The adoption of technology solutions in the European real estate industry is gaining momentum, as firms realize the power of data aggregation tools for reporting and querying.
by Hannah Holt
We are all aware that Excel is a very useful tool, but it is not a solid database. All businesses will have an anecdote involving an accidental error during manual entry into Excel; those ‘fat finger’ moments. However, many businesses still rely heavily on data gathered in Excel, with increasingly unwieldly spreadsheets as the core source of data.
The real estate industry has traditionally been slow to adopt new technology, but we’re seeing this change. A key area we are seeing transformation is in data aggregation, and adopting technology to gather data from multiple sources, presenting it in a summarized, more easily usable format. Businesses are realizing the benefits of moving away from manually collating data from disparate sources, towards a systematic approach.
The shift from disparate to consistent data collation
Real estate investors will be familiar with the problem. Across all real estate (RE) asset classes, properties are being managed on the ground by dedicated property management firms, using their own systems, be it Yardi, MRI or even Excel. This data is passed up to RE investment companies in reports that could be in wildly different formats across properties, and thus begins the task of collating this data to ultimately provide investors with quarterly reporting. It is this task that is time consuming, and when done manually, prone to error.
The European market in particular has its complex position, with many investors crossing borders, languages and currencies. It is in this space that we are seeing a greater uptake in automated solutions for data aggregation. Businesses are beginning to search for systems that can ingest and validate data directly from their property managers, whether by templated import files, direct API or using data management services.
The possibilities from validated data
With validated data in a system, the power of analytics can be harnessed to achieve far-reaching effects, with benefits such as customized dashboards, ad hoc querying, report creation on the fly and directly feeding investor reporting. RE investment firms will be able to flex reporting at the touch of a button, allowing resources to be proactive and focus on value-add tasks.
The global market is not lacking in solid technology to tackle this issue; Real Page’s AIM solution, Pereview from Saxony Partners, MRI’s Investment Central and ARGUS Voyanta from Altus Group, to name a few. All bringing to the table strong solutions for real estate specific data management, and each with their own individual strengths and a wealth of experience.
As the power of technology is increasing and the need to implement more advanced functionality is brought to the forefront with the challenges of remote working, this is a very exciting time in the RE tech space.
Lionpoint works with the alternative investment industry, including real estate firms, across the front, middle and back office, setting organizations up with the processes, technology and data governance needed to achieve business ambitions.
To discuss technology solutions for your organization, contact the Lionpoint team.