Real estate managers are in the early stages of using data collected at their properties — gleaned from such diverse sources as facial recognition software to social media programs — to gain insights into their investments.
Most managers say efforts to develop big data to build and maintain portfolios is only just beginning, with some bringing in data analytics and information technology experts to help understand how that competitive intelligence can give them an edge on investments.
The efforts mark a sea change in focus for real estate managers, which traditionally have used data as part of their due diligence for investment decisions already made. Now, they are turning to big data to identify trends, determine what properties to buy and how they can squeeze additional returns from properties already owned.
Global real estate technology spending is projected to reach nearly $3 billion in 2017, up from $2.7 billion in 2016 and $2 billion in 2015, according to the 39th Emerging Trends in Real Estate report released in October by the Urban Land Institute and PricewaterhouseCoopers.