Digitization and innovation are not the strongest characteristics of the real estate sector. This became very clear once again on March 16, 2020, when our prime minister urgently advised all of us to start working from home. It took 2 months for some parties to set up an account with Zoom, Teams, Meet of Whereby and to adapt the protocols to remote working. Aw!
When I was talking to administrators and investors, everyone was super busy. Retail was busy with crisis management, ‘offices’ with being able to return to the office safely and ‘living’ with selling and renting houses, because the last asset class has not ‘yet’ been touched by COVID-19.
People are so busy running the day-to-day business that there is no time for the innovation projects that had been started. With arguments such as: “That doesn’t work with the people sitting at home” or “I’m so busy with a remote organization right now that I’d rather need a few hands extra than think about making the process more efficient” or “The MT only makes the much-needed decisions. Innovation is postponed until we can come back to the office”. Wow!
Personally, I think this is the perfect crisis for a pit stop.
Of course, the business and daily operations just have to keep going. However, we have time left, namely all travel time! For fun, add up the travel time of your organization (including home-work). Exactly! We have time to innovate on product, process and business model.
Innovation and technology have come to the top of the agenda in recent years. We’ve been swamped with events, articles, blogs and vlogs. There just wasn’t time for action. So grab it now! Especially now that the world around you is slowing down a bit. There is a reason for Max entering the pit lane at the first yellow flag.
Everyone is in safetycar mode, so why not follow up on optimizing or renewing your proposition?
Moreover, making your internal processes smarter and checking with each other whether the ancient business model of a transaction fee is still the right one?
As a technology party, we have done this ourselves. We, too, have had some time left since 16 March and have started to pay extra attention on working smarter, by improving our Agile Scrum way of working. We started innovating on our proposition by, for example, adding a data studio and data consultancy. And yes, we also re-examined our business model.
We did the same with the new board of the community HPP-C&I of Holland Property Plaza. We replaced the former abbreviation of ‘Construction and Industry’ with ‘Connect and Innovate’. Four times a year, we want to tackle a relevant theme. After a short inspirational bite, we want to have an in-depth discussion and come up with means on product, process and business model innovation which could be effective across the entire sector.
In short, what’s stopping you?! Grab this moment as your competition enters safety-car mode. Take your time for an innovation pit stop and…
break out with a totally optimized or renewed organization soon after this global crisis.
This way, you can accelerate exponentially, where your competition will continue floating numbly.
DISCLAIMER: Probably you do not feel addressed at all, because you are innovating right now! For the sake of simplicity I’m now putting all real estate agents, property managers and asset managers on the same page. Fortunately, there are exceptions where you belong!
Board member Holland Property Plaza C&I