Innovation comes from within. Innovation should be in-house, a part of the corporate culture, and continuous. Innovation comes from clients in the form of comments, concerns, and complaints. Some of the best ideas and enhancements come from the clients who use the product daily.
Before I became a hardcore software geek, I was an administrative end user on a US Navy, mission critical system. After years of working with this system 12 hours a day, I became the so-called subject matter expert (SME) for the system and was later named the Lead Engineer during Y2K. I understood the system intimately inside and out. When the system went down, I knew why and what needed to be done to get the system back online. The combination of my “user-based knowledge and intellectual capital” made it easy for me to read code and learn faster. End users are keys to innovation.
What I learned in the military has proven pivotal to the successes of the companies¹ I own or co-own. It is important for businesses to engage their clients and to let them know that they care. Tell them about you and your company and what your product can do for them. Let them know who to contact if they have a problem or need assistance. Listen to their comments and/or recommendations. Maintain a channel of open dialogue between the business and the client. It’s invaluable! You will never hear, “What’s next?” at APC. We maintain a pipeline of innovative ideas. We use strategic advocates throughout the country to help us refine and perfect our product(s). We are constantly seeking feedback from the end user.
A question I hear often while presenting at business schools is, “Why don’t they innovate all the time?” It’s a great question and there are a lot of varying opinions on this topic. Below are mine:
- Most companies start out with an innovative idea or product or else why do it
- Companies that consistently innovate “are always looking over their shoulder”
- Not all company leadership can lead innovation
- Not every company is motivated to innovate
Innovation creates a competitive advantage. Innovation also leads to change and threatens the status quo. Those who fail to innovate will be disrupted by those who can! Look no further than Zillow, Realtor.com, and iBuyers.
APC Data Analytics, LLC’s entrance into proptech is not a coincidence. APC is owned by a franchise brokerage owner and agent, another agent, and a techie (me) who listened to the pain points of the agent, the broker, and MLS associations as they relate to today’s CMA tools.
From the end user to the MLS, APC listened and developed a product that fills a VOID that no one will honestly admit exists: the need for a true CMA that accurately prices and analyzes the market activity in proximity to a specific property in real-time.
APC solved today’s CMA (including RPR) because we listened. It’s about them, not us.
Continuous innovation is an attitude and a culture to survival, stability, growth, and profitability. That is APC Data Analytics.