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Does User Satisfaction Correlate to Low Expectations?

Industry pros may not understand what they are missing out on.

The survey also attempted to gauge respondents’ satisfaction with the proptech tools they use. And while the number of responses on each specific solutions are too low to draw conclusions on the individual categories, the broad theme was that respondents reported a high level of satisfaction across the board.

These results surprised some industry observers who see room for improvement. The numbers, in fact, could indicate that industry pros may not understand what they are missing out on.

“Life is all about expectations, and people in the commercial real estate industry are used to being far behind other industries when it comes to technology, so it’s not all that surprising that they’re going to feel a level of satisfaction when they go from nothing to something, even if that something isn’t great,” Wilcox notes. “There’s a real desire in the industry for technology to improve automation in any way.”

Some of the dissatisfaction that proptech experts have witnessed relates to the expense of adopting new technology and the behavioral challenges of changing internal processes. Dissatisfaction around missed expectations also is common, Roseman says, with users being frustrated when proptech doesn’t work like it’s supposed to or doesn’t deliver the anticipated outcome.

Though some CRE professionals might truly be satisfied with their technology solutions, it’s equally likely that their satisfaction relates more to comfort and familiarity. It’s also likely that tech users haven’t explored or evaluated the wide world of proptech, which means they don’t have a good understanding of the technology tools that exist. And, if they have heard of them, they still lack clarity on how different technologies can change their organizations.

“They don’t know what they don’t know,” says Edward Wagoner, CIO, Digital of JLL.

Wagoner has seen this dynamic play out in real time at several webinars sponsored by JLL. Whenever the firm hosts a technology-related webinar, the firm surveys participants before and after the event to measure their satisfaction with their existing proptech. The pre- and post-survey results deviate significantly, after participants have been educated about new proptech.

“Once their eyes are open to the possibilities, their satisfaction with their existing proptech goes way down,” Wagoner explains.