Nothing moves us forward like technology. So much so that the speed at which it evolves can be hard to keep up with. The technology solutions of today may be obsolete by tomorrow, so how do you know where to start?
Both IREM and I know how important technology is to you; it’s why JPM selected technology to be the theme of this issue. And it’s why IREM created the Technology Advisory Board last year to develop a technology strategy and equip you with tools to guide your use of technology solutions. This issue’s Committee central department will give you an overview of the board, what its members have been focusing on and some new resources they’re developing to address some of your proptech needs.
Though COVID-19 has emerged as a disruptor of our realities, and a slew of technology options are being created to mitigate the virus’ effects and keep people safe, there’s an interesting observation made in the feature, “Accelerated evolution.” According to some IREM members who manage across asset classes, technology solutions to address coronavirus challenges often aligned with those already in their management plans. The challenges centered around rethinking and compressing implementation timelines—or expanding the scope of what the technology will do. In any case, property managers may not need to start at square one with their proptech to stay on track with operations.
As noted in the Property spotlight department, retail properties were already undergoing changes due to the evolution of consumer shopping practices, with technology naturally playing a part in the form of digital kiosks and consumer apps. COVID-19 and recent instances of civil protests brought up new sets of challenges for retail spaces, especially since tenants’ big holiday shopping season is about to get underway. Like other property types, retail property managers are adapting technologies to help them overcome obstacles and deploying new solutions to address anything from air circulation to capacity tracking.
While this issue focuses on technology, it isn’t the only thing that moves us forward. There’s also the next generation of professionals who have chosen real estate management as a career. The “IREM 30 Under 30” feature celebrates some of these up-and-comers who are dedicated to their profession, development and communities, and are eager to mentor the next generation of property managers after them. We celebrate their spirit and their drive and look forward to the ways they’ll make the property management profession grow.
Cheryl Gray, CPM