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Filippo Rean, Reed Midem

Data – the next big thing in real estate

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The end user is becoming increasingly central to every phase of the real estate business thanks to the rich availability and sophisticated analysis of property data - from a building’s design through to its management. Data generated by the users themselves make this possible. For instance, the Internet of Things, working via activity sensors, can now manage temperature and shared spaces. Such data are now harvested and assessed right from the point of construction through to the management of a building, and is even used in the analysis of investments.

For instance, by matching information about the building itself to its location, we can assess its value based on criteria such as the attractiveness of a neighborhood or even a street. For example, the company Kel Quartier offers a variety of data to help buyers target the neighborhood that best fits their criteria. Data analysis also provides real estate managers with tools that allow them to optimise management of their assets. This is one of the services offered by HBS Research or Deepki - two companies exhibiting at Mipim PropTech Europe - the latest conference focusing on energy efficiency.

This sophisticated use and exploitation of data is transforming the real estate business, and demands new skills. One example is the digital model (BIM), which assists the construction and operation of a property. The model is charged with gathering all information related to the construction of the building and to pass it from the architect to the owner and/or facility manager. These data are updated throughout the life of the building. Big data allow the model to better track the development of the property and the uses to which it is put, so allowing more efficient management. The capacity to manage the building in this way gives asset managers and real estate investors additional criteria by which to value a property.

At the city level, big data bring a new dimension to urban planning. Data analysis makes it possible, for instance, to quantify and map daily population flows or to identify the match between the number of children per neighborhood and the number of schools - and so make better decisions on what infrastructure is required and the optimal location. Looking ahead, current research on autonomous vehicles also encompasses an important component of data analysis. Indeed, according to a study by the Boston Consulting Group, one of the essential elements required in the integration of autonomous vehicles into the urban environment will be a digital platform visualising the entire transport network to help manage traffic and provide users with optimal transport solutions in real time.

Beyond all these new uses that will transform our daily life and the city of tomorrow, there is the question of what framework needs to be put in place to ensure a balance between use of data and protection of individual freedom. In parallel with new government regulations, we see the emergence of new jobs focused on real estate cyber security going hand in hand with the increasing digitalisation of our societies.

Translated in english by David Thomas, Business Immo Europe

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