How to Get Commercial Real Estate Pros to Actually Use New Technology January 15, 2015 | Samantha Dubrow

Over the last month, there has been a lively conversation on LinkedIn, discussing how to get people to actually use new technology, specifically in commercial real estate. We seem to be quick to adopt new technology in our personal lives, but less willing to adopt it at work. As a manager, this may be concerning as you try to keep your team progressive and productive.

The Case of Technology in Commercial Real Estate

In commercial real estate, it seems that no one wants to be the first to adopt new technology. In the industry, we have consistently seen new processes implemented as the result of two situations: either competitors are doing it, or tenants are demanding it. Otherwise, there is no incentive to move away from current practices.

 

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Although the cost of technology continues to decrease, it still isn’t free, and even though technology is easy to use, there is still a learning curve. So, there are a few things that need to happen to push your team over the edge and convince them it’s time to try a new tool.

 

Three-Step Formula For Adoption of New Technology

 

Step 1: Awareness
First things first: before end-users think about implementing a new technology, they need to know it exists. As a manager, it is your job to find out what’s available and bring the best options back to your team.

 

Step 2: Education
Oftentimes, people may know that a technology exists, but not why it exists. End-users need to be educated on how a new tool is going to help with their bottom line before they will start asking how it works, or how they can get started.
When you find a new tool, be sure to demonstrate how it’s going to make your employees’ jobs easier, save the company money, or increase tenant satisfaction in real estate.

 

Step 3: Evangelism
In order for an organization to successfully adopt a new tool, there needs to be someone to take ownership of its implementation into daily routines.

 

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You should find one person on the team who is excited about the new technology, and teach them enough so they can speak highly of it and demonstrate how others can use it.

 

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Technology Must Facilitate the Process, Not Change It

When you try to show someone that a new tool will make their job easier, save them time, and be easy to learn, they’re usually still not interested. Why is that? Why wouldn’t people want to replace their tried and true systems with new technology that can automate their current processes, opening time for more important things? Well, at the end of the day, it seems that people don’t like change, especially in their daily work routines.

 

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Your employees don’t want to waste time learning new tools, and likely, neither do you.
Joe Rando, a commenter on the LinkedIn discussion from Trade Area Systems, left an interesting testimonial. He said someone once told him, “You know what’s great about your system? You made the technology match our process. Everyone else wanted us to change our process to match the technology.”

People want tools that will make their jobs easier, not obsolete. A tool that tries to radically alter the way your team operates simply won’t pass.

A new tool, no matter how simple, will always have a learning curve, and it’s hard to find time in our busy days to commit to training. However, as technology continues to advance, these tools will be the key to holding advantages over competitors and keeping up with demands from tenants and clients.

Need help picking the right tool and implementing it across your team? Download our checklist for everything you need to consider!
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About The Author

When Samantha isn’t writing for the blog or managing our HR like a champ, she studies Organizational Psychology at George Washington University.