The other theme that caught my attention was data. Not necessarily ‘Big Data’, but the growing importance of gathering and analysing data, big or small, within real estate.
There was one particular conference session on the topic, “Data: reshaping the evolution” - moderated by Dan Hughes. The session’s main focus was on how the property sector is beginning to realise the power of data and how real estate professionals are adding value to their businesses by using data.
Dan used the “data is power” cliché in the presentation. While he was probably talking about property data being used to improve business functions, data is also powerful when it comes to PR and publicity - a fact highlighted by one of the speakers, Stefano Heitmann of Price Hubble AG. He underlined data’s importance in the context of PR and highlighted its use as a way for real estate businesses to differentiate themselves from their competition. He understands that not only is data interesting to property owners, occupiers, managers and brokers, but it is also interesting to journalists, news outlets and consumers.
The challenge is not necessarily analysing data or even composing an interesting news release about it - it is often the collection of the data in the first place. If a business has not previously understood the value of data, or simply never had the technology to make it's collection easy, then that data simply falls through the net. To realise the PR potential within data it is essential that it is collected in the first place. PropTech businesses realise this and I think, anecdotally, that the penny is beginning to drop with traditional real estate businesses too.