Guest Author: Ron Rossi, Vice President of Customer Success, RealPage IMS
We hosted a webinar about technology implementation and best practices that commercial real estate companies should be paying attention to in order to see success with new tech endeavors. The webinar was moderated by Ron Rossi, who was joined by panelists Michael Zazzaro, Senior Associate with AION Partners, Ian Marlow, CEO with FITECH Consultants, and John Olson, Director of Real Estate Solutions with AvidXchange.
There are several different stages involved in a successful software implementation, and the panel was composed of industry professionals who bring a unique perspective from each stage. They spoke about the initial decision-making process, which leads to partnering with the right technology provider. Once the decision is made, the implementation process commences, and ultimately strong adoption will yield a return on the investment.
The positive impact that technology can make in commercial real estate is certainly driving companies to seek tech solutions. However, there are some macro forces that are causing companies to take the initiative to automate their business. John described how companies and people are shaping demand for real time, mobile access to information. That leads to outsourcing, which enables companies to better compete and to position their people in roles that add value.
As companies grow and try to be more efficient, they increasingly embrace technology as a tool to improve processes and solve problems. Michael has seen AION Partners grow exponentially over the past few years. His experience as an end user and commercial real estate owner is invaluable. Michael and his firm have been able to grow and be successful because of the tech stack they have built and continue to build. “It is so important to partner with technology providers,” said Michael, adding that “building a complete tech stack is very much like putting a puzzle together”.
Ron and Ian have a great appreciation for helping firms put these puzzles together. Ian and FITECH pride themselves on working closely with their clients to shape an ERP or Enterprise Resource Planning ecosystem. This is made up of many solutions, and choosing the best vendor partner is critical. Ron and the RealPage IMS team work closely with clients to set expectations upfront that positions them as a strategic partner that will add long-term business value.
However, there are a few things that can derail a technology project. Fifty-two percent will go over budget, will not be implemented on-time, or will deliver less functionality than expected. Therefore, setting mutual expectations between the software provider and the client upfront is important to a successful project. Adoption is tantamount to a successful onboarding and will ultimately lead to a strong return on the investment. Michael and Ron shared some tips to ensure everyone adopts and utilizes the software. Michael spoke of some things that AION has done such as cultivating a forward-thinking tech culture, communicating the processes and problems they are trying to improve upon or solve, and committing to training.
Ron emphasized the close relationship RealPage IMS has with its clients and how training videos, webinars, and detailed notes about features and releases enhance utilization. Software that is intuitive and provides a great user experience is more widely adopted. Partnering with software providers that are innovative and build a product with the clients’ business needs in mind will naturally be more easily and widely adopted. The resulting investment in a well thought out tech stack can be measured in many ways.