How I Work in 2018
Running a successful commercial real estate development company, or any company in any industry in this day in age, is hard. I started in business at time when there were really paper memos, no email, and everything you needed to work on a project was at your literal office. Now, billion dollar deals can be executed while on a ski lift with an iPhone. One of the biggest challenges we face is how to operate the business in a digital mobile world and to operate with consistency, professionalism and excellence. It requires strong organizational skills, dedication, personnel, and project management to stay on top of all of the moving parts. It also requires team members to be willing to change habits. It may seem easier to just forward an email but we work with our team so that everyone understands that their life will be easier, their work product will be better and our company will collaborate more effectively when we use the software systems we have in place.
On any given day, I have multiple projects that require my immediate attention, whether it’s contracts that need to be signed or meeting with my team to discuss next quarter’s budget. I have to stay focused enough to move projects forward, but flexible to changing workflow on a daily basis – no matter where I’m working from that day. Technology has played an integral part Rising’s success, and I’ve been able to accomplish what I have through a variety of platforms. Here are a few of my go-to systems:
Asana is our team project management system and my personal accountability software. It allows us to track the progress of multiple projects simultaneously, assign tasks to team members, share files, and communicate directly with each other. The interface is simple and easy to use, which makes collaboration that much easier.
Prosperworks is a Google-based CRM system that we use for tracking potential investors, current investors, leasing brokers, investment sales brokers, and other related client relationships. It fully integrates with G-Suite, which saves us a lot of time on the backend by eliminating manual tracking and data entry.
Evernote is my personal mobile briefcase. It is perfect for note taking, keeping documents that I need at my fingertips, and for all sorts of personal documents. The app syncs seamlessly on all of my devices, so I can access what I need, when I need it.
Box is our corporate filing system. Similar to Google Drive, this is where the company’s files are stored including Excel spreadsheets, leases, images, and so on. Its secure file-sharing technology allows us to work more efficiently than ever before. Everyone has access to the same document, which saves us from duplicating each others' work and ensures that we are all accessing the most up-to-date version at all times.
G-Suite is the backbone of how we run our business. We use Gmail as our company email client, which syncs seamlessly with Google Calendar, Docs, Sheets, and more. Google’s apps integrate so reliably and easily, which allows us to focus on our work without concerns over compatibility or accessibility. We have integrated Google Forms with Asana in order to run our acquisitions process. We also use the combined editing software in Google Docs and Google sheets and we manage the entire team’s calendars via Google Calendar. We find G-Suite crucial to the mobility of our team and the effectiveness of our teamwork.
DocuSign has made it extremely easy to execute any contracts while traveling. Whether we’re signing a new tenant or acquiring a new property, their electronic signature technology allows me to sign these important documents quickly and securely.
VTS, formerly known as View The Space, is our lease management software. We use this platform to track leasing activity with our property brokers in real time so we can all stay up to date. We flow all leasing information, including lease proposal and broker discussions, through VTS. We do not use email with our landlord rep brokers.
Yardi is our corporate and property accounting software. Their platform allows us to process payments efficiently, create and track budgets, reconcile transactions, collect rent, and more. It’s our go-to software for all things accounting.