Columns Newswire Mann Report

Leveraging AI Solutions for Talent Retention in Commercial Real Estate Development Projects

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and a rapidly shifting commercial real estate industry, the job market has faced significant disruption. Today’s labor market is marked by declining long-term job stability, with job-hopping becoming more prevalent among employees. These circumstances present commercial real estate developers with the unique challenge of retaining institutional knowledge amid the loss of valuable talent.

What some of these development firms have discovered is that scaling their operations around a tech-first approach, as opposed to relying solely on traditional pen-and-paper methods, ensures continuous access to institutional knowledge — even as team members come and go. Adopting artificial intelligence (AI)-powered software that captures, stores and benchmarks historical data eliminates the risk of losing critical information as teams evolve and grow.

Historical Data and Institutional Knowledge
The real estate industry has historically been slow to adopt innovation, resulting in a significant amount of critical data being buried in emails and spreadsheets. Overreliance on spreadsheets can lead to version control errors, including incomplete or incorrect data collection, which can result in a poor exchange of informa- tion across the firm. When employees depart a company, key data is inevitably lost in the hand-off, leaving behind incomplete, disjointed and siloed information that remaining members must sift through.

In our current landscape, developers who actively leverage AI to maintain a centralized record system are seeing advantages within the market. When colleagues leave the firm, remaining employees can easily access valuable information through a real estate command center. This ensures that data related to deals, projects and contracts they have worked on remains accessible, helping to keep projects on schedule and within budget.

By arming employees with this historical and institutional data, developers empower better, more informed decision-making across their firms — a vital advantage as economic factors such as rising construction costs and an illiquid capital market pose major threats to project viability. Even seasoned developers building Class-A trophy assets are struggling with the challenge of increased competition when it comes to securing financing.

With institutional knowledge being harnessed by AI, developers can be equipped with insights into market trends, potential risk factors and project intricacies. This enables them to present more conservative project budgets to lenders and investors, giving them an upper hand in securing financing. In essence, technology like AI has become a crucial differentiator for development firms looking to stand out from the pack and efficiently deploy capital in the face of market uncertainties.

Adapt to Thrive
Looking back at downturns of the past, the companies that found the greatest success were those that adapted and modernized their processes — and this market cycle will be no different. Teams that embrace technology, particularly AI, are more likely to emerge as the frontrunners. Accurately forecasting the impact of significant roadblocks on development plans remains a major challenge, however looking back in five years, we will likely identify winners and losers from the outcomes of 2024.

In all likelihood, the companies that prosper will be the ones using technology that can capture vital project information in a digital, searchable database, arming their teams with the analytics and resources needed for proactive decision-making.

In an era where the digital landscape is reshaping traditional paradigms, the advantages of technology designed to organize actionable data, simplify reporting, automate data entry and reduce cost overruns cannot be overstated. The decisive factor between success and failure in the current real estate market will be your team’s ability to implement these tools.

William Sankey
CEO and Founder
175 Pearl Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201