Proptech is crucial to differentiating yourself in the property sector (Proptech trends), and if you're a building manager, you don't want to be left behind. But integrating proptech with your building is a complex process in and of itself, and you need to know how to manage it if you want to maximize proptech return in your buildings. Here are the areas building managers who were effective in ensuring a smooth implementation of our product focused on.
Be critical about the value proposition and the ability to implement. Ask the company for some of their existing customers and contact them to ask about the rollout and experience thus far as a customer. As a lot of these firms are young, make sure they have the infrastructure to deliver on their promises. Does the company have training videos? How quickly do they get support out? How frequently do app bugs lead to non-usability?
Agree on KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) with the provider, and what needs to be achieved by when in order to judge the implementation a success. Agree on how often you will receive reports on how KPIs have been reached from the company. This implies something even more important - your organisation needs to understand what the proptech company is doing, how it adds value, and how the agreed upon KPIs provide a good assessment of the technology. They need to address: whether the product works, whether people are using it, whether it has all the benefits they claimed it would have, and the extent of these benefits.
Pushing for a free trial of the product lets you minimize costs until you know the product delivers on its promise.
Once you agree on a full roll-out; training, testing, and support fees can pile up. Make sure that all additional costs are simple to understand and attribute, and agree on what they will be before starting anything.
Communicating continuously with relevant stakeholders is crucial. If proptech requires either tenants or staff to change their behaviour, eg. an app for tenants to book spaces easily, or an app that makes sorting through packages easy (who came up with that brilliant idea?). Then getting their opinions helps you to determine if the value proposition makes sense - maybe your building doesn't receive that many packages. Once you've adopted a technology, communication is even more important to understand the limits of the product and where and how it needs to be improved.
Decide on how you will evaluate the return of the product. A difficulty with proptech is that much of the value is in enhancing things like customer experience which don't directly impact profits. Plus its hard to attribute a better experience to the impact of a specific product. This may lead building managers to doubt the value it adds, as it's hard to quantify the benefits of Krishnamurti being happy about your building's event organizing platform or of Paola not being frustrated by the difficulty of getting repairs done. The easiest way to get around this is to focus on the concrete, direct returns of proptech.
Using our service as an example, although we reduce errors and waiting times for tenants and help employees save time on boring tasks, we also reduce the labour costs of managing parcels. Comparing the direct cost reduction and the cost of the product is a simple way of assessing the minimum return the product delivers.
Ie. If: the difference in total staff hours per year sorting through packages (before and after Parcel Tracker implementation)*staff salary per hour > annual cost of Parcel Tracker licence, you can be certain that the worst return on our product would still be positive.
From there, comparing data across buildings who have and haven't yet implemented the product allows you to assess the impact of new technology on tenant satisfaction, as long as the new technology is the only change between the two buildings. You can even use this method to determine the extent to which greater satisfaction translates to higher occupancy and retention rates, if you maintain the difference over a longer time period.