4 Ways to Ensure Your CRE Software Purchase is Approved By Year-End

The holidays are quickly approaching and we know what that means – the new year is just around the corner. Commercial real estate executives across the globe are already preparing organizational strategies and budgets for next year, which means if you want to implement a new enterprise software next year, your purchase needs to be approved ASAP.

If this is a decision you’re only considering now, you’re already behind the eight-ball. Forward-thinking landlords and brokers have already invested in technology solutions like leasing and asset management software and are achieving valuable business results – including reduced deal cycle times and increased deal conversions.

Assuming you realize this and have identified the business challenge you want to solve with a commercial real estate software platform, you’ve got a small window to get the purchase approved and be in a position to roll it out in 2019. Here are four tips to get your purchase approved as quickly as possible.

1. Know what your commercial real estate software is going to cost

It may sound obvious, but in order to secure budget for your technology spend, you actually need to know what it costs. Not just what it costs in general, but what it costs for your specific company. Different vendors have different pricing models. For example, at VTS, we price by square footage, so cost will vary from portfolio to portfolio (talk to our team to find out more about VTS pricing).

If you charge ahead without a budget, you could end up investing your time and energy into a solution that wasn’t an option for your company to begin with. Pin down the specific costs associated with your intended commercial real estate software purchase(s), so you can use an accurate figure in discussions with your team.

2. Know the business case for this expense

Your executives are already setting their goals and initiatives for the upcoming year, so you want this investment to be incorporated into their plans. Therefore, you need to build a business case that spells out to your leadership team how this investment will benefit your company. They’re going to want to understand:

  • What is the problem or need you’re trying to solve for?
  • Have you considered all possible alternatives?
  • What is the cost of the investment, including pricing, and internal resources?
  • How will you roll it out – how long will it take, what resources will you need?
  • What are the benefits of the software – Both financial and non-financial?
  • Are there any risks? How will you mitigate them?
  • What is the risk if you don’t implement this software?

If you can’t communicate this clearly, it’s going to be difficult to get your purchase approved before year-end.

3. Get your internal champions and stakeholders on board

With an accurate price point and business case established, you need to get your team onboard with a technology purchase. These days, it’s rare that an enterprise software decision is made by one individual – usually a buying committee represented by different key stakeholders is involved. As the person driving this purchase, you need to make sure you have key decision makers excited about implementing and adopting a new software, and armed with all the information required to make a decision. You should establish clear objectives for the software early on, so everyone involved understands what you’re hoping to gain from this investment. It’s also critical to have a C-level executive who will advocate for the investment and its associated ROI on your side.

At the same time, identify any stakeholders who aren’t onboard and work with them to figure out why. A loud minority can often overcome a quiet majority, so it’s important to understand their concerns and work through them. Schedule time for them to meet with the vendor in order to ask questions and get a demo of the product. They’ll get to see it in action, so they can learn about the product and see how it will benefit your organization. Getting everyone onboard now will lead to more use of the product, and ultimately, a quicker return on this investment in 2019.

4. Prepare for implementation in 2019

Once your purchase is approved, there’s no reason to wait, so start preparing to roll out the technology as soon, and as effectively, as possible. You don’t gain any value from a piece of technology simply by purchasing it, you receive value from a successful implementation and adoption by key users. And remember, it will likely take some time to upload your deal, lease, and tenant data into the system, so the sooner you can start that process, the sooner you’ll be using and generating value from your software.

If you want to implement CRE technology in 2019, conversations need to be happening now

If you can get your budget approved and organization prepared now, you’ll be well on your way to joining thousands of modern landlords who have transformed their processes through technology. Even respondents to Deloitte’s 2019 Outlook know “the alternative to proactive change is organizational irrelevance.” The CRE companies who don’t adapt now will be left behind by their competitors, and disregarded by customers, talent, and investors.

Julia Woodward
Julia Woodward is a content marketing associate at VTS.

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