Opinions expressed by londonbusinessblog.com contributors are their own.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic and remote working conditions, any business that wanted to adapt to the new challenges had to adopt new technologies. This led to the need to train employees and establish a remote work policy that had never been used before.
Of course, this kind of transition is not easy for any company to get through. In real estate, for example, companies are expected to quickly adopt new tools and maintain an online presence. But those same companies face a number of hurdles in their path to becoming fully remote-ready businesses.
Related: Real estate is way behind in technology. Here’s why and how to fix it.
1. Slow Adjustment Period
This is a common challenge for several companies that want to innovate quickly. Real estate companies have always been slow to adapt to new technologies. However, the technology has won because solutions are much easier to adopt. This enables commercial real estate companies to introduce new technologies into their processes and to continue to innovate. While technology is evolving rapidly, real estate companies must learn to adapt quickly and not be afraid to spend a little extra capital to do so.
2. Implementing technology and understanding how to use it
You can invest in the most innovative and powerful piece of software, but it will only make an impact if your team uses it on a daily basis. As a leader, you must devote time and resources to ensure that your company understands the software and uses it for all necessary purposes.
Another problem with technology adoption is identifying software and systems that are compatible with everyone’s devices and work style. Some employees can get used to their previous technology package, and switching to a completely different package can be distracting or even affect productivity. Video tutorials are a common need in such cases.
In addition, there are some technical solutions, such as those that allow home buyers to conduct their own viewings without a real estate agent. These technologies prevent home buyers from paying someone to just drive them around. For smaller businesses and deals, this kind of app can be detrimental to business. Their employees should focus on creating a personal touch.
For larger deals, the outcome is often positive because it reduces the number of hours it takes for both parties to reach an agreement. By keeping the right amount of time with the customer when using technology, deals can be closed.
Related: Moving from Physical to Digital: Technology Transforming the Real Estate Ecosystem
3. Working with customers who are used to paper workflows
Real estate companies handle a variety of different documents and in large volumes. “Old-school” customers may require you to print out all the necessary paperwork and drive them around town to get an autograph and close the deal.
Despite the fact that some of your customers may find this much easier, these old-fashioned ways of closing deals can end up costing your business too much money and time. Informing clients about new opportunities should be common practice for real estate companies. You can easily call customers or send them letters and video tutorials explaining all the steps they need to follow to successfully take the necessary actions on their part.
4. Lack of Personal Communication
One of the biggest drawbacks is the loss of personal contact with a person when you go online. But the introduction of technology does not necessarily mean giving up human connections.
Building the ideal process means not only that established interactions with a team are comfortable, but also that new team members quickly understand the different scenarios of interaction. Any serious business achievement happens when multiple people interact and work together. With live communication you achieve mutual understanding much faster and you understand the wishes of employees. When working from home, each participant in the process knows enough about their tasks, but they may not know about the context in which this task was created. And it is this lack of task context, the context of the company’s life, that is the biggest problem of a distributed team.
Daily meetings, where literally everything can be discussed, is an excellent solution. When everyone understands who is doing what, there is a sense of commitment that is necessary for team building and success. Short reports on the personal performance of each team member help to establish this cohesion.
5. Coordinate with technical teams
When it comes to implementing new solutions, real estate professionals depend on their technical teams. The IT department must be involved in the process from the beginning to ensure that the company chooses the right tools that meet its requirements and integrates with the existing tech stack.
Working together with the IT department ensures a fast and qualitative implementation, together with the adoption of the necessary software and tools.
Related: 5 Myths About Technology The Real Estate Industry Needs To Break
6. Motivate and stimulate the growth of remote employees.
For new team members who have just become familiar with new processes and have worked for less than six months, expectations don’t always match reality. Low motivation and failure to grow can even manifest itself in small things, such as working remotely with more senior team members or using new communication tools. The list of issues looks something like this:
Lack of new experience: A person is tired and wants to grow by taking on new and more complex tasks.
Little attention: In a remote team, an employee has a clear mind and good ideas, but is not active enough or may not stand out, which ultimately undermines motivation.
Lack of communication or problems communicating: There are people for whom high-quality communication within a team is important, even at a distance. If a team is too small or built in a way that is not appropriate for a person, for example, very specific internal etiquette is expected, then this causes a person to “check out”.
Status does not match skills: As a developer develops their skills, their current salary and area of responsibility may no longer be satisfactory. The problem is complicated by the fact that this kind of assessment does not always correspond to immediate reality.
The only way out is proactivity on the part of the manager, team leader or another supervisor. You need to talk to team members to understand their needs and offer new career challenges, improve internal processes and evaluate each employee’s contribution in a timely manner to drive their growth.
Going remotely requires a lot of patience, openness to new experiences and a willingness to take on challenges. After all, you get much more than just a remote team. You get a fully developed remote system that saves you time, money and hassle, while helping to develop your business and introduce new opportunities for employees and customers.