The Era of the IT Executive: 25 CIOs Speak Their Minds
Vice President of Management Information Systems
How does your vision of IT support your company’s mission?
Our Company philosophy has always been that the real estate business is about people, and our IT core values are guided by that business rule. We know we need to provide the best real estate services that are tied with technology. In fact, technology is leveraged in providing excellent customer service and interact with our clients and our Realtors. That is what drives our business more than anything else.
How do we continue to strive to improve our business processes and provide the right resources for our people to do their job as well as they possibly can?
Our concept of “one-stop service” that we provide to our agents for our clients gives our buyers and sellers the ability to not only sell and/or buy a home, but also helps them with the entire real estate process. From mortgage, insurance, title, home services and even relocation services, we are there to help. And, we just started a new line of business called Second Story Auctions. This online auction service is designed for our home sellers who are getting their homes ready for sale by helping them sell their furniture and other household goods they no longer need. A de-cluttered home improves the marketability of it and is much more appealing to buyers. And speaking of home buyers, these people are also using our online auction to buy the things they need for their new homes. In essence, our “one-stop shop” concept is to provide tools, technology and capabilities that allow our agents to do a great job in helping our clients throughout the entire buying and selling process.
How do you see your role with other business leaders in your company?
I see my role as an IT business enabler. I help facilitate the strategic initiatives that our management have targeted and provide the IT leadership to accomplish those strategic goals. If our business goals are for example to improve customer engagement and have more units sold, those key-drivers can be tracked and identified with technology applications. We can then provide technology tools that our agents are able to use that can help agent productivity and have more satisfied customers. In turn, more satisfied customers translate to more business growth. IT provides the tools, capabilities and infrastructure to make that happen. My responsibility is to facilitate the use of company IT resources and in ensuring best Return on Investment for the company for IT projects. IT is the Change agent and Innovation Center to radically improve business. IT helps the business innovate and provide services that help improve customer service and grow the business.
How do you move away from a transactional relationship to one that is more collaborative?
The first step is ensuring that solid transactional capabilities are being provided. Once transactional efficiency is met and you have built the trust of our agents and clients, you take the discussion to the next level. That’s when you are able to have a dialogue on how to improve the business and be collaborative.
You can then use your IT resources and leverage them in the most effective way to attain business goals and provide solutions that improve productivity and communication with your stakeholders. You also need to have an open mind and must constantly consider key developments in your industry. One of my responsibilities is to make sure we continue to look for new ideas that might have significant positive impact to the business. Technology has radically changed how real estate is done now. We have to be looking towards the future and provide solutions and capabilities that help align the gap of what the business wants and what IT provides. We can then deliver Technology and Business solutions that help business grow in a collaborative manner.