In the midst of ongoing digital disruption, automation in CRE has become a popular topic and consideration for many modern businesses. Organizations are increasingly seeking strategies to streamline mundane and manual tasks and processes in order to improve efficiencies, boost employee satisfaction, and increase revenue. In fact, 66% of respondents to a McKinsey & Company survey indicated that their organization has an automation program or process in place in at least one function or business unit.
With more than 40% of workers spending at least 25% of the work week on manual, repetitive tasks, automation in CRE shouldn’t be considered a nice-to-have, but rather a necessity. The time savings and opportunity to dedicate resources back to value-add activities for the organization is considerable. As companies seek and evaluate areas to refine processes, automation (and thus technology) will continue to be at the forefront of the conversation. Fortunately, tools for automation in CRE are more accessible now than ever before. Still, the commercial real estate (CRE) industry remains slow to adopt technology. This resistance to change could cause CRE firms to be left behind as the industry evolves.
Read ahead to learn how asset management software can streamline time-consuming tasks and help your firm navigate market shifts and get ahead.
1) Entering, Organizing, and Managing Data
Data entry is a critical process for most commercial real estate firms. This task involves inputting and managing important information pertaining to the organization, properties, portfolio, investors, or clients. Additionally, ineffective (and likely, manual) data entry can negatively impact productivity, revenue, data accuracy, and other critical components of your business.
Data entry is also one of the most repetitive and time-consuming jobs in many organizations. In fact, most CRE teams spend 15-25% of their time manually managing and organizing data. And according to a recent Zapier survey, 76% of workers spend up to 3 hours a day inputting data. Essentially, data entry is a pain for most teams.
How Asset Management Software Can Help: Automating manual data entry with asset management software enables organizations to extract, organize, and input data at scale. With a solution like Lobby CRE, you can also eliminate manual and antiquated processes of collecting and analyzing data in Excel with complete access to real-time data, analytics, and dashboards.
2) Monitoring Portfolio Performance
Portfolio performance is at the core of every business decision. By regularly monitoring the portfolio’s performance, organizations can better understand shifts in the market, determine how assets are benchmarked in relation to those trends, and effectively adjust in order to take advantage of emerging opportunities or navigate risks. But, using spreadsheets to track changes, analyze the portfolio, and identify trends and opportunities requires great attention to detail and consistency, which can be tough when managing multiple entities.
How Asset Management Software Can Help: Technology with a fully configurable analytics and reporting, like Lobby CRE, enables you to choose from over 90 key metrics and track what’s most important to you. Set your own thresholds and be alerted of any changes, like NOI decreases or notice to vacate increases. Visually understand how your assets stack up to the market. And run reports 365/24/7 with reliable, accurate data inputs and outputs.
3) Collaborating Internally and Externally
Collaboration, both cross-departmental and across your commercial real estate portfolio, is necessary for effective business operations. According to the Harvard Business Review, “Collaborative work has risen 50% or more over the past decade to consume 85% or more of most people’s work weeks.” As teams spend more and more time composing emails and calendar invites, participating in group meetings, and answering phone calls, they have less time to focus on value-add and revenue-generating activities. Additionally, data becomes siloed and processes start to fragment without consistent ways to communicate with team members.
How Asset Management Software Can Help: Technology, like Lobby CRE, removes those silos and connects your teams for improved collaboration and results. With one single, cloud-based source of truth, your team members can share information faster across the entire company and with external stakeholders. Once everyone is working from the same data and within a single source of truth, it’s much easier to align, work together, and know that you’re working from the most current version of data.
4) Generating Accurate, Timely Financial Reports
Financial reporting is a time-consuming project for most commercial real estate firms and can take companies days, weeks, or even months to complete. Timely reporting is often interrupted by fragmented workflows, siloed data, inaccurate spreadsheets, and antiquated processes. Add in the fact that financial reporting must be completed both quarterly and annually (and sometimes even more frequently, depending on your stakeholders), and it becomes clear why this task requires an extensive amount of time and energy.
How Asset Management Software Can Help: An asset management solution, like Lobby CRE, can pull in and analyze data from multiple disparate internal and external sources. This type of functionality scales your reporting efforts and equips your firm with easy and quick access to high-quality, accurate financial reporting.
5) Managing Documents and Data
Undoubtedly, document and data management tasks can be tedious and time-consuming. In fact, 54% of office professionals in the United States say that they waste time searching for files in cluttered online filing systems. And according to a Gartner survey, professionals spend 50% of their time searching for information. One step down, employees take an average of 18 minutes to locate each document. Effective document management is difficult when files are misplaced, difficult to locate, and may not even be the most recent version.
Additionally, data managers could spend as much as 80% of their time manually gathering or manipulating data to prepare for analysis. By automating and removing inefficiencies in data management, firms can save many hours and, instead, focus on more revenue-focused activities for the business.
How Asset Management Software Can Help: An asset management solution, like Lobby CRE, ensures that your documents and data are stored in and accessible from one centralized, cloud-based location. Rather than spending time hunting for documents, simply log on and access real-time data– anytime and anywhere.
Today, automation in CRE is key to streamlining workplace operations, improving efficiencies, and scaling the business. With automated processes, firms can enhance productivity and reallocate time savings to more rewarding and value-add activities.
ABOUT LOBBY CRE
Lobby CRE transforms CRE asset management with automated operational and financial data intake, intelligent performance analysis and reporting, industry benchmarking, and configurable dashboards – all within a single platform. Click here to see Lobby CRE in action!