Finding Focus in Tough Times

With the commercial real estate market facing even more contraction in 2009 and beyond, how can companies devise an effective strategic focus for the future?In today’s industry, a key strategic component is the adoption of a technology-driven approach that builds long-lasting fundamental value.  Executed properly, this strategy can bolster companies in difficult times and set the stage for growth, profit and a competitive edge when conditions improve.Strategic focus areas for technology can incorporate:•    Operational efficiencies and services–including electronic transactions, data centralization and a business-wide management system–that reduce non-value-added actions and lower operational costs;•    Integrated, real-time business intelligence tools that enable smart, timely decisions by coalescing information from multiple sources;•    A sustainability strategy that cuts costs, reduces paper and other resources and drives retention and occupancy rates;•    Accurate formulation of complex valuations that automates regulatory compliance set by the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 157, International Financial Reporting Standards, and other regulations;•    Leveraging technology in an increasingly globalized economy to manage diversified holdings and accommodate an array of currencies, languages and accounting rules.For example, technology can enable all operational information in one database, driving end-to-end efficiency, as well as automating notifications and reporting, cutting the errors and redundancies associated with manual data input.  Advanced analytics tools provide rich business intelligence with full drill-down capability when the data is centralized and in real time, and online procurement options offer workable green solutions and spend management while saving paper previously used in invoicing.A well-planned, well-executed strategy can deliver success in the commercial real estate market, even in challenging times.  Elaboration on technology’s role in each focus area listed above will be presented in future Business Strategies columns.Richard Malpica is vice president and general manager of the Eastern region for Yardi Systems.