Blog July 19, 2019

5 ways real estate firms fail at business intelligence

By Andy Welkley

Real estate firms know that there’s an excessive amount of data out there that can be harnessed to their advantage. With this data comes the potential to yield insights that will guide the strategy of the business and increase competitive advantage.

Anyone who has evaluated business intelligence (BI) solutions or has been through implementation of a BI project knows that there’s a high probability the system will not yield the results that they anticipated. So how can businesses avoid failure when it comes to BI? Let’s count down the five main reasons why BI for real estate firms fails to deliver on its promise.

5. Choosing the wrong solution – Simply put, many firms select a BI solution that is not a fit for their business. Before making a selection, it’s important to understand your goals for the new system and what problem you expect it to solve. Does the solution truly meet the requirements of your business case? How will it work with your existing processes? New technology won’t fix broken processes, but it can automate the right ones.

4. Cumbersome data integration – From lease information to contracts, assets, and other financial documents, gathering insights from data across your organization can be a challenge if the data can’t easily be integrated with a BI solution. The process of extracting data in an accurate manner can be extremely frustrating if the analytics solution does not offer clean integration capabilities with your system of record.

3. Technological burden – In order to meet the full extent of your business needs, it might seem as if the best BI solution for you would be a fully customizable one. However, developing and adding unique customizations could require an extensive time commitment from your IT department. Even if IT is able to find the time to properly tailor the solution, fully customizing a BI solution can be extremely expensive – even more so if external consultants are required to do the work.

2. Inflexible software – Since customization has its own challenges, you might be tempted to lean towards implementing an out-of-the-box analytics solution. After all, how likely is it that a standard solution that supposedly works well for most won’t work for your company? Real estate firms are well aware that they have different requirements than other types of businesses, and out-of-the-box solutions typically lack the flexibility needed to address their needs. Whereas customization overwhelms your business with the time and financial commitment, out-of-the-box software is likely going to be too rigid to provide any meaningful business intelligence insights.

1. Underestimating time to value (TTV) – Investing in a solution is one thing, but implementing it is an entirely different process to tackle. Off-the-shelf software might not be specific or narrow enough to extract the data that your company requires, and customizable software makes for a long and expensive development process. Looking eight to ten months down the line, your solution still might not be functional enough to yield any notable return. Don’t underestimate the importance of getting up and running quickly to justify your investment.

Ultimately, user adoption is one of the key measurements of success or failure of a tool, and if these are issues you face in taking on a new BI solution, there’s undoubtedly going to be a significant lack of user adoption. Whereas both customizable and off-the-shelf solutions might bring your business significant challenges, MRI Software offers an alternative: a best-of-both-worlds option.

MRI’s business intelligence and analytics tool is already designed to fit the needs of the real estate industry, and that means you can get it right off the shelf without worrying about a long implementation process. Learn more about how you can tackle a BI project the right way with MRI’s business intelligence and analytics solution.

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