On the frontline: why big business needs to harness innovation before it fades

Equiem Marketing
January 11, 2018

Just because something has stood the test of time doesn’t mean it’s the only or most efficient way to do it. There are countless examples of traditional practices that have had a welcome refresh in modern years – imagine if we had never questioned dial-up internet, landlines, or polyphonic ringtones?

In the property management sector, technologies are appearing every day that truly transform our operations for the better. Keeping up with these innovations to improve our value propositions and make tenants’ lives easier. For example, smart real estate search engines are saving tenants hours of office space search time by helping tailor search results to meet their stringent criteria.

But the world is ever-accelerating. For years, philosophers like Elbert Hubbard have been warning that “the man who says it can’t be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it.”

In 2014, Facebook acquired Oculus Rift - an investment of $2bn in Virtual Reality. This was before the industry took off and there were no shortage of critics. But now, the market is set to top $40.4bn by 2020, and Facebook’s proactive innovation looks like it will pay off.

We need to be innovating while the innovation occurs – before another takes its place and we find ourselves in a world of legacy systems and outdated practices. This means not just investigating, but implementing tech offerings, marketing trends and management solutions as soon as they prove their worth.

Lessons from the technology realm

Staying afloat in competitive arenas requires future-proofed solutions – the risks associated with the old way are just too obvious to ignore. Efficiency is key for big businesses, and old systems take an army of people to sustain. But it’s not just about productivity: implementing up-to-date technology helps mitigate unnecessary security and reputational risks too.

For example, businesses in over 150 countries were affected by two massive cybercrime attacks last year – WannaCry and Petya. Negligence to standardise and update software is noted as a core cause - a simple example of how falling behind can have negative impacts.  

Some of the world’s market-leading corporations have experienced more substantial downfalls in light of their inability to evolve. Early smartphone innovator Blackberry saw their shares drop from $150 to $9 in recent years after a lack of evolution as competitors like Apple soared. Conversely, Google and Samsung did respond quickly, overtaking Apple in many regards.

Even when things seem efficient, it is important to note that we are in the midst of the fastest moving tech era yet. It would be remiss to devalue the effects that new innovations may have on your field in coming months or years - including in property.

One of the other drivers for legacy migration (replacing old systems with the latest technology) is that it opens up opportunities for integration with other innovations, too. Our CTO Julian Boot suggests that “if your technology is up to date across the board, it will be a whole lot easier to integrate innovations that your clients really want and need.” It’s a plan for the future, not just for now.

Talking about a reputation

Investing in new technologies isn’t just for fun – innovations are usually invented as a solution to a problem. For example, free WiFi in lobbies has welcomed a whole new paradigm of connection, mobility and productivity. Imagine, then, the frustration of walking into a building and discovering that there isn’t free WiFi. Especially in demand-driven industries like property, tenants will champion spaces that are implementing available innovations.

Some of our favourite property technologies are revolutionising the way tenants search for properties; the way employees manage their newfound flexible work environments; and the way safety and sustainability technologies are integrated into the building - all increasingly major concerns for the workforce. Catering to the changing needs of your audience and community is the only way to stay ahead.

Can you hear the people sing?

If you want to win the war for talent and attract or retain quality tenants, evolution is compulsory. Why? Well, the talent itself is evolving. New generations, new technologies and new demands are entering every sphere of the property market – and those attempting to keep their commercial workplaces ahead of the curve are going to have to stay on the frontlines.

When Equiem was founded, the concept of PropTech didn’t exist, FinTech was years away and UberEats was a distant pipedream. Now we’re needing to innovate not only to meet the needs of our tenants, but to stay ahead of the market. Proactive action was key, as Malcolm Bane once said that “if you wait until you can do everything for everybody, instead of something for somebody, you'll end up not doing anything for anybody.”

The clock is ticking. In fact, someone’s probably inventing a way to get it to tick faster. Communities and buildings need to start innovating with what’s on offer, improving their value propositions and expanding innovative capabilities with the future in mind.

If you’re looking for innovative property management solutions that set your environment up for ultimate tenant satisfaction and engagement, get in touch with Equiem today.

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