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Taking property management forward; and the gift of real-time insights.

Jamie McDermott 12 May 2017

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Commercial property is undergoing a digital transformation. The introduction of innovative technology is radically changing the industry’s 20th-century business practices. When the world around you is shifting, as it currently is for property management businesses, only by staying up to date with advancements in tech can you benefit from the advantages they provide. They say that the arrival of Big Data means big things for the industry, but what can property managers do with it?


When you boil it down, we only ever make one of two types of decisions;  the gut decision and data decision. The gut decision has served many of us well in the past, but nowadays, is it enough?

Because we are now able to extract and store Big Data about any given property and its lifecycle, the window has been opened for the delivery of real-time insights into a business’s progress.  

The problem with Big Data is, it’s far too vast for any human to sort through and curate. To do so can take months; by the time you receive the feedback from the data, opportunities have been missed; the insights are out of date.

In order to extract real-time, standardised and actionable insights into your property’s performance, you need to adopt some sort of automation software.  Automation enables computers to gather and process information instantly; you can implement changes tomorrow based on feedback from today.

Taking lessons from music

Because the property industry is relatively late to the digital transformation party, we have the benefit of being able to learn from the cautionary tales of industries who have already gone through the process. The best example is the music industry.

The digital transformation of the music industry rattled it to its very core and we saw many well-established brands start to crumble. Why? Because they weren’t paying attention to the changes going on around them. They failed to react and adapt. They rejected technology and ultimately paid the price. Now that the industry has lean into its relationship with technology, it’s beginning, once again, to show growth.

In order for property management to avoid the same turmoil, it’s vital to be aware of, and alert to, the areas in which your business is thriving, and those in which it struggles. Not only do real-time insights help you spot potential, they also reduce risk.

Insights in practice

By looking at the various questions that property managers are asking themselves on a daily basis, we can start to see why automated, real-time insights are proving to be so popular:


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The purpose of real-time insights is to enable property managers to know, in an instant, the answer to all of these questions. More importantly though, is the fact that the answers can change on a daily or weekly basis. What was true yesterday may not be true tomorrow. Automated insights are live, real-time and therefore always up-to-date and trustworthy.

In some ways, it's like the weather

While we can indeed get a half-decent long term weather forecast, nobody is checking the weather on 1st June and then never checking again until July. No, we check it in a daily basis because we know that, while the weather can be in some form, be predicted far in advance, the truth is that it’s fluid and susceptible to change.  Therefore, it’s impossible to accurately predict perfectly long-term forecasts. If you don’t check the weather every day, you’ll likely have no brolly when the rain arrives. The same theory applies to business insights.

Just because we used to make business decisions based on personal experience and gut instinct, we have to consider whether, in this period of digital transformation, it remains the best and most efficient way of doing things. We would all choose a clear picture of the future over a muddy one. Thanks to automated, real-time insights, it seems we finally can.