• Technology underpins the brokerage business today. To position brokerages for the future, a new white paper from Pixces Consulting Group urges CEOs to raise the bar for their chief information officers to play a more critical role in the firm’s future.
  • Only CIOs understand their firm’s business needs and how emerging technologies can help agents and brokers better meet customers’ expectations. CIOs must be experts in new technologies, innovators who can adapt them to serve their needs and evangelists who can educate and advocate new solutions.
  • "Future-proofing" a brokerage’s technology extends the CIO’s role to include explaining complexities to the firm’s board of directors and selling them on the future rather than reporting on the past. Without board support, a firm’s ability to innovate is limited.

In today’s world of fast-changing real estate technology, it’s the role of chief information officers (CIO) to find opportunities for their brokerages in emerging trends such as cloud servers, software defined networks and open APIs or be left in the dust.

A new white paper, “Real estate brokers: Is your CIO future-proofing Your Business?” explores the importance of CIOs and how CEOs must ask for more.

Bob Rosecrans and Michael Koval of Pixces Consulting Group urge chief executives to ask tough questions and demand that their CIOs move beyond just focusing on today’s day-to-day. CIOs should assume a critical role in the brokerage’s future by identifying and adapting emerging technologies that will help brokers and agents exceed customers’ expectations.

Rosecrans and Koval also encourage managers to raise the bar for CIOs so that they become “chief innovation officers,” who combine a holistic view of the business and an awareness that technology underpins everything a brokerage does today. CIOs should understand that if the firm is going to innovate, they must be the drivers.

In addition to investing in the “difference makers” on their staff and finding the right talent for evolving needs, CIOs must educate their brokerages about new technologies that can fulfill customers’ needs. They must “walk a mile” in customers’ shoes to need and become educators and evangelists for solutions that agents and brokers did not realize were possible.

CEOs should tell their CIO’s that though they cannot be the expert in everything: “We might need experts in everything. Get ahead of the curve so we can jump on opportunities when they surface. Technology underpins everything we do. If we are going to innovate, it has to be driven by you.”

Future-proofing a brokerage’s technology extends to educating the board on the complexities of technological solutions. That means CIOs will increasingly be selling the future rather than reporting on the past. Without the board’s understanding and support, a brokerage’s ability to innovate will be derailed, Rosecrans and Koval wrote.

Questions Rosecrans and Koval urge CEOs to ask:

  • Can my CIO drive the innovation we need?
  • Is my leadership team engaged?
  • Do we have a vision and the innovation roadmaps to get us there?
  • Do we have the talent to execute?
  • The right partners to execute?
  • The right products?
  • The commitment and passion?

Pixces Consulting Group’ s customers and partners include The National Association of Realtors, Keller Williams, Long and Foster, Watson Realty Group, Customer Realty and the WAV Group.

Real estate brokers: Is your CIO future-proofing Your Business” is available for downloading.

Steve Cook is editor and co-publisher of Real Estate Economy Watch. Visit him on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Email Steve Cook

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