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New Survey: Despite Difficult Business Conditions, Real Estate Pros Remain Interested in Financial Technologies

November 11, 2020
Banking professional partnering with AvidXchange

During the last six months of widespread business upheaval, the real estate industry has faced a number of challenges including stalled or reduced investments, declining revenues and resource constraints.

We wanted to learn more about these challenges, as well as opportunities real estate professionals are pursuing to overcome them such as using accounts payable software. So we recently surveyed more than 130 of these professionals. Here’s what we learned:

Nearly half have experienced declines in revenues or cash flows

Nearly half (48 percent) of the respondents’ companies have experienced declines in revenues or cash flows and 47 have had real estate plans and/or projects impacted either temporarily or permanently. Twenty-one percent work for businesses that have had employee layoffs or furloughs.

Nevertheless, it’s clear that a substantial number of these real estate pros are actively looking for ways to rebuild for growth and boost their businesses. One of those ways is by investing in financial technology.

Fifty-nine percent said investing in new or improved financial technologies such as automation would help their businesses operate more efficiently.

Almost half (46 percent) said automation technology that cuts down on manual processes, such as cutting checks and mailing payments, would help keep their businesses on track.

It’s noteworthy how closely these stats align with discoveries from a real estate industry survey also done this year by Appfolio summarized in an article titled New Survey Reveals Property Managers’ Plans for the Future, Biggest Challenges, and Steps They’re Taking to Prepare.

The report indicates that nearly half (48 percent) of businesses are streamlining and automating business processes and 46 percent will adopt new technology.

Nearly 40 percent made financial tech investments in last six months

From a spending perspective, our survey supports all of this research with these additional stats: nearly 40 percent made investments in financial technologies in their back office in the last six months.

Nearly one-fourth (24 percent) cited a desire for a better integrated technology stack with improved connectivity between data sources, as well as fewer siloed and disparate software and tools. 

Final thoughts

For additional reasons, beyond its financial constraints and steadfast interest in finance technologies, real estate has been an especially dynamic industry to watch this year.

There have been fascinating dynamics from people leaving their urban residences for suburbs to avoid pandemic risks to a surprisingly vibrant suburban residential real estate market.

Then there’s the big wide-open question about when and how the commercial real estate market will come back and, if so, in what shape or form? Will workers ever return to their offices and, if so, when? And how many of them?

Accounts payable software growing in use

With all this going on, what should you as a finance professional do? You should first know that, despite tough market conditions, real estate pros are gearing up for growth by accelerating payments using accounts payable (AP) software and AP automation.

Now would be a great time to consider the benefits of using accounts payable software and AP automation to speed up your company’s growth.

Real Estate Survey Report

AvidXchange surveyed more than 130 participants including real estate property managers (71 percent), commercial real estate operators (36 percent), real estate developers (25 percent) and real estate developers (25 percent). The goal was to find out the challenges and opportunities they are encountering during the pandemic.

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