Sources: "5 ways big data is changing real estate," (Jul. 9, 2014); "How Data Analytics is Transforming the Real-Estate Industry," (May 28, 2014)
Real estate investors, money lenders and residential real estate agents use big data to their advantage.
The overwhelming amount of real estate information available today has brought with it benefits and drawbacks to both industry professionals and consumers. One thing is certain, however: There is no going back. As the article “5 ways big data is changing real estate” on noted, “Big data is changing the way real estate professionals, buyers, sellers – and even banks – think about transactions involving property.” Zillow is one example of a company that has combined big data and real estate into a platform that benefits the consumer. Stan Humphries, chief economist at Zillow, said in the article the company tries to “create complete transparency of real estate info. We not only want to create complete transparency but also analytics products.”
“Big data is changing the way real estate professionals, buyers, sellers – and even banks – think about transactions involving property.”
Residential uses

The tools used by companies such as Zillow, Trulia and Redfin can give consumers information about their property’s potential value and help them evaluate home-value trends within a neighborhood or zip code, according to the article. Although big data is helping empower consumers, it also might be giving them the false sense that they don’t need any help from real estate professionals. “As a tool to help start your property search, big data sites may be helpful,” said Jim Esposito of Fort Lauderdale Real Estate, in the article. “However, when you seriously start to focus in on an area or a neighborhood, you really need a local agent who is plugged into the Multiple Listing Services to give you reliable information.”
Commercial brokers use it, too
Colliers International, a leading global commercial real estate company, is using big data in ways that go way beyond buying and selling property. In the article “How data analytics is transforming the real-estate industry” by Martha Heller on, Colliers CEO Doug Frye gave an example of how his company used data to help customers. “Recently, we worked with a law firm that was trying to decide if they wanted to move their office space,” Frye said in the article. “Instead of immediately recommending real estate, we asked questions about their business challenges, opportunities and brand. It turned out that one of their major challenges was recruiting and retaining the best talent. “We offered to run an employee engagement initiative. Employees volunteered to have their movements tracked throughout the day using location-aware devices. We then took the rich data from these devices and performed some spatial mapping, including a real-time commute analysis. “Using what we learned about employee movements and preferences, we were able to design a workplace solution for the client that enabled them to attract and retain great talent. Even better, they also reduced their costs by moving out of a more expensive high-rise space.”
Banks and big data
Big data is also changing the real estate landscape by giving institutions such as banks a way to figure out whether a foreclosure or short sale is worth what a buyer or investor is offering, according to the article. Real estate investor and author Phil Pustejovsky said in the article, “As an investor, we all but avoid foreclosures and short sales these days, in most cases, because big data has given banks so much insight into value that they now expect to get full value – which removes smart investors from the equation.” Big data also can help real estate professionals fine-tune their online marketing efforts. Glenn Phillips, CEO of Lake Homes Realty, said in the article, “Big data lets us know what visitors are doing when looking for real estate online … and we adjust our paid and organic efforts based on this data almost daily. We process data from multiple sources, stripping it down to just the niche we serve. It is this large dataset that allows us to provide true convenience to the buyers and sellers.”
Big data also can help us better understand communities.
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Big data also can help us better understand communities. For example, the Hudson Yards project in Manhattan, which is creating commercial and residential units, “could also be a big data engine,” according to the article. Planned spaces will be equipped with sensors that can track everything from air quality, to traffic, to energy use and more. The information gathered will help real estate developers learn what kinds of spaces work best regarding the health of tenants, energy efficiency and other issues. Plus, researchers will be able to build sociology and civil engineering projects based on the data, according to the article.
Win big with big data
Big data is changing the real estate landscape
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