One of the most powerful benefits modern technology provides businesses with today is increased visibility into operations. In the real estate segment, deep insight into business performance is paramount to delivering better customer experiences.
One area of the real estate ecosystem that is, arguably, one of the more challenging branches is investment management. There are so many aspects of investment management that require constant monitoring, communication and tracking that it’s difficult to do it all effectively without the aid of technology to help managers stay organized.
Apart from benefitting investment managers and helping streamline their work, the insight captured by technology also gives investors themselves increased transparency around their portfolios.
Investment management is also ripe for growth. Our recent survey of investors found they are positive about the market, with almost half of respondents indicating they plan to increase their real estate investments and stay in the real estate investment game long-term. The winter is a good time to move forward with real estate investments because this time of year tends to be more of a buyer’s market, especially in multifamily, a popular asset class.
There is no better time for investment managers to get ahead of the season and consider how to use technology to strengthen and build lasting relationships with their investors, all of which lead to better business growth.
Be Investors’ One-Stop Shop
Real estate investing is a complex environment because there is a multitude of information to keep track of and to understand in order to make sound investment decisions. Investors rely heavily on their investment managers to provide them with consistent information across a variety of areas like new investment opportunities, property performance updates and analytics, information about the performance of the investment management company, and more.
Managers should use technology to provide this type of information more effectively and more frequently to investors. Historically, investment management required a significant amount of last-minute, manual paperwork to deliver relevant investor information, including fundraising documents, tax documents, statements, distribution calculations and contributions. In the investment world, there’s often an immediacy tied to providing financial information. Managers can employ technology to consistently keep track of financial documents, reducing risks of double entry and other human error and eliminating pressure on investment managers to pull together last-minute requests from investors. It also provides more assurance to investors that they will be able to acquire any information they need through digital records, accurately and concisely, and at any time. This leads to more confidence in investment managers and gives investment managers time back to focus on more strategic work.
Savvy investment managers track and pull every part of the investment cycle into digital, visually digestible, online material that also gives investors themselves direct access to information they need, in one location.
Grow And Strengthen Relationships
Communication plays a huge role in any successful business relationship. By using technology, investment managers can do this better with their investors, keeping operations more organized and transparent. Instead of constant follow-up with investors to get a better idea of where certain actions stand, use tech to be automatically updated on the latest completed activities, like when investors receive a signed document. Take as much of the guesswork and misunderstanding out of investment communications as possible to make for more efficient work.
Through streamlined processes and through working with effective investment managers, investors, naturally, will have more confidence in the investment management business handling their portfolios and fundraising. This kind of credibility and trust, in turn, gives investment management businesses the opportunity to raise even more capital from investors, helping overall business growth.
Understand Your Investors’ Needs
It’s important to understand that while technology will certainly improve operations, it isn’t the only important component of successful real estate investment management. Managers must understand their investor needs and keep those at the forefront of all their business decisions.
For example, managers need to be able to craft different investment strategies depending on the investor they’re servicing. It’s never going to be a one-size-fits-all approach. While some investors might be focused on the multifamily space, others might have a more mixed portfolio, which requires different strategies for different asset classes. It may even make sense for managers to try and specialize in a specific area of real estate, like development, to offer more sound advice on where it might make the most sense to invest in the future.
Additionally, as many investors invest nationwide, not just locally, it’s critical for managers to have in-depth knowledge of the local markets their investors play in, to help lead investors to better decisions and give them more information and background to work with when making those decisions.
While technology absolutely helps take investment managers to the next level, understanding individual investors and their needs, assets and strategies will help managers cross the finish line.