In 2018, nearly every industry is due for a major disruption – and real estate services is no exception. Gone are the days of accepting the status quo and settling for a basic service and experience. A new, customer-centric era has been ushered in, and product development should be top of mind for all of us. At Stewart, this means placing a heavy focus on differentiating the service we deliver and improving the experience our customers have.
Our industry is famously slow to evolve, which leaves established companies, who tend to move slowly, vulnerable to smaller, more agile start-ups that can swoop and provide innovative solutions for industry pain points. I have spoken about the importance of stepping out of traditional silos and focusing on collaboration before, but it’s time to take this farther. At Stewart our vision is to operate like a large company, fully leveraging our global resources and data-rich infrastructure, but think like a small one – focusing on new disrupters and innovations that significantly impact local customer experience and solve problems. And strategize how to quickly and effectively bring those innovations to market.
Here are 4 of the ways we’re doing it at Stewart.
- Start with the workforce. If you want to be an experienced leader, you have to set the example and start with your own employees. The demographic of today’s workforce is evolving. It’s changing who, where, when, and how work is done. It’s also challenging companies to embrace the new status quo. The reality is that we are no longer simply in competition for business, but in competition for talent, and we must provide resources and opportunities for our employees to innovate. Remove the silos. Allow your teams to think big and execute on great ideas.
- Prioritize customer choice. Digital solutions are disrupting the industry, but it is up to the customer to decide how they want to do business with us. At Stewart, we have a full suite of solutions that enable customer choice – whether that means the newest technology or the tried and true solutions we have been offering for years. By differentiating our services, we offer an experience that puts the customer first.
- Embrace the future. The rate of change in business and technology is increasing more and more rapidly each day. Therefore it’s increasingly important for us to keep our business models flexible. Develop teams with varying skillsets and give them the freedom to experiment and grow, and develop a business model that can do the same. Keeping up with the change is no longer good enough – it’s time to get in the driver’s seat and go full speed ahead.
- Keep an eye on technology. Digital disruption is everywhere. From mobile phones, iPads, 3D printing to the “Internet of Things” and smart home technology. For real estate services, we are focused on eClosing, a game-changing technology that will very soon have major impact on the way we do business – across our entire enterprise. We are changing the way we design and deliver our services and solutions, and how we equip our workforce to perform at the highest level. It’s simple: technological change drives long-term growth. Product development and innovation should be priorities for all of us in 2018.
The time has come for business leaders think bigger. We need to rethink our strategies, become digital leaders, and address the needs of the workforce of the future.
Take Bold Actions!