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In this episode of Deconstructed, we chat with Brian McLaurin. Brian has an extended history of sales in the commercial real estate software space, including working as a VP of Sales at MRI Software and senior enterprise account executive at Argus

Throughout the episode, Brian shares his expertise in the real estate industry, giving his thoughts on how companies and individuals should choose prop-tech, and what the real estate industry needs right now. He also shares his thoughts on how the effects of Covid-19 have positively affected real estate technology.

What is Argus?

First, let’s learn a bit about some of the prominent real estate software brands Brian has worked for.

Argus provides real estate software for every professional. Using Argus software solutions, customers can establish and run detailed ‘what-if’ analyses on lone properties or a complete portfolio to measure the impact on returns resulting from changes in operating assumptions.

Clients can also produce several scenarios to test the effect of market stress. This helps customers gain a clear idea of how their real estate will perform in varying market conditions.

What is MRI Software?

MRI Software is another impressive solutions brand Brian McLaurin has worked for. Brian has over four years of experience working as VP of Sales for MRI Software, demonstrating his strong background knowledge in the industry.

MRI Software aims to build flexible, game-changing solutions and is a leading provider of advanced real estate software applications and hosted solutions.

The company’s comprehensive and flexible technology platform teamed with an open and cohesive ecosystem meets the unique requirements of real estate businesses. These needs include the likes of property-level management and accounting along with investment modeling and analytics. 

Through innovative solutions and a healthy partner ecosystem, MRI allows real estate companies to elevate and grow their businesses.

Covid-19 and the Commercial Real Estate Industry

At the beginning of the episode, Brian discusses how the effects of Covid-19 have transformed the way consumers think about renting and buying property, giving everyone the chance to think about real estate differently. Brian sees more opportunities resulting from the effects of Covid-19, as we’ve seen that we have the ability to be more interconnected through technology than ever before.

Likewise, today, Brian sees customers focusing on usability rather than what’s aesthetically attractive when it comes to renting and buying property. The pandemic has essentially led to a more customer-focused situation for real estate, which is beneficial for everyone.

Choosing Commercial Real Estate Technologies

Not all real estate technologies and solutions excel. While many grow and develop worldwide, others fail. Or, you may choose a solution that doesn’t work for your business needs.

In many cases, choosing the wrong real estate technologies can lead to buyers’ remorse on making a decision on a solution that’s uncertain or new.

When it comes to choosing real estate technology, Brian recommends that companies and individuals figure out their company goals and where they aim to go. Then, they should seek solutions that promote these goals instead of investing in the next new trends without thinking the decision through properly.

After this, Brian notes, it’s easier to decide whether or not the solutions you are considering align with your business model. In many cases, people have problems when they try to let technology guide their business model rather than the other way around.

When the technology invested in fails to become adopted or simply doesn’t work for the company, there comes the problem. In many cases, companies can waste big bucks investing in the wrong technologies for their businesses.

If a solution seems to be in line with what you’re working on as a business, then it makes more sense to invest in the company promoting those technologies—but be sure to do your research first.

What the Real Estate Industry Needs

Brian also gives his intake on the real estate industry’s needs, especially when it comes to the young people entering it. That is, the industry needs people with an open mind and a burning desire to learn how the sector works as a whole. Brian believes that those who want to have a thorough understanding of the industry are more likely to excel in whichever part of the sector they specialize in.

He speaks of his experience teaching people worldwide how to use Argus, an asset and portfolio management software, and how surprised he was to learn that many people in the industry only had knowledge of their own expertise in the sector.

While it’s impossible to be an expert in every area of real estate, Brian advises that it’s essential to broaden your knowledge and learn as much about the industry as possible.

When people know various aspects of the real estate industry and how it all fits together, they’re in a much better position to grow and develop in the sector. Brian notes that we need people who are accepting of developing technologies, willing to pivot, and have an innate nature to want to understand how the industry works as a whole.

Work from Home vs. the Office

The conversation wraps up with Brian giving his verdict on the much-discussed work from home vs. office debate. Brian argues that Covid-19 has proven to people that productivity looks and feels different from what we once believed.

While some people thrive in an office environment, others flourish working from home. Sometimes it depends on the individual’s mood. Often the office may feel like a functional place to work, and other times a quiet and peaceful home environment is necessary.

Brian encourages companies to consider whether their staff members can be productive in how they feel most comfortable versus making people work in one environment rather than the other. Since the spread of Covid-19, many people have realized that a home office environment is much more beneficial for their workload and lifestyle.

Brian believes that if you can, it’s best to give people the flexibility to work in the environment that is best for them. When someone feels comfortable working, they’re more likely to be productive and happy.

To learn more about the future of the real estate industry and more, tune in to this episode with Brian McLaurin.