Business Intelligence and Real Estate: Catching Up To The Data

December 09, 2020
Business Intelligence and Real Estate: Catching Up To The Data

Business intelligence tools applied to the commercial real estate market can give investors the support they need to maximize profit and minimize risk. An array of different industries from healthcare to finance have already employed BI tools to a great benefit. The commercial real estate industry can also harness the power of BI tools properly formatted to their organizational needs in order to identify and capitalize on new opportunities. The innumerable data sets that the commercial real estate industry generates can no longer be consumed and analyzed manually. Business intelligence tools and machine-learning algorithms can process, sort, and integrate these data streams into actionable insights so investors can more effectively manage their portfolios. 

What Can BI Do For My CRE Portfolio? 

The benefits of deploying business intelligence tools and software to gather, analyze, and visualize important trends are endless. Investors, developers, and real estate stakeholders can use BI to: 

  • Ascertain the most complete picture of a property’s profitability 
  • Analyze and predict how systematic and unsystematic factors will affect their property’s viability 
  • Identify previously unseen variables that can affect a property’s long-term profitability 
  • Generate up-to-date reports that take into account new changes to a property’s surrounding environment 
  • Streamline and collate important KPIs to present more convincing sales propositions to interested buyers 

These benefits are only the most general applications for business intelligence software in the realm of commercial real estate investing and management. Seasoned real estate investors and managers know that there are many more on-the-ground factors that go into creating a suitable investment opportunity. 

It is up to every real estate management firm to decide how exactly it will deploy its business intelligence software. The mistake that many CRE firms make is believing that off-the-shelf, downloadable software is a one-size-fits-all solution that can tackle every situation inputted into it without taking into account the many nuances that affect a property’s viability. 

With that said, stakeholders who want to employ BI should be aware that they must also play a part in its successful rollout. There are many opportunities that a BI tool can uncover, but it falls onto the investor, developer, or real estate manager to act on that information. The following rundown of the most popular BI tools for CRE management is not an exhaustive list. 

Interested parties should take a close look at all the ups and downs of these tools to see if they align with their business goals. If none of these tools satisfy the particular needs of their objectives, custom-made software is another route that can be pursued. This endeavor — creating a custom software tool — is time-consuming but not impossible, and there are many software development firms that can formulate such products. 

The Five Must-Have BI Tools For Real Estate

There are many BI tools available for real estate managers, agents, investors, and brokerage firms to employ. The tools listed here have been chosen for their versatile applications, as well as other factors, including their learning curves, service support, and the multiple tools that they offer. 

Be sure to keep reading for suggestions on more customizable software solutions for real estate firms. 

Tableau 

Tableau is a highly-rated business intelligence platform that helps large and medium-sized enterprises accelerate their performance with data-based insight. Users can decide on the type of data presentation from the software’s array of different visualization options, which are also customizable. Tableau’s self-service capabilities and intuitive layout allow users from all skill sets to easily view and understand the stories behind the data. Tableau has come to be so widely appreciated for its: 

  • Best-in-class visualizations that give users a complete and dynamic overview of several data points 
  • Support of many different data sources that allow for easy data interpretation 
  • AI-component that lets users explore further into their data sets to find specific patterns and trends 
  • Wide-variety of support options for new users to flatten the learning curve while creating engaged and committed users 

Best For: Medium to large-sized brokerage firms, corporate real estate, boutique brokerage firms, commercial real estate 

Drawbacks: limited data restoration capabilities, no data encryption, no multi-platform capabilities

Product Rating: 86% of Tableau users recommend this product 

QlikView

QlikView is a renowned, customer-driven BI tool that can transform reams of data into insightful, actionable intelligence. The program is designed to accelerate growth in any organization by interpreting important performance makers and showcasing them in an easy-to-understand format. The tool comes loaded with pre-built dashboards, as well as drill-down features that let users dive deep into their operations at every level. QlikView has become popular for its: 

  • Multiple deployment platforms that let users choose between a cloud system or an on-site data warehouse for complete access 
  • Lightning-fast processing and data sorting due to its many data storage options, as well as in-memory storage capability 
  • Full data management and manipulation that gives users unfettered access to all of their data, all of the time, no matter the report format 
  • Company-wide access allows different teams to suss out important trends and collaborate on projects 

Best For: Small to medium-sized brokerage firms, independent realtors, landlords, property managers 

Drawbacks: No predictive analytics capability, no pattern-finding capability

Product Rating: 83% of QlikView users recommend this product 

Power BI

Power BI from Microsoft is a highly-adaptable business intelligence tool that can gather and organize data into easily recognizable categories. Users can also interact with their data streams in real-time to optimize presentations and decision-making. Power BI is the software tool of choice for small-to-medium-sized real estate companies that want to make use of its: 

  • Fully customizable reporting visualizations along with several pre-built variations to quickly and easily present data 
  • Collaborative configurations that tie together disparate teams and departments to effectively manage data reports 
  • An on-the-go mobile capability that gives agents, brokers, and managers unlimited access to published reports and data streams 
  • Industry-leading data security that protects against business-wide data loss and corruption 

Best For: Small and medium-sized real estate firms, independent realtors, land leasing, property management 

Drawbacks: Limited graphic capability, overwhelmed by large data sets 

Product Rating: 86% of Power BI users would recommend this product 

Board Software

Board Software is a global business intelligence solution that provides an all-in-one platform that applies to many industries. Board Software specializes in uniting several key performance indicators into an easy-to-understand analytical profile that seeks to drive organizational success. Board’s toolkit is perfect for sifting through several data streams to optimize the decision-making process for large and corporate real estate firms. Several outstanding features of Board Software are: 

  • Top-down overview of an entire organization’s performance, vulnerabilities, and areas for improvement 
  • User-friendly interface that requires little to no technical skills for users to navigate and understand the presented data 
  • Ability to run pressure-testing simulations on several different property types to gauge performance expectations 
  • Fully adaptable to a firm’s various needs with a bevy of different tools at their disposal 

Best For: Large real estate firms, corporate real estate, commercial real estate investment and management 

Drawbacks: Windows-only, no Android-compatible mobile application, lax security protocols 

Product Rating: 87% of Board users would recommend this product 

Zoho Analytics

Zoho Analytics is a premium business intelligence tool that can process crucial data sets from a variety of streams including lead databases, sales cycles, and property management. Zoho has come to be regarded as one of the most popular BI tools for its: 

  • Variety of different visualization templates that present huge data sets in a dynamic style 
  • Seamless integration with other data tools and software 
  • A fully customizable platform that can conform to the needs of any real estate locality 
  • Automated processes that ensure problem-free transactions and frequent customer outreach 

Best For: Small and medium-sized real estate brokerage firms, independent realtors

Drawbacks: Steep learning curve, complex visual style 

Product rating: 83% of Zoho users would recommend this product

Closing Thoughts

The ascendency of business intelligence continues to revolutionize the way many industries perform and operate. The real estate industry is only now starting to catch-up. All the solutions listed here have universal applications; however,  custom-made software solutions that take into account the many traditional, non-traditional, and complex data sets of real estate may be best suited to serve the needs of large real estate firms. 

Given our experience in the software development industry, Glorium Technologies is ideally positioned to create such software solutions. We can take on any project and connect you with the right development team. With over 150 projects completed, you can rest easy knowing that your real estate business will be in expert hands. Simply fill out one of our online consultation forms to see which solution is best for your business. 

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