"Digital natives" are the generation born and brought up alongside the convenience of modern technology. Everything from depositing a check– to booking a flight, are all done with ease; frictionlessly, without one phone call or human interaction. Encyclopedias worth of knowledge are just one voice-command away. It’s this very generation that has figured out how to work and play by minimizing the menial, to instead focus on what’s most meaningful to them.
The preferences of digital natives have imprinted onto every industry imaginable. Commercial real estate is no different. The world of CRE is commonly seen as traditional and cautious toward innovation, but with the rise of digital natives and the growing need for technological advancement, CRE firms are pressured to move along with the times to adopt new methods.
By 2025, Gen Z and Millennials will account for three out of every four employees. These individuals exist in every function and are growing into leadership positions. They have little patience for processes that are disjointed or out-of-date. Instead, they rely on tech to unify and automate work tasks.
As a result, CRE firms are evolving fast. Adopting the right tech, at the right time boosts employee retention and creates a competitive advantage.
Digitizing how staff contribute within distributed teams, communicate seamlessly, and automate flows leads to improved business outcomes. Inherently, this also means the investment process is becoming more pragmatic, powerful and profitable than ever before.
Digital Natives are Changing the Face of Deal-Making
Beyond technology, digital natives also have an increasing impact on company cultures. They seek more autonomy, a sense of belonging and purpose, workplace diversity, and a strong desire for opportunities to learn. In considering the aftereffects of the pandemic and “the Great Resignation”, we must leverage tech in order to be more human-centric. It’s more important for deal teams to reduce their time doing arduous tasks like data-entry and manual reporting, and instead lean into the aspects of the job that are more human– developing critical-thinking, problem-solving, and relationship management skills. Skills that are indispensable for an investor closing deals.
Simply put, digital natives do deals differently.
Modern deal management software allows them to harness technology to take over tedious busy-work, allowing them to focus on more vital outcomes:
- Leveraging Automation and Data Management
Digital natives know: “the most powerful tech makes the underlying tech invisible” The ability for raw source data to be consolidated and categorized into one standardized data warehouse is the most transformative feature of deal management software out there. Deal teams receive context-rich content, all without lifting a finger for even one line of manual entry. Not only can deal data be ingested and organized, it’s also enriched via third-party data integrations. The automation of reporting, scheduled communications, and templated workflows all play a part in creating a more robust investment process.
This vast magnitude of data, aggregated and surfaced for easy analysis helps deal teams become more informed and educated than ever before. This intelligence helps them to underwrite faster and more confidently because they have the full picture of comprehensive data at their fingertips that would have previously taken days, even weeks to organize and analyze.
Instead of spending time aggregating data in archaic systems, investment teams can concentrate on far more important functions. Using the right tech enables them to do the valuable work that they love– sourcing, analyzing and closing.
- Streamlining Collaboration and Communication across Teams
When the global pandemic made virtual teamwork a necessity, it became increasingly important to have one source of truth for deal information, consistently up-to-date from the cloud.
Working from a shared online platform allows deal teams to have more reach and continue collaborating outside of fixed locations or timezones.
No detail falls between the cracks of version changes, and there is transparency across roles and departments. Even the legal team, or accounting managers are kept informed on the most up-to-date deal information to fulfill their own obligations.
- Organized Task Management
With no time to waste, digital natives appreciate quick access to context without informational bottlenecks or hindrances to productivity. Using a deal management software that clearly manages tasks, accountabilities, deadlines and reminders, managers that once crowded their calendar with calls, meetings, and back-and-forth emails, can instead track down the correct details and data, without it getting lost in translation.
Individual contributors to the acquisitions team, managers, and executives alike, have visibility into how deal information flows through the investment process and lifecycle, without ever wondering: "What's next?"
This time-saving and gap-closing benefit helps teams move more quickly toward the most meaningful deals in their pipeline.
Modern Deal Management Solutions for Modern-Minded Staff
As digital natives become a more significant part of the workforce, firms are working hard to prove they can meet their tech expectations. Working with more diverse talent and better tooling leads to higher efficiency and better results in a competitive marketplace.