It’s often said that knowledge is power, so the idea of sharing knowledge can be a scary prospect.
Between the key relationships formed over many years of business, alongside connections made and knowledge acquired at countless industry events and global business trips, there can be a natural reluctance to share valuable contacts and information. After all, it takes a huge amount of time and effort to build that knowledge base, and to make those connections.
The case can be made that if you, and only you, hold the information providing value to your organisation, you are indispensable. But you may be missing out on a whole other realm of opportunity by keeping your cards close to your chest. Real estate is as much as ever a people business, however, technology now enables us to translate our valuable contacts and relationships in the form of data into real power.
Suppose you no longer view your power in silo but understand your potential as a collaborative. This will enable you to unlock new possibilities and ways of working that empower both you and your organisation to take your business to the next level. Afterall, many heads are better than one.
Pools vs Silos
When knowledge is in silos, it is limited by however many people or data points feed into that silo. And limited data means a limited picture.
Pools, by their nature, involve many more inputs and thus gather a much larger quantity of data, giving you greater access to insight and a high-definition picture to work from.
Let’s say you’re looking to make an offer on an asset and want to check what similar nearby assets have sold for. You check your comparables database but it’s only as useful as the data that’s been collected.
When in silos, this database is limited or drawn from generic sources that all serve the same data, which tend to be data-poor and unreliable.
When data is pooled, comparable information is collected by the whole team, from deal offers, brochures, registry checks, etc, amalgamating the shared knowledge of the team and giving you access to not only your view of the market, but that of your entire organisation. That’s a much wider view than you ever had before.
When everyone is feeding into a data pool, rather than managing their own data in silos, we begin to create a single source of truth, cutting down the time it takes to access data and preventing errors and duplicates.
Freeing ourselves from the responsibility of owning data and contributing to a shared pool of knowledge is time saved providing updates and time spent developing relationships and building deals, things that ultimately drive the business forward.
An offer list is being put together to be reviewed by the board. You want to include a mixed-use asset and need to check if any other departments are also planning to bid on it. You email each department individually to check if it’s on their radar.
You may get a quick response but not everyone gets back to you in time. You wonder whether you should add it to the list and risk being in conflict with another department or wait until the next board update to put it forward and risk losing valuable time.
Lack of transparency between teams creates delays and barriers, often increasing admin and filling up inboxes unnecessarily. With access to information on the fly, teams can eradicate the need to update each other frequently and instead spend time doing what’s really important.
Faster, Smarter Teams
When teams are able to work transparently, the way they work begins to evolve. Many old, cumbersome processes are now as simple as a click of a button, and with access to the same knowledge pool, teams can work faster without being laboured by convoluted reporting processes.
With faster, smarter teams the volume of output increases dramatically as a result of less dependencies, delays, and distractions.
It’s end-of-quarter reporting and data needs to be pulled together from various sources. You ask the teams to update you with their figures and suddenly everyone is busy pulling information and updating spreadsheets.
Even when all this eventually comes together, the data needs to be sorted and provided in a presentable format. This time-consuming process can take weeks.
When everyone’s data is captured together in software such as Coyote, you can run a report at the click of a button, saving you and your team time and hassle. In a matter of seconds, you can generate a bespoke, branded report, providing you with a clearer picture of the market and your portfolio.
Strength in Numbers
By sharing knowledge, we start to see a culture form where teams are freed from data processing and have more time to develop business opportunities.
With everyone now contributing to the knowledge pool, there are more ideas, energy, and resources generated to propel strategies and tactics forward.
A potential tenant has approached you asking for a special rate. You know they have business in other areas, but the prospective unit is especially large. They are either planning to upsize and want a discount, or they plan to consolidate and save money.
Because you and your team have been logging all of your tenancy data, you have a virtual CRM database you can search, helping you to interrogate every aspect of the deal.
You can bring up this information using search and filter options, such as; tenant name, unit size, location, and sector. Now you can see all the other units being rented and at what rent. It becomes clear they want to consolidate and so you decline their request for a special rate.
What if the next time you make a valuable connection at an industry event, or bump into an old friend who divulges key information about, say, a new portfolio of properties up for sale (which might not suit your current needs but could benefit a colleague), rather than making a note of it, you could log that information directly into Coyote?
It’s these small but crucial cultural adjustments that save you valuable time, and strengthen your organisation’s market intel, whilst ensuring that deals don’t get missed and can be acted upon swiftly.
This move towards more connected, cooperative teams sets a precedent that will make it increasingly tough for siloed organisations to succeed.
We must no longer view ourselves as kings of data but of data as king. Yes, this requires a mindset shift but once you unlock its true potential, your organisation will reap the benefits. Afterall, to be truly competitive in today’s global economy requires a pooling of knowledge and data. When utilised to its full potential, the insights that data provides will open up a whole new world of opportunity.
James is Head of Enterprise Sales at Coyote Software, where he works closely with investment and asset management teams to help integrate technology solutions into the commercial real estate industry.