Adapting to new ways of working can be challenging. Especially for busy real estate project teams managing innumerable moving parts (vendors, financial partners, clients, budget lines, monthly cost reports… the list continues).
While some project managers and senior leaders find themselves on-site and out of the office to ensure their projects are running smoothly, most teams typically operate day-to-day out of a physical office space.
These office-based teams work on fundamental project deliverables like monitoring key tasks and milestones while driving progress toward them, creating monthly draw requests/ cost reports, negotiating with hard and soft cost vendors, maintaining detailed budgets and cost forecasts, sharing institutional knowledge, etc. It is important for them to be able to rely on the resources and knowledge-sharing integral to the collaborative process of running complex projects.
Shifting these teams and their complex processes to at-home working conditions can understandably be intimidating.
Keeping entire teams connected, motivated and moving projects forward while they work from different locations - or even time zones - requires flexibility and determination. Senior leaders need visibility into what’s happening on a project to make fast decisions and project managers need consistent access to project details to maintain complex budgets and schedules.
Also, key project stakeholders - lenders, vendors, clients - are also navigating remote working conditions and may be looking to project teams to create structure in a more ambiguous environment.
Looking to increase your work-from-home productivity and keep your team operating at full tilt? See below for the top ways to keep remote teams executing on even the most complex real estate projects.
Enhance Visibility, Communication and Information Sharing
- Double down on best practices: clear, consistent communication is the cornerstone to your team’s and project’s success.
- Utilize video conferencing tools to mimic in-person meetings and keep your team engaged.
- Move beyond email and employ direct messaging platforms for faster and more responsive communication and information sharing.
- Take a modern approach to project management by pivoting from your static spreadsheets and legacy software to cloud-based technology to bring control, clarity and visibility to your formerly sprawling workflows.
- Ensure collaboration is seamless with easy access to project data, reporting and back-up documentation from a centralized, cloud-based database - no matter a team’s location. Don’t leave your project’s potential success in the file cabinet or stuck in the stack of invoices, change orders and other paperwork on your office desk!
- Prioritize transparency across your internal team by leveraging real-time dashboards to avoid confusion, information silos and inaccuracies in project reporting.
- Make sure different team members (project executives, financial partners, clients, project managers and other key stakeholders) have access to critical information tailored to their role, so they can make data-driven decisions at a distance.
Focus on Accountability
- Maintaining accountability can be difficult for traditional project teams without clear visibility into individuals’ workflows or in-person check-ins. Leverage intelligent technology that offers digital dashboards and tracks key metrics to make sure stakeholders are held accountable to - and executing on - every task, milestone, financial deliverable and budget outcome.
- Empower project managers with the tools they need to continue doing their job. Ease administrative burdens and lessen reliance on traditional office equipment (like copy machines, scanners and printers needed to compile draw requests and other reports) with digitized and automated workflows, keeping everyone on point and projects moving forward.
Demonstrate Control, Stability and Accuracy
- Build credible, data-driven forecasts to account for potential challenges and opportunities, while informing the strategic direction of your (or your client’s) project.
- Accurate forecasting is even more critical during times of uncertainty. Being able to understand the impact a worst case scenario - unforeseen disaster, large market swing, global sourcing issue, etc. - may have on your business, project or portfolio will make you more decisive, strategic and successful in weathering the storm.
- Keep all hard and soft cost vendors, architects and engineers focused and motivated by providing a financially stable environment and paying invoices on time.
- Demonstrate your ability to remain a meticulous financial steward of your lender’s or JV partner’s investment with consistent, accurate and sophisticated reporting.
- Reassure clients that you are focused on the success of their project by emphasizing accuracy of reporting, providing timely, data-driven updates and sharing comprehensive executive summaries, as needed.
Think Outside the Box
- Be patient, thorough and proactive. Use modern tools and techniques to meet and exceed key stakeholders’ expectations, boost your competitive edge and keep projects moving forward - even during times of uncertainty.
Successful teams must stay flexible, adapt to change rapidly and stay nimble. Teams that can seamlessly transition from in-office to remote work without skipping a beat will not only impress financial partners, executive teams and clients, but will ensure that employees remain committed and able to deliver projects successfully.
Learn how having the right technology in place can ease a remote work transition and support your business in both times of change and “business as usual”. Upgrade with Northspyre.