Six Must Do’s To Get Value From Your Real Estate Data

Peer Group Meeting #85 | “Data certainly does not always have value,” begins the meeting. “It depends on what you do with it.” But how exactly do you tackle this process of value creation? We have mapped out the most important learnings of the Peer Group Meeting for you:


1 Become the owner of your data

Smart lamps, sensors, beacons: handy, but make sure that the data is in your data lake. Often the data ends up in the database of the company that hung it and you have to pay a fee when you request it. In addition to the costs you save if you own your data, you can also do your own benchmarking for your spaces/buildings/warehouses. As the owner of the sensors and the data that these sensors generate, you are in charge (and the visualization), instead of the supplier.


2 Create a data plan

If you want a smart building, it is advisable to come up with a plan that starts from the first building blocks. How are you going to arrange everything? How are you going to extract the data from the building? Are you going to install a sensor, do you need a battery, or electricity? Which mesh networks do you want to use? What kind of sensors do you want? What is the basic package of sensors that you think you should at least have? Where are you going to hang them? What are you going to measure where? Where will you store the measured data? What infrastructure do you have behind it to understand what you are getting out of it? What kind of analysis are you going to make with it? Who are you going to make this analysis for? What information will you give back to the tenant? What can you even use from the tenant? What are you going to use yourself, on a strategic level? In order to get value out of your data, you need to think carefully about these kinds of issues. It’s not just rolling out a package of sensors.


3 Be selective

At one end of the spectrum there are companies with a lot of smart devices that collect all kinds of data, but ultimately don’t do anything with it because they can’t see the wood for the trees anymore. Moreover, many companies do not even have the bandwidth to actually use the generated data. “Hacking blind data is of no use to you,” concludes one participant. On the other hand, there are parties who don’t do anything with data at all because they don’t see the point of it. They are right to decide whether it makes sense to start measuring all kinds of things. Sometimes data indeed has no value and the investment is simply too high. Even the storage of data costs money. Data is a kind of raw material: you have to save it, store it, convert it. Before you start measuring anything, ask yourself: What data has value for you? Do you have a suitable application for it? Do you have the right infrastructure to do something with it?


4 Formulate a vision

It takes vision to get value out of your data and that goes much further than “a dime now, a euro tomorrow”. Once you have the operational data of your premises and have analysed it, you can start making strategic decisions. If you know what is happening at the micro-level, you can also make nice predictions about where it is going in the world. Strive to make real value out of data, not money. For example, can you guarantee that absenteeism at work decreases by 2% when someone implements your smart techniques in an office building? That’s creating value through a data-based business model. The WELL model is a step in the right direction, but it lacks validation. In this way, you give a guarantee and get people along earlier.


5 Connect data with action

Collecting data just to collect data, that’s an art project. It’s not the data itself, but what you do with it that creates value. Location data in itself, for example, is of no use to you. Only when you start converting it into information that is relevant to you and apply it in various ways, will it be of use to you. Ask yourself (again) the questions: “What can I measure now, what do I want to measure in the future, and what can and what do I want to do with it?” Talk about it with others, and ideas will come up.


6 Think ahead

The future lies with real estate parties that will pay attention to the user experience and user value instead of limiting themselves to “location, location, location”. As a result of the increasing digitalisation, supermarkets, for example, will become less and less important: in a few years’ time, we will be doing all our shopping online. Because the importance of location is going to decline, sustainable buildings that promote well-being will gain more and more ground. The current models, in which the rental contract determines the value of the property, will gradually disappear. We cannot rule out the possibility that valuation models of the future will also take into account factors such as mobility, sustainability, welfare, comfort and ease of use. For example, the value of a building could be higher if its smart technologies make people more productive. That’s why we say: put those smart lamps in place right now and don’t wait until you’re forced to do it. Be proactive, not reactive. That will also save you a lot of money.

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