Have you ever laughed off a comment about robots taking your job only to lie in bed that night thinking… but what if they do?

Don’t worry, the world will always need highly skilled real estate developers -- especially the ones that are forward-thinking and adaptive. These CRE professionals are not only safe from being replaced by a robot - or, more specifically, by artificial intelligence (AI) - but they are positioned to actually employ modern technology and use it to their advantage.

Artificial intelligence isn’t something to be feared or ignored. In fact, owners and developers that recognize the opportunity in automation and machine learning will exceed expectations and set a new norm for real estate development project delivery. 

Automation and AI paves the way for day-to-day development firms to become industry legends instead of failed, forgotten organizations. 

As of now, modern, cloud-based technology gives innovative, tech-savvy firms a competitive advantage over their spreadsheet-centric competitors. These teams are able to complete projects with:

  • Increased visibility and less administrative work 
  • Access to real-time data and historical project data
  • Direct management of sources and uses and any changes that may occur over the lifetime of a project 

This enables them to complete their projects within specific - and often expedited - timelines, be more informed throughout the process, be more strategic and intentional in their decisions, and ultimately realize higher returns. 

Although this is the case now, in 5 years or less, it won’t be a question of if you should innovate or not; it will be a matter of what will happen if traditional real estate teams choose not to adopt sophisticated tools and solutions. Financial partners will look elsewhere, leaving traditional teams unable to secure capital for new development projects. Staff will leave for more innovative firms that provide them with more interesting work and better growth opportunities. As an owner’s rep, clients will look past traditional firms for a more modern partner that utilizes their time and capital more effectively. 

Don’t lose out to competitors that simply moved faster than your firm did to embrace the technological shift in CRE. Complement the deep institutional knowledge, leading reputation and strategic abilities of your team with purpose-built technology and AI to transform the way you deliver projects. Choosing to ignore technology will only put your firm at an inherent disadvantage by exasperating the traditional, age-old challenges of:

  • Labor-intensive tracking- manually organizing invoices, proposals, and change orders from 50-100 vendors is not only incredibly time consuming, but also leads to disorganization and budget oversights. 
  • Error-prone spreadsheets- small spreadsheet errors in calculations or data entry can lead to a domino effect of budget misallocations and delays, taking hours, if not days, to find and reconcile those errors.
  • Data entry and administrative tasks- the process of manually entering data into spreadsheets and other tedious tasks - including printing, scanning, copying, collating and compiling a monthly cost report - consume hours out of every work day and can easily be automated
  • Lack of consistency- being unable to repeat a process from one project to another and expect the same results is not a current reality in the CRE industry-- at least not without sophisticated data tracking technology 
  • Lack of visibility- whether project data lives with the accounting team or as institutional knowledge within your project managers’ mind, it is decentralized and difficult to quickly access, making it more likely for team members to make gut-driven decisions

Being an industry leader means constantly taking a hard look at your business and finding ways to stay competitive. Prioritizing innovation and remaining open to new, modern technology will ensure that these pain points become issues of the past. 

The commercial real estate industry is at a turning point and “robots” are the future. How they fit into a historically “filing cabinet and spreadsheet” industry is up to you. If done right, automation, artificial intelligence, machine learning and cloud-based technology will take much of the gut-driven decision-making and guesswork out of project delivery, enabling your team to be more targeted, proactive, data-driven and achieve easier, more predictable outcomes. An advanced, purpose-built solution for developers can: 

  • De-risk your project delivery
  • Provide real-time access to critical project data - both historical and current - for more informed decision-making
  • Increase visibility into a project’s or portfolio’s status 
  • Strengthen trust and credibility with key stakeholders, including financial partners, executive teams or clients 
  • Decrease current overhead costs tied to tedious administrative work
  • Increase returns
  • Build accurate forecasts to better navigate potential challenges and opportunities 
  • Offer insight into all budget changes and potential inconsistencies before it’s too late
  • Leverage automation to cut down on up to 30% of administrative tasks 

It’s time to let artificial intelligence, machine learning, automation and “robots” handle the low-level work currently bogging down smart development teams.

Real estate developers should be focusing their time on the strategic direction of their projects and on achieving easier, more predictable outcomes. This is possible when the correct technology is paired with the best industry expertise - not when that expertise is replaced by technology. 

A purpose-built digital project assistant can make this a reality.

Curious to learn more about how AI is a friend, not a foe? Upgrade with Northspyre.