We have seen more CRE website failures than we should have. These failures are expensive, time consuming and terrible for the reputation of those involved. Here is our stab at laying out the pitfalls. We unpack where things go wrong, but, most importantly provide, in our opinion, the questions to ask and actions to take to avoid failure.
We all know that data is the oil that commercial real estate (CRE) runs on. Secondly we also know that high quality data is immensely valuable. Data is one of the four reasons, probably the most important reason, why your customers talk to you: junk data = junk advice.
As the increasingly popular saying goes:
Data is the new gold
Your business is the provision of CRE advisory and consulting services – the successful outcome: deals. Therefore, on top of your day-to-day deal-making activities, you are also required to manage CRE data. But not just any data, instead complex, inter-related property, unit, business and contact data. Some of which may be living in separate silos, or worse, be duplicated across systems. Further, CRE data volumes are high, and your data changes frequently.
From deal makers down to the back-office team, this CRE data quality responsibility, at best, is a frustrating distraction. At worst, data is poorly handled. Bad data equals risk of bad advice, missed deals and embarrassment.
How bad is your data? How good is it?
CRE is one of the world’s most data-complex industries. Consequently, is incredibly difficult for humans, without powerful data tools and specialist processes, to maintain CRE standard data volumes by hand.
So, up front, there is no shame in the findings below!
To arm you with industry data quality benchmarks, here are the results of a CRE data quality intervention we did for a (confidential) brokerage. We would regard this as a normal CRE brokerage:
- Team comprises a mix of management, brokers and back office personnel
- Data is processed by hand.
- Business has a history of legacy data.
- Data was stored in historically disconnected systems, resulting in multiple data “version of truth” issues.
For ease of analysis, results are broken down by data asset family.
Properties is where your lease, image, document, property attribute and unit data lives. This data family also store businesses (tenants or owners, property managers) and contacts. High quality property data is the cornerstone of any successful CRE brokerage.
This database comprised 8.2K properties, ranging across South Africa. At take on, the quality was unknown. Here are the findings: