Corporate real estate is in a period of transition. Not only has proptech changed the game, but the pandemic also created huge shifts that have altered the industry for the foreseeable future.
What are corporate real estate teams to do when so much is uncertain? The solution is big data.
In the last few years there has been rapid advancement in big data that’s impacting nearly every industry in the economy. Businesses of all varieties are familiarizing themselves with how data is collected, which tools can aggregate it, and how to analyze it.
It takes some investment, but imagine what all that data could tell a corporate real estate team. Think of what an edge it could give you if you had market information that competitors didn’t have access to, and the means to analyze the information at a deeper level.
When big data found its way to the financial sector it was a clear indicator that change was coming, and it was already having an indirect effect on real estate. Not long after, the residential real estate markets began discussing how proptech would impact the industry and make an agent’s job easier.
The corporate and commercial real estate sectors are well-known for their resistance to change and control over data. However, as big data has grown, its usefulness has become undeniable, and forward-thinking firms are now making tech investments to capitalize on it.
More data is available than ever before, which only increases data’s relevance and importance in commercial real estate. Now that tools like RefineRE exist, corporate real estate teams are finally able to really make use of big data even when there’s no data analyst in the group. Gut decisions have given way to data-based decisions that provide better direction for corporate real estate investment and improving portfolio performance.
As data analytics becomes more commonplace within corporate real estate, it will become a necessary tool just to keep up with competition. It’s in every corporate occupier’s best interest to know how big data can be used to get ahead of the markets now, instead of falling behind down the road.
The first question many corporate real estate teams have is, what’s considered big data? More precisely, what is considered big data in corporate real estate?
Big data is defined as “extremely large data sets that may be analyzed computationally to reveal patterns, trends, and associations, especially relating to human behavior and interactions.”
Big data in corporate real estate can encompass many different things, including:
Digital and data go hand-in-hand. As more information has moved online it’s become much easier to store and track. We aren’t just talking about commercial real estate market statistics that are reported publicly. Mobile devices, the Internet of Things (IoT) and social media have supplied invaluable data on user activity. Today, both online and offline activity can be monitored, tracked and analyzed every second of every day.
What makes corporate real estate data valuable isn’t necessarily the statistics. Any type of data is just numbers and figures until it’s analyzed to find actionable information. That’s when you are able to transition from data on the page to decisions that affect performance in the real world.
Although there was some resistance at first, the pendulum has finally swung in favor of big data, and mass adoption is more likely than avoidance moving forward. With so many clear upsides and fewer obstacles to overcome, CRE big data is set to become a key part of decision making at firms that want to give themselves every advantage.
Data has always been integral in corporate real estate, but in the past it was very limited. The amount of data and types of data that were collected were minimal compared to now. Another limitation was the time it took between data generation and analysis. Just a handful of years ago data that’s now available in real time would be months old before it could be analyzed. Every day that passes the data can become less useful.
From corporate real estate market statistics that point to industry-wide trends to utilization data that tells you how a particular space in a building is used, there’s a lot to learn from big data. The three core benefits of big data for CRE teams is better understanding of risks, opportunities and performance.
With big data an endless stream of transactional information can be analyzed almost as soon as it’s generated. This fresh supply of data helps corporate real estate teams make more informed financial choices in the moment based on the latest information. Big data also allows for deeper analysis of a property for more accurate valuation.
Big data is increasingly becoming the deciding factor for commercial real estate decision-making because it provides a more complete picture. In corporate real estate, time can also be of the essence when you’re making investments. Data takes the guesswork and gut feelings out of the equation. With those two things removed, decision-making is much more efficient.
One of the newest ways big data is being utilized in the commercial real estate industry is building intelligence. Energy efficiency, space utilization, changes in environmental factors – it can all be monitored with sensors that automatically gather data and export it to a reporting system. Analyzing property data allows you to better allocate resources, make value-add improvements and reduce waste.
You aren’t competing with yourself in real estate. You’re up against competitors that are also looking for the next great investment or have a similar property to keep occupied by tenants or sell to buyers. Big data allows for benchmarking CRE performance on a global and local scale. Understanding how you compare to peers and the market as a whole makes you more competitive.
It used to take months of thorough data collection and analysis to identify market trends that were already happening. That kind of lead time keeps you behind the curve, whereas modern analytics is close to real time. With regular monitoring you can pick up on market trends before they become apparent to the general public and your competition.
The benefits are clear, but how corporate occupiers can use CRE data isn’t as obvious. Big data in corporate real estate can seem intimidating at first. After all, there’s a lot to manage, and big data is getting bigger every day.
Fortunately for those that aren’t early adopters, today it’s easier and more cost effective to gather, store and analyze massive amounts of data to get ahead in the corporate real estate markets. But in order to take advantage of everything big data has to offer and improve your CRE portfolio, a few steps need to be taken first.
A key part of using big data for an edge in commercial real estate is finding the right tools to make it possible. From the ground up, RefineRE was purpose-built to provide commercial real estate teams with a comprehensive suite of data analysis tools.
Simplicity is a high-priority when you’re dealing with big data. The RefineRE platform provides robust, reliable analytics without being overly complicated. Starting with the dashboard that provides an overview of the information you can drill down into, you’ll find it’s an extremely user-friendly system that makes a portfolio manager’s job easier instead of more complex.
Reporting is extremely intuitive with the RefineRE platform because the system is made with corporate real estate occupiers in mind. We understand what data is most relevant in the corporate real estate space and what corporate real estate teams want to know. Rather than being a generic data analysis platform that corporate real estate teams have to heavily customize to make more relevant, RefineRE is real estate-specific out of the box. There’s no need for corporate real estate teams to spend time setting everything up to better suit CRE since everything is ready to go right from the start. The platform is highly adaptable and easy to customize further to support your unique goals.
RefineRE goes well beyond basic big data analysis. Our CRE solutions are made for analyzing corporate real estate data at all levels for in-depth insights you wouldn’t find with traditional data analysis tools. If you’re concerned about your carbon footprint, the Environmental Social Governance (ESG) module will calculate it based on energy use and leasing data. If you want to get a more precise valuation for a property while identifying potential cost savings, then the Markets module is the perfect solution for analyzing corporate leases to compare prices.
These are just a few examples of how RefineRE’s corporate real estate data modules can be used to help corporate real estate teams make more informed investments. It’s time to put the inefficient spreadsheets aside for dynamic reports that tell you so much more.
See a demo of our CRE data management platform to discover what you could learn with RefineRE.