Today, residential real estate data is more readily available than ever before. Buyers and sellers no longer even need a real estate agent to see the recent properties for sale in their area. But commercial real estate data is an entirely different story.
The commercial real estate industry has long had a closed-door data policy. History has proven it’s an industry that can still largely function without relying on technology. There’s been a hard asset mindset that makes it difficult for many industry insiders to see the value in data mining.
For others, being slow to adopt new technologies that utilize commercial real estate data isn’t an accident or even a lack of awareness. It’s been a matter of controlling the flow of information. Because even though real estate is built on hard assets, the data is where the real value lies.
As has been the case in a number of other industries, commercial real estate industry data holds a wealth of information – if you can get your hands on it. Innovative technologies are making it possible now that the commercial real estate industry at large sees the importance of commercial real estate data analytics.
Historically, reliable commercial real estate data has been difficult to attain, but that trend is changing. As of late, there’s been a lot of talk about the “digital disruption” happening in the real estate industry across all sectors.
That’s one of the motivating factors being the changes in CRE data analytics. In 2016, the Wharton School published an article that boldly stated the commercial real estate industry needed to change its approach to data, analytics, and business models or risk total disruption. They went on to outline how any commercial real estate company could take hold of data technologies rather than casting them aside.
Another factor that’s influencing the CRE data revolution is the people in the industry. Today, many people in the commercial real estate industry are Millennials who are very comfortable with technology. Soon, the all-digital Generation Z will be prominent in the industry. This is a stark change from Gen X and Boomers that have had less inclination to use technology.
The CRE industry is changing at all levels where technology is concerned. With over 3,000 CRE apps and even more tech companies working on CRE software products, it’s safe to say the commercial real estate industry is transitioning. Long after the financial sector, retail markets, and even mail delivery digitized, the real estate industry is ready to embrace big data and analytics technology.
It’s not a matter of if commercial real estate data is going to be leveraged but how. The biggest initial challenge has been bringing the data sources together and making the information understandable as well as actionable.
An overabundance of data can be gathered from just about anywhere in our increasingly connected world. It can range from basic property data to leasing trends in a tight geographic area based on tenant activity over a certain period of time. Information can be generated on-site at any property or online by devices, sensors, cameras, and people.
The problem has quickly switched from having access to any information at all, to an information overload that is impossible to manage manually. There’s simply too much of it and more data is being generated every day.
The commercial real estate industry is notorious for being slow to change, but many companies are very aware that “big data” is highly influential and useful. It’s quickly becoming a necessity for any commercial real estate company or corporate occupier that wants the most profitable CRE portfolio possible.
A lot has changed in the five years since the Wharton School of Business proclaimed that the commercial real estate industry needed to get on the big data bandwagon. Data companies have found success in residential real estate and their attention is now on the CRE industry.
But are CRE companies and investors really on board with big data? A 2018 Global PropTech Survey found that two-thirds of real estate decision-makers at their respective commercial real estate firm haven’t implemented digital data strategies.
Part of the reason commercial real estate professionals have dragged their feet in adopting big data technologies is simply because they don’t know how to implement them. They’ve come to understand the value of CRE data, they just don’t know how to extract the value.
Corporate occupiers that used to attribute all of the value to hard assets miss an important truth about data. It helps you make more informed decisions about hard assets. Better commercial real estate data leads to better commercial real estate decisions.
Data offers CRE leaders and investors actionable insights they wouldn’t otherwise have at their disposal. It’s an insight that can provide a clearer picture of possible revenue and risk. Data will help maximize the hard asset’s value or identify its best use.
The real threat now is being one of the corporate occupiers that aren’t accessing and analyzing big data. The view has shifted from disinterest and distrust to partnership and potential.
After years of watching other industries revolutionize in the digital age, commercial real estate is finally at the point of change. The change is occurring because there are now technologies that provide reliable and readily available commercial real estate data that corporate occupiers can actually use.
RefineRE is one of the leading innovators that is redefining commercial real estate data by bringing it all together. A robust yet intuitive commercial real estate data platform that can track, aggregate, translate, analyze, and visualize real-time data is the final piece of the big data puzzle.
The RefineRE platform isn’t a simple data tracker. It’s designed to answer your data-driven questions and make data more actionable through:
After doing a little research, it’s easy to see the value of utilizing data to make strategic porfolio decisions. It’s the solution for how any CRE company or corporate occupier can leverage the valuable insights that are locked away in their own data.