budget. High-quality project management tools can also help solve some of the top challenges you face as a project manager, including human data entry errors or change orders that require major budget updates. Eliminating problematic data silos means your decision-making can be more strategic, and lowers the risk of delayed timelines or budget overruns.
Real Estate Project Management Tools Streamline Administration
Even though administrative responsibilities are an inevitable part of a project manager’s role, these tasks shouldn’t detract from time spent on high-level decision-making and essential oversight. A real estate development platform can be a powerful project management tool, streamlining a variety of administrative tasks, from document management to producing reports for owners or other key stakeholders.
Document management is one of the primary sticking points for project managers on complex development projects. Hundreds, or even thousands, of documents will be required over a project’s lifecycle. Project managers spend a significant amount of time organizing this documentation, which can include contracts, permits, change orders, compliance paperwork, lien waivers, and more. You can leverage automation to organize and capture all your project documents, extracting data to compile in dashboards and organizing across budget lines. Documents can be assigned to individual line items, and approval workflows can be created in the same platform. Your team can also save time by automatically compiling draw requests or other reports, lessening the burden of time across your development team as funds are dispersed.
Boost Stakeholder Communication + Visibility
Stakeholder communication can also be improved with the right real estate project management tool. If your key project data is compiled in dashboards, you’ll boost visibility and be able to monitor project progress in real-time. When key project information is difficult to find, your development team is more likely to make gut decisions that aren’t backed by data and can lead your project astray.
Real-time access to project documents and data can also facilitate easier document-sharing and collaboration, allowing stakeholders to access and review files without time-consuming email exchanges back and forth. This means project managers won’t need to be hassled to produce additional reports or updates, saving time and increasing transparency. Standardizing data across your team will also prevent version-control issues, making sure all team members are working with the most relevant and up-to-date information.
Cost Reduction Capability
When your development team has access to the right project management tools, your budgets will benefit. Forward-thinking development teams can use real estate software to more accurately forecast expenses, identify risks before major overruns occur, and find opportunities to lower vendor costs throughout the project.
High-Level Budget Management
Complex development projects require extensive financial oversight. Your team’s project managers are often tasked with time-consuming budget tracking, management of expenses, and financial reporting. When unexpected costs arise and budgets need to be revised, financial tasks can prove especially time-consuming. Real estate project management tools can help you assemble accurate budgets with benchmarked portfolio data, organize bids, costs, or projections into a single platform, and manage forecasts, contingencies, draws, schedules, and vendors with proactive alerts to prevent costly errors.
Bolster Communication with Accounting + Finance
As one of the primary overseers of a project’s budget, project managers need to communicate and coordinate with the development team’s accounting and finance departments. Project management tools can facilitate these interactions, reducing the amount of back and forth required between teams and ensuring all stakeholders have access to the same financial and budget data over a project’s lifecycle.
By leveraging comprehensive real estate development software, you can eliminate friction points across your development team. Project managers can unify their outlooks and budgets with finance and accounting leaders. The system works for all stakeholders, eliminating the need for accounting and finance to use multiple systems or verify across multiple tools if the numbers in the budget are right. This leads to more positive communication and collaboration, and more predictable outcomes on projects.
Identifying the Best Solution for Your Team
Looking forward to 2024 and beyond, your real estate development firm can keep an edge on the competition by adopting technology to facilitate the development process. When looking for the right real estate project management tool for your team, it’s important to find software that is easy to use and can boost efficiency. Even teams without much tech-savvy can benefit from a real estate development platform as a real estate project management tool. Northspyre’s purpose-built, single software solution pairs an intuitive, simple-to-use interface with a vast range of functionality designed to reduce administrative tasks and cut down costs.
The leading firms in the real estate development industry are all adopting new technologies and solutions to get that competitive advantage. For example, Biddle Real Estate Ventures (BREV) has successfully used Northspyre to drive more cost-effective project planning using historical development data. “What used to take a human being two days to put together, my team can put together in two minutes,” managing member Peter Chavkin. The platform has also helped the team evade potentially costly obstacles; by leveraging the search feature, the team was able to find a lost insurance policy and avoid issuing a duplicate payment to an insurance vendor.
Learn More about Northspyre for Project Management
Northspyre acts as your real estate command center as you execute projects, exceed quotas, and grow your business. The cloud-based platform empowers you to end manual entries, accelerating project management with industry-leading automation capability, and acts as your data analytics command center allowing for faster reporting. Development teams who use Northspyre report up to an 80% increase in efficiency and a reduction in project overruns of 66%. Northspyre ensures project managers get to spend their time strategizing and making high-level decisions while drastically reducing administrative tasks and boosting overall efficiency.
Download our guide Mastering the Real Estate Budget: How-To Guide for Project Managers to learn more about how technology can help you minimize overruns and overcome challenges at every stage of development.
Tag(s): Real Estate Technology
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