Is Your Technology Holding You Back?

Find out if your technology is holding you back, and how you can move forward with the everchanging technological landscape.
is your technology holding you back?
Jeff Weiner

Jeff Weiner

CEO & Co-Founder | Transforming Commercial Real Estate Valuation | B2B SaaS Product Innovator | Creating Amazing Software from Zero to Scale | Longevity Enthusiast

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Is Your Technology Holding You Back?

The Appraisal Institute held the 2018 Leadership Development and Advisory Council (LDAC) conference in Washington D.C. May 16 through 18.  The event brings together 100 appraisers from around the country to brainstorm ideas on how to improve the profession.  They also spent time educating lawmakers (lobbying) on Capitol Hill. While lobbying is an important part of the LDAC event, the high level discussions about the future of the industry is the driving force behind the conference.  The topics of discussion focused on different aspects of the industry. However, the majority of the discussions came back to two main topics: growing the industry and technology. As it turns out, these ideas are so interconnected that the main point was more like “growth through technology.” For those who don’t have current tools, is your technology holding you back?

Technology Helped Get Us This Far

Like most industries, improving technology has made appraisal significantly more efficient.  Just think of how much technology has already sped up the typical appraiser’s workflow.  Not too long ago appraisers had to go to the courthouse to get property data, sale data, and mapping information.  They also had to take pictures, get them developed, and physically paste them to the report page.  Through improvements in technology, we no longer have to take these steps.  Our work process is streamlined compared to those days.

Improvements in efficiency means that appraisals can be completed faster today than they could in the past.  Assignments that used to take a week, now take three days.  This allows appraisers to complete significantly more work in the same amount of time that they did only a decade ago.  Even though fees have not gone up, the potential productivity of an appraiser is higher since assignments can be completed quicker.  Therefore, even though fees have been stagnant or even slightly down, the productivity on a per hour basis has gone up.

Big Firms: “Join Us, We Have Tech to Make You Faster.”

There has been a growth of national appraisal companies over the past few years.  National brands have always been around (i.e. Cushman & Wakefield, CBRE and IRR).  But over the last few years, new ones emerged.  Now, we have Colliers, JLL, Valbridge, Newmark Knight Frank, BBG and more.  The pitch to join one of these companies and franchises usually involves their superior technology to some degree.

Having superior technology allows lucky users to work more efficiently.  The reason these national firms have been able to support advances in technology is through the size of their companies.  They invest some capital in an IT staff working on improving their workflow.

This is not a feasible model for small and medium size firms.  So the question becomes, how can smaller local and regional firms compete on the same level as the large firms?  The answer has to be through technology.  However, it is not through the traditional means of hiring an IT staff, and building a product to improve the workflow.  This is a very expensive model that only works for the large companies.

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Get The Best Technology and a Lean Operation

The answer for my company, Keller, Craig and Associates, was to participate in the development of a new appraisal software product called realquantum. We’ve been using realquantum since the beginning of 2018, and we believe that it has advantages compared to all of the other commercial real estate database and report writing solutions available today – including those at national firms. Using this software helps us to keep our overhead low by cutting out some of the cost layers that can exist at some larger firms.

Taking advantage of the most up-to-date report-writing technology and cloud-native comps database also helps us raise our productivity versus firms similar in size to us that have not implemented new technology.  In fact, we would argue that we get the best of both worlds. Using software that was created from the ground up with the latest technology, we get powerful technology like a big company, but a simple org structure with lean overhead like a small one.

That leads me back to the title of this blog.  Is technology (or the lack of it) holding you back?  Whether you are part of a large firm or a 1-person shop, the current state of your technology is either helping you quickly deliver accurate, quality commercial appraisal reports or your aging toolset is slowing you down versus other appraisers.

If you would like to learn more about how realquantum can help your firm grow through technology with the best commercial real estate appraisal software available, schedule a demo today.

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