Location, Location, Location; Big Data in Real Estate is so Much More

For decades, the real estate industry’s mantra has been “location, location, location.” This has typically meant using highly quantitative data focused on zip codes, census data, and other readily available data sets. But these short-sighted and commoditized data sets leave developers focused on a project’s current viability to receive funding and to be sold or leased today. For assets that need to remain profitable for the next 50 years, this approach does not take into consideration the full viability of the location over time. This lack of future insight means developers are left without the ability to study both the quantitative and qualitative data to fully predict the maximum use and feasibility of their projects. Using location, demographic, and market data to assess the quality of a site in combination with zoning and land use data to build a case for municipal approval is just the beginning. Yes, location is important; but the real driver of that importance is consumer demand which changes over time, unlike static data trapped in a spreadsheet.

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