Best Practices

Data Driven Real Estate

John Ledger

6 min read

In recent years, the institutional investment landscape has witnessed a notable transformation, characterized by unparalleled reliance on data-driven real estate. This evolution has especially spotlighted specialized markets, such as Commercial Real Estate, as critical areas for its expanding influence.

Throughout this blog, we venture deep into the pivotal role of data and its transition from advantage to necessity within the sectors of commercial real estate. Join us as we delve into the critical ways in which data has become a driving force, revolutionizing strategies, and redefining opportunities within niche investments.

The Problem with Data-Driven Real Estate Analysis

While the real estate industry is increasingly reliant on data, a number of issues have arisen around companies shifting towards data without having the structure in place to support wide-scale analysis. Data analysis, without the help of scraping or organization tools, is tedious and inefficient: the amount of manpower necessary to complete analyses makes the analysis impossible. The advent of these tools, however, has changed this dynamic and inspired the shift towards a data-focused world.

Where does all this data come from? Unstructured data such as emails, documents, websites, as well as geographical information presented through maps, graphics, and interactive dashboards, are the raw inputs that real estate professionals leverage to innovate and justify decisions. The ability to harness and cut data into actionable insights is key to establishing a competitive advantage in this market.

The Application of Data in Commercial Real Estate

In today’s dynamic landscape of real estate, data has become the linchpin that drives crucial decisions across sectors. From investments and valuations to asset management and investor relations, data power is shaping how we navigate property management.

Investments and Valuation:

At the heart of real estate investments, data serves as a guiding light. Future investment decisions are anchored in reliable data, offering insights into market trends, performance history, and the potential for growth. Property investment valuation is also no longer a matter of educated guesswork. AI-driven automated valuation models (AVM) harness data from multiple sources to generate accurate property valuations. By leveraging datasets, these models consider a myriad of variables, offering a more nuanced and data-backed approach to property valuation. Data empowers stakeholders to precisely assess growth and property potential, considering factors like market demand, location trends, and historical data.

However, data is nothing by itself. To analyze investments and valuations, efficiency is imperative, as thousands of properties must be analyzed – the speed at which a company can do this can make or break their success. Hence, the ability to swiftly gather, analyze, and make informed decisions based on data is paramount to limiting downside risk in a volatile market.

Asset Management:

Managing an existing real estate portfolio efficiently is paramount. Data optimization strategies, based on metrics like Rent PSF, Occupancy Rates, Cap Rates, Price per Square Foot (PSF), Vacancy Rates, Development Costs, and Operational Costs, allow for the fine-tuning of asset management. This optimization involves examining elements such as expense benchmarking and rental rates, which are key indicators for decision-makers.


Data reveals the ebb and flow of the CRE market, providing insights into rental rates, incentives, and demand for space. Tracking trends and identifying tenants in the market ensures a strategic approach to tenant acquisition.

Investor Relations:

In the sphere of investor relations, data-driven real estate decisions are a matter of matching investors with the right risk profile. The institutional memory of the market, derived from historical data and trends, becomes a competitive advantage for real estate firms, aiding in the attraction of institutional investors through a data backed investment strategy.

The Essential Tools of the Trade

The commercial real estate landscape is undergoing a tech renaissance, redefining the way stakeholders operate, strategize, and make informed decisions. Among these revolutionary technologies, AI and automation, data scraping, and advanced research tools stand out as catalysts reshaping the industry.

Connecting Data Sets:

The integration of new data structures within cloud systems has significantly reduced data silos and enhanced connectivity across the industry. Data lakes, for example, facilitated by technologies like Microsoft Fabric, Snowflake, and AWS, centralize and harmonize diverse data sources. This consolidation across various sources enables the interconnection of disparate data sets, uncovering correlations and trends that were previously hidden. 

AI Real Estate and Automation:

AI and automation have emerged as game-changers in data-driven real estate. These technologies streamline and optimize various processes, enhancing efficiency and accuracy in data analysis and decision-making. One application of AI and automation is data scraping: extracting massive amounts of real estate information from diverse sources, including operational management (OM) data, broker emails, and underwriting documents. This ability to sift and compile relevant data for analysis ensures a comprehensive understanding of market trends and property performance.

The advancement of AI-powered tools enables the automatic right-sizing of data, ensuring that only pertinent information is utilized for decision-making. Moreover, these technologies are equipped to detect/flag anomalies, improving the quality and reliability of insights derived from the data.

Research Tools and Enrichment of Third-Party Data:

Sophisticated research tools have revolutionized the enrichment of third-party data with a multitude of external resources, both paid and free. These tools amalgamate various sources, such as school information, foot traffic, tenant demand, lifestyle characteristics, points of interest, demographic trends, tax assessor data, and mortgage databases, providing a comprehensive view that goes beyond traditional real estate metrics. This enriched data facilitates more informed decision-making, offering deeper insights into market dynamics, potential risks, and growth opportunities.

AI Queries and LLMs:

The emergence of AI queries and chat-based AI search capabilities allows for interaction with large language models (LLMs). Users can engage in conversational queries with AI systems to uncover trends and insights without advanced data engineering skills. This democratization of data analysis empowers individuals to extract meaningful information from vast data repositories through simple, conversational interactions.

Dashboards and Automated Reporting:

Dashboards serve as the visual interface of data, offering snapshots of key metrics and insights by enabling stakeholders to track performance and visualize trends. The advent of automatic dashboard and report creation simplifies the process, empowering users to access up-to-date information effortlessly. Platforms like PowerBI and Tableau have revolutionized how data is organized, analyzed, and presented, translating intricate data sets into intuitive graphs, charts, and reports that are easily comprehensible to stakeholders, regardless of their technical expertise.

In conclusion, data is more than a simple necessity in commercial real estate: it is an asset. With the right approach to managing, analyzing, and presenting data, your firm can create a competitive advantage to win more deals, gross higher margins, and innovate efficient pipelines. Reliance on data will only continue to grow: investing now is imperative to staying relevant in this ever-changing market.

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