It’s never too late to start innovating. Real estate might be taking time to grab the tech bull by its complex horns, but creating new positions during this time of business model disruption can help you ride the wave from the start.
Hiring someone to help your business make better decisions based on information and analytics can transform your company.
Whether it’s at chief level or middle manager, prioritising roles to lead on cloud, mobile, artificial intelligence, and big data initiatives can make stepping into tech less daunting. Don’t be afraid to look outside the real estate sector when hiring, either.
Look at the people within your company and see if you could invest more time into their skills to plug the gap. If not, these are some possible openings that could change everything:
- Chief Technology Officer
Technology is becoming a board-level issue and hiring a CTO can open the door to strategic digital gold. This senior role requires someone who can assess, implement and drive technological innovation – leading the technology department to boost ROI. They’ll stay on top of virtual assets in proptech – cloud technology, big data, the Internet of Things – to make sure your company is reaching its objectives and staying ahead in the property world.
- Database Architect
Paul Jervis is director and software developer at Twelve Oaks Software. He’s spent the past year working as a database architect for a real estate client. “I personally created a bespoke management system that provides different logins for customers, estate agents, risk managers, mortgage lenders, bookkeepers and customer support staff – each viewing only the appropriate data for their use of the system,” he told PlaceTech. “The company now require significantly fewer staff to manage the minute-to-minute operation of the business, allowing the business to take on new customers 24 hours a day.”
Other tangible benefits of database architects entering property companies have been seen by Jervis first-hand. “We create systems for estate agents to carry out all kind of tasks: managing agents in multiple offices, assigning jobs to perform, comparing asking prices to final prices. We give them platforms to run their business using accurate data from a variety of sources – whether that’s replacing paper notes with searchable digital notes or inventory photographs digitally associated to a property that can be pulled up on phones, computers and tablets.”
- Chief Data Officer
Putting someone in charge of all this data – not just for governance, but to create value for your business and customers – is critical to evolve in the PropTech world. Keith Jones, head of commercial services at Skanska, talks of the rise of the CDO in other industries in this thought-leader piece for RICS. “When will we get a CDO at a major property company?” he says. “A lot of major industries are starting to recognise the importance of data as an asset in their business.”
- Mobile Application Developer
From ‘Tinder for home-buying’ to the revolutionary Hive, innovative apps are setting the bar in the property market. Launching a genuinely useful mobile application can set you soaring ahead of competitors, helping you to run your company better and improve customer experience. Bringing a master mobile app developer in to specifically develop software for your business is a good place to start.
- Big Data Engineer
More than half of real estate players surveyed in the KPMG Global PropTech Survey 2017 said their business was most likely to adopt big data and analytics in the next three years. Employing a big data engineer can help property developers, agents and investors identify trends, risks and opportunities in the market. There are plenty of ways to get started with big data technology, but not always the time to do it. Bringing in an expert who knows their Hadoops from their Mongos can wash away a lot of headaches and fire up real, measurable business value.
With smart minds working innovative software, real estate businesses can increase staff productivity, predict customer traits, and enjoy one single system that handles many of their tasks. Needless to say, big data engineers, database architects, CTOs and other PropTech pros are increasingly valuable assets to bring on board.