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Written by Sophia Cooper, Summer 2020 Marketing Intern
The Commercial Real Estate Industry has felt the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic within the last few months as retail and office sectors had to quickly adjust to the public health crisis and shift exclusively to online platforms. However, this has also provided a unique opportunity for process improvements and has created a catalyst for change in data management strategies. While there is no definitive answer about how permanent these changes may be, the information we see gives interesting insights into the future trends and possibilities for the CRE industry.
Over the past few months, office spaces have changed considerably. We also see businesses adapting to the pandemic by altering the use of buildings and prioritizing new technologies. Amazon recently acquired space previously dedicated to in-person retail to further enhance their customers’ online shopping experience. Cloud Kitchens is growing its customer base to provide rentable cooking space for various food delivery companies. Convoy introduced technology to the freight trucking industry to speed up processes and create a more cost-efficient model.
On a more personal note, instead of sitting at a desk surrounded by co-workers and coffee machines, our desks are now surrounded by a bed and pets. When in an office space, there is a heavy reliance on people and tools to access and manage data because those resources are readily available. Jeremy Bergeron, Head of Sales and Development at Leaseable, points out the flaws of this approach as creating a system of very static data transfer..
“This pandemic has forced a lot of companies to look at the complications in how we communicate with each other and how we push data along. They can discover new ways to use technology to make every day processes and functions more productive.”
The most efficient way to embrace this “new world order” is to have a centralized place where data can flow through seamlessly, with cloud-based and consolidated information. Cameron Steele, CEO of Leaseable, comments on the three trends that help CRE companies with this transition:
“First of all, centralizing your data so that it is accessible by the teams and knowledge workers in your organization is super important. Today a lot of real estate companies don’t have this ability. The second thing is having whatever system you’re using to be very user friendly so it’s designed for a general business user. Third, make sure that the data source you’re using is trustworthy, accurate, and secure.”
The pandemic is driving the need for better technology and improved processes to meet new business demands. Lisa Tran, COO of Leaseable, believes that these changes are likely to stick and permanently alter how the CRE world operates.
“Once you have a taste of what you can do, you’re going to always want more. In this case, the demand for more data and more analysis and the urgency of it is going to increase, whereas the tolerance for the way that things were done before is going to decrease.”
The pandemic has revealed areas of improvement that are needed within the CRE industry, allowing for significant enhancements to emerge. Steele provides the perfect analogy for this development within the CRE world:
“In transportation, people used to get around with horse and buggies, but once cars became available and they became more accessible to everyone, you never went back. I think that will prove true with our system. Once businesses have the ability to have data readily available, it’s hard to imagine that we'd go back to a system where teams of people were doing the work manually.”
This pandemic is a call to action for CRE firms to transition to a more technologically advanced model to manage their data. Not only will this shift reduce the reliance on static data transfer, but it will significantly enhance the overall efficiency of data management. Prophia can help businesses quickly adjust and thrive in our changing world.
CRE professionals who use Prophia Cloud access critical lease information from anywhere in the world in a centralized, cloud-based platform. Prophia extracts meaningful lease data and dynamically tethers it to source documents, making custom reporting, modeling, exporting, and data reconciliation more advantageous for all CRE executives and acquisitions teams.