PM EXPO Highlights

By on Dec 7, 2020 in Events

Yardi returned as a proud sponsor of The Buildings Week PM EXPO 2020. Nearly 6,000 design, construction and real estate experts attended the virtual event which offered engaging content and targeted networking opportunities.

One of the conference’s hottest sessions focused on using technology to overcome hurdles posed by COVID-19. In “Pandemic Proofing Canadian Real Estate through Technology and Innovation,” three industry leaders conveyed how technology helped them weather seasons of unprecedented change.

Heather Brady, national director of sales at Yardi Canada Ltd. moderated a panel consisting of Maria Aiello, global head of private markets and real estate technology, MVP at Manulife Financial; Moe Ladha, finance transformation lead at The Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited and Todd Nishimura, senior director of marketing, leasing and communications at GWL Realty Advisors Inc.

To remain nimble and responsive, each panelist acknowledged the importance of leadership, digital communication and accessibility to data.

Tech for leading with purpose

Aiello proposes that during tough times, leadership must set the tone for adaptability, receptivity and a meaningful change. She says, “Manulife has been nothing but impressive with focusing on humanity by showing we are here to help. Our values and culture have extended to a different tier, and initially it was in response to the mental health of our employees and customers.”

The three organizations found creative ways to virtually demonstrate empathy. Dynamic resident portals and websites were a critical resource for staff and residents. Sites focused on best practices for mental and physical health. Nishimura explains, “Mental health has become a real focus and part of the stakeholder approach. We created a COVID repository with trusted resources. The site was successful because we promoted it via email and building signage.”

Digital tools for communication and transparency

Virtual leasing plays a leading role in remote communication with prospects. Live virtual tours and 3D floor plans offer convenient and safe options for prospects: “The consumer has expectations of immediate gratification and ease of use. The real estate industry is catching up and maybe one day we will be on the leading edge of technology,” says Nishimura.

Cloud computing keeps communication and data accessible to relevant parties. Ladha noted the importance of cloud computing in remote work environments, “Tech became critical to access data and to collaborate remotely,” he says. “Our finance teams said remote work would have been more difficult if we had not transitioned to the cloud six months ago.”

He adds, “Don’t underestimate the importance and the value of a strong structure of change training and education for those involved in this digitization journey. Yes, the tech should be intuitive and easy to use but the education and support for tech competency is important for all your teams.”

Additionally, cloud computing empowers organizations to accelerate decision-making processes by having its data centralized and available between platforms. Teams communicate using a single source of truth. From leasing to procurement and asset management, users can make informed decisions with consistent, accurate and real-time data.

Discover more tools to help your organization navigate changing tides with efficiency and accuracy.