How the Real Estate Industry Can Use Big Data

Real Estate Industry
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Big data has big potential.

As several industries are learning, leveraging large swaths of data reveals unanticipated opportunities for elevated insights, improved service and streamlined operations. The healthcare industry puts big data to fantastic use in combing through medical histories, public health variables and internal clinic databases; the agricultural industry utilizes the technology to understand rainfall patterns, water cycles and optimal fertilization for higher yields; and sports teams are even getting in on the action, using big data to optimize player rosters.

It should come as no surprise then that real estate is flirting with big data. For a long time, real estate laboured under incomplete insights and inefficient processes. Some in the industry are working to change that – using these mountains of structured and unstructured data as their guide. Here’s how the real estate industry can – and already is – using big data.

Reliable Appraisals

Big data involves processing and analyzing reams of data – more data than a conventional software program can handle. Out of all this data, analysts start seeing clear trends and accurate “big picture” information.

This process has already impacted appraisals and valuations. Before, appraisers used databases of past valuations to arrive at a sensible number. Modern big data technology gets at a more accurate appraisal (by most people’s metrics) by incorporating years of market data with non-traditional variables.

A Consumer-centric Marketplace

Nobul is the first and only real estate digital marketplace of its kind, leveraging big data to help consumers find a real estate agent. The platform combs through massive data sets on agent histories, past transactions, verified reviews, etc., to match consumers with the right agents. Agents can then compete for a buyer/seller’s business.

The process shifts power to real estate consumers for the first time. Speaking to Superb Crew, Nobul CEO Regan McGee explains that “The nucleus of the company is all about transparency and empowerment for homebuyers.” It’s a fantastic example of how big data can guide the industry toward openness and accessibility.

Robust Insights for Consumers, Investors and Practitioners

Buyers, investors and even real estate agents often settle for a partial picture of a property – a brief history and a few openly known details about the surrounding area. Meanwhile, forecasting trends has been an even more formidable challenge. Big data analysis enables people to learn much more about a property in real-time. It also dramatically improves the predictive analytics necessary for reliable real estate trend forecasting.

A Streamlined Mortgage Process

Forbes recently published an article titled “How Technology is Breathing New Life into the Mortgage Industry,” in which it detailed big data’s role in managing application volume, mitigating fraud and generally improving accuracy in the mortgage approval process.

Essentially, big data fills in all the missing information that conventional sources can’t assess. It pulls from public databases, online user presence, bank records, overdraft activity, payment timings, etc., to paint a fuller picture of creditworthiness and trustworthiness.

We may have to wait another decade before we see big data’s full potential brought to bear in the real estate industry. Until then, these enormous strides in consumer satisfaction, investor security and mortgage accuracy are enough to get anyone interested in real estate big data.