This month’s RPR Commercial update is a Q&A style chat with Emily Line, RPR’s VP of Member Experience.
Emily recently attended the NAR-sponsored C5 Summit. Billed as “3 Days of Commercial Real Estate Networking, Learning, & Deal-Making”, the C5 is one of commercial estate’s premier events.
Held in New York City from August 15-17, the event encourages leaders, stakeholders and potential partners to engage, build relationships and network with like-minded influential leaders and decision makers in the commercial real estate space.
As a guest on the main stage panel for commercial real estate tech, Emily shares her experiences and takeaways from the event, from a uniquely RPR user and commercial practitioner perspective.
Q Hello Emily, thanks for giving us a recap of the C5 show. What was the name of the panel you were on?
EL: It was called “New Tools For Getting Deals Done” and it was a great opportunity to represent RPR Commercial.
Q What kind of questions were you asked?
EL: After a quick introduction, they hit me with “What keeps you up at night?”
Q Great ice breaker!
EL: Right?! So of course I said, “Will my beloved Michigan Wolverines make it back to the playoffs?!” (For the record, Emily is a rabid and die-hard Michigan fan, who travels from Southern California to Michigan for most of the home football games.) My real answer was the number seventy. The number seventy keeps me up at night because that is RPR’s current Net Promoter Score for commercial users/members who use RPR.
Q Please explain what an NPS is and why 70 is a good number and not average…
EL: Exactly. NPS is a proven metric that has transformed the business world and is by far the most effective way to measure satisfaction and loyalty. Brands with high retention are companies with a high NPS score. (For reference, Apple scores a 47 NPS, which is considered very good.) An NPS of 70 means our members love us and thankfully we generate a lot of positive word-of-mouth as a result. So why does this keep me up at night? I never want the score to dip, not even a point!
At RPR, we continue to grind in order to keep up with the word of mouth and our satisfaction rating. We do not take our foot off the gas when it comes to monitoring the application, documenting training questions that arise, listening to call center concerns, and slotting enhancements. We want RPR users to be productive, efficient and we want to help them close deals. And of course, we don’t want to lose the member lovefest!
Q Spot on! Any other good tech angles covered at C5?
EL: This came up: “Is technology going to replace the role of the commercial real estate practitioner in the future?” I see it like this: those who elect not to validate their expertise with data will be left behind because clients are informed and expect support to back the direction. Technology is a validation station in many regards that supports top notch expertise, and serves as a guide for clients to ensure their position. Technology is not a replacement for the professional, but it is a big enchantment. However…
Q I feel a flip side coming on…
EL: Right! More of a bonus side, really. Now that I covered the importance of the CRE practitioner’s position to remain successful in a world filled with tech and data support, I should also note that CRE practitioners do have a voice to shape the technology. That means participating in usability testing and offering feedback so the tech is easy to use and lessens their pain points.
Good technologists lead with their users’ needs: the design is straightforward and there shouldn’t be too many steps. It’s all about simplifying. This way CRE practitioners can grab the info needed to validate a deal’s viability for a client, without investing too much time and effort. Based on my experience with many CRE practitioners, the biggest reason, besides cost, for avoiding tech is that it drains time and causes fatigue when trying to learn how to use technology. When an application is difficult to use, the CRE practitioner simply quits trying.
Q Any questions about RPR Commercial, specifically?
EL: Someone asked about “wins” in relation to the RPR platform. I mentioned the book, Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug. It’s a great read about human–computer interaction and web usability. The book’s premise is that a good software program or website should let users accomplish their intended tasks as easily and directly as possible.
Well I’d say RPR’s “W” is that after the redesign and relaunch of our website, 75% plus of our users think RPR is easy to use, which is a badge of honor to Steve Krug’s premise. Our recent refresh of the site stayed hyper focused on existing strengths and features that were well received when they were discovered in testing. So our lesson learned when we studied commercial users in RPR, was the realization that key features were being missed by commercial users because of their location or as a result of having too many steps.
For example, when we better incorporated trade area data and mapping layers into the commercial member’s journey, we started getting success stories back about winning more clients, and investors reaching out about other areas of the country because of the quick visuals. We even had feedback that EDCs (Economic Development Councils) were asking REALTORS® for economic area reports to aid in community business growth. And of course, I never get tired of hearing, “RPR is my #1 go-to!”
Great insight, Emily Thanks for the feedback and your take on the C5 tech panel.
If you haven’t tapped into RPR Commercial lately, now’s the time. A whole suite of easy-to-use tools and simple property searches will make you a fan, too.
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