Last week Ascendix hosted a panel with two JLL executives at the Microsoft Training Center at Times Square. Ascendix CEO Wes Snow moderated the panel, which included JLL Global IT executives Pushpa Gowda and Chad Lindsey.
Pushpa Gowda is an SVP at JLL who has extensive knowledge on building an enterprise CRM solution and gettReing users to adopt business systems. Chad Lindsey is a VP of Global IT and has focused on CRM for the commercial real estate vertical for almost 18 years.
Attendees at the event were able to ask the panel in-depth questions on how to build, maintain, and expand user adoption within their CRE practice. The event began with discussions on what CRM is and isn’t so users have realistic expectations.
For example, you have to show that it can be a market intelligence tool if you capture the data and it can act as a feed to research from brokers. Also, running meetings using the dashboards makes reporting easier on both managers and brokers. These are two common complaints within the brokerage world that can be fixed by tracking data within the system.
Of course, any enterprise discussion leads to the ‘Build vs. Buy‘ question. Your team will first have to decide if you are going to build you own solution or use an existing, productized option as a base. The consensus by the panel was: why build from scratch when someone else has already built it and built it well? In addition, it allows your team to focus on what they are good at and your vendor/partner to focus on the technology. This approach also allows you to focus your time on integrating other business solutions and problem solving in more pressing areas.
In Gowda and Lindsey’s opinion, JLL is working smarter by taking their approach to buy and then build from the AscendixRE platform. From the get-go they were able to quickly match up tenants/buyers with available space. They were able to segment and target marketing campaigns based on previous interests. In addition, their data intelligence team was able to forecast better which gave them a competitive advantage. They can now look at opportunity information for trend analysis and prediction. They also have future plans to reward users for adding key data that assists with forecasting.
Another “reward” is the broker’s ability to display a map on an iPad and discuss availabilities. For example, they could pull up a map and show availabilities along a train line per a prospects request. Then, they could show pictures of those that meet their specific requirements. Additionally, by using an add-on like xRE Composer, they can email the clients’ brochures without leaving their side.
Without these systems, a broker has to take down the information and spend a few days looking at spreadsheets and making calls internally to send the same information to the customer. Speed is key in this business and these tools can provide those out of the gate.
But the overarching theme was to not over-engineer. Start simple. Build from there. And prove the “WIIFM” – What’s In It For Me to the broker’s.
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