Innovation, Not Irrelevancy: 3 Strategies to Sustain

Posted on Sep 20 2017 - 2:11pm by Suzanne De Vita
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"How are we going to be able to keep up with the rapidly evolving world around us?"

A crucial question, and one posed at RISMedia's recent 2017 Real Estate CEO Exchange Networking Breakfast, where Power Brokers and other industry leaders gathered not only to connect, but also to consider the relationship between innovation and irrelevancy.

The two are closely linked, explained Georg Gerstenfeld, general manager of Global Real Estate and vice president at DocuSign, sponsor of the breakfast.

DocuSign General Manager and Vice President of Real Estate at DocuSign speaks a the CEO Exchange Networking Breakfast.

DocuSign General Manager of Global Real Estate and Vice President Georg Gerstenfeld speaks at the CEO Exchange Networking Breakfast.

"Change is the key driver to us becoming irrelevant," Gerstenfeld said. "The technology is ready. The consumers are demanding it. The time is really now for us to transform the [real estate] transaction."

Gerstenfeld called out several culturally significant changes created through innovation, as well as the strategies that propelled them: automated workflows, delighted customers, and workable data. The Netflixes and Wazes of the world mastered all three—and rendered their predecessors obsolete in the process.

"Disruptors delight, automate and leverage data," said Gerstenfeld. "[They] constantly challenge themselves to stay relevant and to find new ways to delight their customers and use their data now."

DocuSign and Gerstenfeld are at the forefront of the same strategy, sussing out ways to transform the real estate transaction, specifically through its products such as Transaction Rooms.

"Transaction complexity is still largely unsolved," Gerstenfeld said. "There are a lot of people involved in real estate day in and day in out in any one particular transaction. Every one of those people has their own process. What we want to bring is change that creates an environment where everybody in the transaction has a space where they can collaborate."

On innovation, Gerstenfeld recommended starting with a manageable goal—a "quick win."

"Change management is about building up wins and building up confidence," said Gerstenfeld. "Start with the quick wins, and start today, as opposed to waiting for the perfect solution or ideal software. Pick a project that's going to make a difference in your business."

Stay tuned to RISMedia for continuing coverage of this year's CEO Exchange sessions: