Big data is quickly becoming a cost effective way of leveling the playing field between small and large scale investors, particularly in customer intensive sectors such as self-storage, affordable housing, hotel and restaurants. The institutional players are on the forefront of this adoption because incremental improvements to the top or bottom line tend to move the dial in a big way, especially for REITs that need to deliver quarter to quarter. Even in more traditional sectors of real estate investing, incremental and granular changes are beginning to speed up.
While real estate remains very much a location business, it is by no means a local business anymore. More domestic and foreign investors are focusing on markets in which they have no prior history of transacting. This is the result of easier and more convenient access to meaningful data on markets, asset classes, trades and behaviors. While there’s always room for the creative and the nimble in the real estate industry, with the growth of data sources and solutions, it makes it easier for players of any size to be well informed and to better execute.