Solving commercial real estate’s information crisis

April 10, 2012  |  adavis  |  Print Article  |  Email this Article

There is an ongoing crisis in the U.S. Real Estate Asset market getting up-to-date, accurate information from the right people in a timely manner.  A property without trusted information is difficult to manage, sell or finance.

Most property information is retained among ‘silos’ of expertise.  Realtors®, by example keep information about a property used in their marketing; Appraisers keep data and research about a property used in a valuation.  Lenders and many others have property centric information stored in ‘silo’ computer files, often without a known creator.  With potentially dozens of these service providers storing valuable property information, it is extremely difficult to know who created what information and where it is.  A point of convergence is needed.

Jim Young, co-founder of Realcomm (www.realcomm.com), puts says it best, “This disparity to convergence is causing serious inefficiencies in the real estate market. An integrated system is needed so data is stored and accessed from one central location.  Today is to real estate technology as 1995 was to the internet.”

The need for a standard

There is no current standard process – or system – for connecting people with verified real estate information.  Getting this information is usually time-consuming, frustrating and expensive.  Billions of dollars are spent by property owners around the world tracking down or replacing documentation – or getting it to others, often when needed immediately.

Another huge problem is with data integrity or ‘dirty data.’  ‘Infected’ or inaccurate information causes many painful consequences.  The Data Warehouse Institute (www.tdwi.org) and the Insurance Data Management Association (www.idma.org) cite separate research studies reporting that data integrity costs account for 15 percent to 20 percent of operating profits in the private equity real estate sector.

This sea of ‘suspicious’ information bogs down the investing and lending process.  Only high quality, verified information is accepted in the current marketplace – putting the burden on owners as they attempt to meet these elevated data standards.  A lack of quality information causes a property to become illiquid and expensive to operate.

Even when verifiable information is available, the owner must get it to those who need it.

“Getting a loan is very inefficient.  Having to deliver information time after time for each lender is an enormous hassle” says Greg Miller, CCIM,CPM – Principal of Interstate Partners, LLC

This has become more difficult as the complexity of real estate ownership structures and management strategies increase.  This inefficiency in data connectivity is costly and creates many delays.

Questions often heard from owners and managers about mortgages, appraisals, title insurance, loan, association documents, surveys and so forth go like this…  “Where is the original document – or does a replacement need to be produced?”  or “Who was the source of the information and are they available to verify its accuracy?” or “What were the assumptions used in the original analysis?” and then the real question, “Why don’t we have someplace where we keep this stuff where we can confirm and share it with each other easily?”

The bottom line is that owners have lacked a secure standard system which allows them to share their information with lenders, vendors and service providers in a trusted format.

A Simple Solution

The Asset Record Company® has created a simple, yet secure online point of convergence for each specific parcel of real estate.

Owners and market participants seeking a better way to interact with real estate information and each other can now easily establish Asset Records® that store and connect information.

As a neutral administrator the Asset Record Company® facilitates these online records allowing a connection to quality data from professional service providers who are familiar with the property.

The idea of a trusted third party administrator who delivers a control process is nothing new but the Asset Record Company® is now bringing this to the Real Estate sector.

The Company’s patent pending system enhances and transforms quality information into a standard interactive record.

Real Estate service firms, owners and managers all interact through the Asset Record®.  Each property assigned an Asset Record® Identification Number which connects its Geo Spatial Location (a.k.a. Global Position) with all of its other facts confirmed by experts familiar with the property.  In this way the ‘information’ itself becomes an Asset, similar to other valuable personal property assets, like web sites.

The Asset Record Company® administers the ID and Title of Ownership for each Asset Record® in the United States and United Kingdom.

The cost to owners is between $90 and $240 based on their property type and professionals connect for FREE to help build and manage each properties data set.

Each Asset Record® provides a means to control, share and transfer information about a parcel of real estate.

A great deal of detailed information is gathered at various times by vendors and practitioners who serve a property’s ownership.  Parts of this data are used for whatever immediate purpose was called for and the remainder is generally retained by the practitioner as a work file, or data silo.

The information solution

Rarely is all of the knowledge conveyed, even though it could be very useful to the owner, now and into the future.  Why?  Because until the Asset Record®, there was simply no secure, standardized mechanism to keep their records in one place where they could be verified and used again.  The result?  Many hours of investigation, analysis and data entry are repeated again and again, especially as ownership changes occur throughout time.

An Asset Record® extends the usefulness of information and accommodates a virtually unlimited amount of data in multiple formats.  The Company’s web site advertises “Unlimited Document Storage” and “Unlimited Users” for each record.

Because the Asset Record® has a unique ID and Marketable Title, it can be sold or transferred along with the property.  Intangible data becomes valuable when included in an Asset Record® giving the property a meaningful competitive advantage.

When credible evidence of a property’s attributes and vendor history are immediately available it could certainly decrease operational costs and even increase the value when it comes time to sell.

This flexible tool will help owners communicate with lenders and service providers, increasing the liquidity of their property while reducing operational and redundant costs.

The simple user interface will allow for market adoption and widespread usage.

Chad R. Wiech, CCIM, GAA

Certified General Appraiser
Licensed Real Estate & Insurance Broker
Entrepreneur & Investor 

© 2014 Real Estate Communications Group. Duplication or reproduction of this article not permitted without authorization from the Real Estate Publishing Group. For information on reprint or electronic pdf of this article contact Mark Menzies at 312-644-4610 or menzies@rejournals.com

One Response to “Solving commercial real estate’s information crisis”

  1. Ryan Walsh says:

    Interesting article, there definitely is a need for something like this in he market


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