Time and time again we hear that the real estate industry is lagging behind when it comes to technology. But that may not be the case for long. Commercial real estate brokerage firms are transforming into technology companies, and major players in the commercial real estate landscape are realizing the potential of integrating new technologies into their business models. Whether it is cloud management, IoT or AI solutions, the implementation of technology in commercial real estate brokerage firms is driving the need for new management. Specifically, we are talking about the CTO.
The CTO (Chief Technology Officer) is the spearhead of the strategic technical direction of a property company. A CTO Ace can understand how to match business goals with technology solutions and use that technology to organize, avoid disruption, and drive innovation in the commercial real estate industry. Until recently, CTOs spent a lot of time handling and managing enterprise resource planning (ERP) hardware, telephone systems, and financial systems. Now, CTOs tend to focus on reducing costs through automation, moving data processes to the cloud, and building a bespoke technology stack to empower their employees to make the best decisions. possible commercial activities, in particular in the real estate sector.
The fact that the CTO is playing an increasingly important role for real estate brokerage firms is a spectacle in itself. “Real estate in general has been skeptical of new innovations,” says Stuart Appley, former CTO of Shorenstein Properties. “It used to be a network industry that you knew and played golf with, but people are starting to realize that’s not the case anymore.” In general, commercial real estate companies, and even residential real estate companies for that matter, have both been slow to respond to the technology because they may not realize the full extent of the benefits. It’s traditionally more common to outsource any technology to an outside contractor, but that, as David Kavanagh, former global chief technology officer for online realtor Purplebricks, says, “removes the benefits of feeling your own points. pain and fuel your own technological improvements.
With so many different technologies implemented in many real estate companies, integrating various solutions into a CRE company’s technology stack is crucial to staying competitive in the field. Like any other business, all CRE companies must compete for continuous innovation in order to stay relevant in the market. A thoughtful digital strategy can reduce inefficiencies, help develop new product strategies, and be flexible enough to adapt to an ever-changing technology landscape. A CTO should be the one in charge of guiding a team through the technological upheaval and pushing them to stay ahead of the competition.
What tends to happen when a company doesn’t have a CTO, or really someone who understands how to analyze and streamline data, is that the information stays siled. For those unfamiliar with the term, an “information silo” refers to a collection of information management systems that are unable to communicate freely with each other. Within an information silo, communication is always vertical, making it difficult, if not impossible, for the system to interact with other systems. Departments may not work together as well as they could because there is no regulated system in place to integrate and communicate this. Data is not being used to its full potential (or worse, it is not governed at all). In a real estate brokerage, it is not uncommon for individual divisions (the leasing team, asset management team, HR and administration, etc.) to have a data system. for each sector of activity. These single-use systems often do not interlock effectively. “In very simple terms,” says Appley, “a tenant is a customer. A potential agreement refers to a building, and in a siled system, there can be duplicate and inaccurate information about the customer, building, and agreement that prevent real data-driven decisions. Essentially, if there is no one at the helm to think about how a company’s digital systems can be woven into one cohesive tapestry, brokerages can often misuse their data and allow this. type of fragmented operations, which hinders the growth of the company.
All of that aside, there’s never a great time to hire a CTO. There is no stage of development or market share growth ratio that determines the right time. What’s important is that the business recognizes the power of data and digital and understands the importance of a senior executive who would help drive the long-term growth of the business. Regardless of the classification of real estate the company oversees, having someone who understands digital landscapes and can connect different systems will drive the overall success of the business. If you are starting to realize that the technical needs of your real estate are becoming overwhelming, it might be time to consider hiring a CTO.
The need for a CTO becomes increasingly urgent as technology diversifies across industries and the role of the CTO evolves into more operational responsibility. There is no law stating that you are absolutely need Hire one, but hiring a dedicated senior tech executive may be the answer if your business isn’t growing as quickly as you’d like. Either way, the age of antiquity in the real estate business is coming to an end as it becomes another tech company. Thus, companies ready to adopt the technology will be the ones leading the future.