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The Emerging Role of Big Data in Commercial Real Estate

Whether you’re designing office space around the needs of prospective tenants or researching current commercial real estate trends, there’s information you need to know and there are ways to get it. Big data.

First of all, what is big data exactly? Generally speaking, “big data” is defined as data sets so large or complex that traditional data processing applications are simply inadequate. These sets may be analyzed to reveal patterns, trends, and associations, especially relating to human behavior and interactions.

With that in mind …

The need for better technology to quench our thirst for fast, reliable and less expensive information is transforming industries all across the world. For commercial real estate, big data is giving us new opportunities for transparency and a wealth of data that we can implement during our decision making processes. As more real estate firms continue to invest in big data, the industry as a whole will begin to see more comprehensive information becoming readily available as it relates to listings, consumer activity and trends, and comparative transaction history, to name a few.

Impact on Property Sales

Today, many property transactions are being done through online portals and are made easy with quick exchanges of information and data. What used to take days is being completed in minutes. Sales and contracts are being negotiated and agreed upon faster, and the results of these transactions can be assessed in near record time. Big data can allow us to look for patterns in sales transactions, thus helping us predict where the market.

What’s more, big data is allowing us to make more thoughtful and knowledgeable decisions regarding the purchase and sale of specific properties. Take a commercial real estate developer looking to purchase a retail storefront to be used as an infant clothing store. Access to big data technologies - perhaps sensor technology in this instance - would allow this developer to know how many women pushing strollers walk by the proposed site each day. Stop for a moment and consider the applications of such specific, real-time data.

Impact on Building Management

The way commercial real estate buildings are being managed is also impacted by the results of big data. In some commercial buildings, landlords are introducing sensor technology to read temperatures to determine optimal temperatures, even streamlining the process of maintenance scheduling.

It’s not uncommon for people to relate the use of big data to retail or mobile uses. Big data is a marketer’s dream. It allows them to have “inside” access to buyers and why they buy the products they buy and what makes them choose one item over the other. It’s time to realize that big data is reaching far beyond shopping and mobile decisions and into how commercial real estate buildings operate, function, and how the people in those buildings work. Big data is changing the commercial real estate space and if you’re using it, you’ll have an advantage … the data speaks for itself.

The Next Generation of Big Data

There’s nothing to fear when it comes to the use of big data. Companies have been using similar practices for customer insights to gain competitive advantages for years, now it’s just coming into our industry and we’ve realized the magnitude of advantages we’ve gained.