Most commercial real estate (CRE) market participants understand the value of actionable data. It facilitates business decisions during the due diligence process but comes with a steep price tag. Given the asymmetric nature of CRE data, cross-validating tenant and property information with other data sources is often advised. For example, a broker may provide outdated or misleading market comps to further their agenda of getting inflated bids on their listings. For this reason, businesses in this space spend thousands of dollars a year acquiring data sets.
Major players in the CRE data vendors like CoStar and RCA may charge their customers anywhere from $5,000-$800,000 per year for access to various market data. Large firms usually rely on 3–4 data vendors. In addition to these services, CRE analysts working on pitch decks query Google with different keywords (e.g., lease, relocation, etc.) for potential news stories that can further validate assumptions in their investment strategies. This process that is even more crucial for smaller investors who cannot afford premium data sets is time-consuming.
During our customer interviews, we learned that everyone uses Google to gain in-depth knowledge of specific deals, tenants, or markets. A major pain point we have uncovered is the lack of granular market reports on small tenants. These are generally small businesses that do not have credit ratings. Tenancy information, such as lease terms, rent rate, and lease expiration dates, are actionable data points for private equity investors and brokers. Here an example we have found during one of our experiments.
As shown above, a lot of valuable data points can be extracted from the web. Our goal going forward is to gauge the market demand for this data set.
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