If you missed the CRETech Business Summit, don't worry. We compiled some highlights. LoanBoss founder JP Conklin had the opportunity to join the panel discussing the future of investment decisions in the commercial real estate industry, and it comes down to one word: software.
Discussion on this panel began with how software can use data to provide valuable insights. You can dive into submarket analysis, marketing as a revenue lever, all the calculations surrounding your loans and hedges, and you can have answers in less than the time it would have taken you to hunt down the details - nevermind dedicating the time and resources it would take to perform the analysis yourself.
Real estate tech is entering its second chapter (or "Real Estate Tech 2.0" as the panelists would say), and COVID might be the catalyst. In March 2020, the world was flipped on its head and every employee was forced to reevaluate their workflow. Working remotely with just you, your laptop, and every at-home distraction, you can't travel as readily as you have in the past or just walk over to your colleague's desk when you need something. And we all know the pain of phone tag. This drag on productivity shed a light on a need for centralization and accessibility of information, and these panelists saw an opportunity to solve this new issue.
Insert: software. The right debt management platform can hold all your data in one place for the whole company to access, provide live updates so that you can stay in front of a problem instead of trailing behind it, and can transform your data into a strategic tool for your team with quick insights performed in minutes.
One thing the panelists addressed is that with all these benefits is a cost of entry. But to leap forward with the times, you might have to pay it.
"Data is the new oil. You need it in order for everything to run smoothly and efficiently, but it requires some setup. To get the oil, you need the pipelines and the gas stations."
- Michael Pearce, CEO of Predictre
Cleaning and organizing data is admittedly the hardest part of centralizing it, but the right team will turn the pain into painless - at least, that's what JP would say. And because of these panelists' expertise and background in the industry, they understand the pain points and the best ways to help firms address them.
We may be biased, but overall, our favorite segment of the panel was on how historical financing decisions can now be analyzed and dissected under a magnifying glass, and all before lunchtime. JP offered his all-time favorite example of this capability for a LoanBoss client who wanted to know what they could be doing better in future financing decisions. Because we already had the information for their previous loans and hedges at our fingertips, we performed an autopsy. Turns out, the 10 year fixed rate deal that felt like a safe go-to for them was actually costing them. The data showed that they prepayed around the 7 year mark on average, and LoanBoss quantified how much money they left on the table from term mismatch alone. Going forward, that company is doing what all CRE companies should do:
- Make a financing checklist based on the analysis of historical financing.
- Save millions
What's next in chapter 3 of real estate tech? The panelists agreed there is so much opportunity for commercial real estate software solutions that the sheer amount of platforms available could easily transform a team member's job from chasing deals to managing tech, but the last thing people need is loss of efficiency because of too many solutions.
Insert: APIs. Or at least we know that's where LoanBoss is headed. If you work out of an accounting software like Yardi, MRI, RealPage, etc, you might be interested in hearing about the future of automated lender reporting. The gist: say goodbye to those time-consuming NOI adjustments and DSCR/DY tests.
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