Running a $200+ million real estate project in a static spreadsheet often exposes your project to unnecessary risk, delays and budget overruns. Knowing that, why would a savvy real estate developer manage a project of any size in something so inflexible and error-prone?
Relying on traditional cost tracking and project reporting tools and methods - like complex spreadsheets and legacy desktop applications - only makes a real estate professional’s job harder and their projects more vulnerable to potentially catastrophic mistakes.
By better understanding how spreadsheets and legacy applications are letting your team down, you'll notice that a purpose-built solution for developers will set you on the path to delivering projects on-time and on-budget with more visibility and less risk.
Real estate teams that are not using modern technology are:
- Making gut decisions based on static data. This data needs to be manually updated and is quickly outdated, causing decision-making to be challenging and backwards-looking.
- Force-fitting CRE projects into the wrong solution. Spreadsheets are always either too simple to provide any additional analysis for the team or too complicated that only one member of the team --usually a single PM-- can actually navigate it. Using traditional software - that wasn’t created with CRE developers in mind - cannot possibly adapt to the nuances of project delivery.
- Lacking access into historical project data. Real estate teams are leaving money on the table if they aren’t leveraging data from past projects to make informed decisions on their current one.
- Unable to build accurate forecasts for their project or portfolio. This leads to teams acting reactively instead of proactively when faced with unexpected challenges or opportunities, putting a project at risk of running over budget or falling way behind schedule.
- Often finding that information is siloed between departments. This usually involves accounting, project teams, and management, making it difficult for development managers to make informed decisions quickly. With something as time-sensitive as development, these real estate professionals feel pressured to make gut-driven decisions without hard data to back them up.
- Lacking visibility into current project data. Project data often lives as institutional knowledge within the project manager’s mind or in a complex spreadsheet managed by a single person-- either way, both methods are fully dependent on one individual as the source of all project data.
- Lacking product support from their team. There is no one to go to when running into issues with your spreadsheet. Hours are wasted resolving formula errors and building or updating spreadsheets to get to better outcomes.
- Utilizing rigid templates or ad hoc spreadsheets. Each project is managed so differently, without any uniformity, so project teams end up finishing every project with no repeatable process.
- Inevitably running into spreadsheet inconsistencies due to the manual process of data entry. Manual systems and spreadsheets are extremely vulnerable to human error. Inconsistencies lead to necessary and tedious reconciliation, which can take up to a whole afternoon out of a busy PM’s day-- that is time spent fixing an avoidable mistake instead of focusing on the strategic direction of a project or portfolio.
- Having difficulty tracking who has and has not already been paid. Development teams have to go through a long and complex process to review and approve invoices. This process usually involves multiple departments, including accounting, and inevitably leads to delayed information, difficulty tracking and vendors being both over and under paid.
Alternatively, by embracing modern technology, successful real estate project delivery teams have been able to:
- Dramatically increase visibility into a project or portfolio. They have fast, real-time access to all project data - current and historical - to always understand the status of a project and make critical, informed decisions.
- Make forward-looking decisions using an anticipated cost report. Real estate professionals are able to be forward-looking and proactive, making the most informed and data-driven decisions for their projects.
- Utilize purpose-built, adaptable technology. Use technology that services a wide breadth of project sizes (budgets from $100K - $1B+) and types. Finally find a repeatable process that can be applied across projects.
- Leverage valuable, proprietary data from past projects. Easy and fast access to this data is essential to benchmark for better, faster + smarter decision-making across an entire portfolio in real-time.
- Lean on a single source of truth for enhanced collaboration and organization. All team members have access to the necessary information to do their respective jobs, creating greater efficiency and effectiveness when delivering fast-moving, complex projects with hundreds of vendors and many moving parts.
- Gain insight into vendor analytics. These teams are able to manage their vendors in one place and easily check the status of each vendor, with the added bonus of real-time benchmarking.
- Remove information silos between departments. This eliminates the bottlenecks typically associated with constantly having to go through an accounting team to pull project data. This gives development teams the ability to quickly share project details in real-time with management teams, JV partners, clients and other key stakeholders.
- Eliminate data entry and numerous administrative tasks. This takes human error out of the equation and saves project teams from wasting hours reconciling spreadsheets, standing at a printer or compiling lengthy monthly cost reports.
- Smartly index and store all critical documents and data (contracts, invoices, COIs, calculations, etc.). Project teams are able to quickly source information to answer questions and make decisions at every pivotal moment of a project. All members of the team can track, and feel a sense of responsibility over, the budget.
- Gain a dedicated customer success team. When working with a skilled customer success manager, real estate developers essentially gain additional team members to support the delivery of their projects from both a domain and technical perspective.
Real estate project delivery is inherently complex, but it doesn't have to be a headache. De-risk your project by adopting a solution that is purpose-built for owners and developers. Start delivering projects on-time and under budget with ease. Upgrade with Northspyre.