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Can algorithms help you time the real estate cycle?

Data management is the biggest challenge facing real estate investment managers, according to members attending NAREIM’s Innovation Summit this week. Half of all members revealed they were looking to innovation to help solve internal data challenges, not least the integration, warehousing and cleaning of data across the entire firm in order to better use data for trend analysis and prediction. While a majority of firms are focused on integrating data sources into one central repository, members at the meeting also discussed how prioritizing data and computer-aided research in the investment decision-making process can help firms analyze real estate opportunities with more granularity and precision - and provide additional cyclical analysis to help better time specific opportunities. The Innovation Summit heard from investment managers, REITs, venture capital investors and consultants as to how they are addressing innovation inside the commercial real estate corporation. Among the key pieces of advice were:
  • Fail fast. We need to innovate to remain relevant and there will be failures along the way. We need to ensure we course-correct as we go, and do it quickly.
  • Innovation doesn‚Äôt happen organically. It needs to come from the top, with C-suite commitment and resources.
  • 70% of a data strategy is about solidifying and integrating data and systems. It is hard work. Once that work is complete, we can start to look at analyzing the data for acquisition, asset and portfolio management strategies.
  • Understand the amount of time a firm spends collecting and organizing the data versus analyzing the data.
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