What is the Best Competitive Advantage Emerging in Commercial Real Estate? August 25, 2015 | Logan Soya

When you think about competitive advantages in commercial real estate, you don’t necessarily think about access to data. But access to actionable data has revolutionized many industries and is becoming a real competitive advantage in most of them.

Data is no longer reserved for scientists and accountants. Data-driven operations have become a staple for business operations from measuring sales to marketing to customer satisfaction. Mainstream organizations that do not use some sort of data analytics software, whether it is Salesforce, Hubspot, or InsightSquared (a few we use at Aquicore) are becoming few and far between. This is because data gives you the incredible power to understand how your business is running and predict its future performance.

Since I founded Aquicore two years ago, we have seen tremendous growth in the productivity and velocity of each individual team member. As we continue to use new tools we are each held accountable for our performance. Each new tool that we find to fit our departments makes our team members 10x more powerful than they could be without the analytics they now have at their fingertips.

Not only are these tools informative, they are motivating. Instead of sales representatives being the only ones who can use performance to drive them, marketing, design, and operations can now do the same thing. Marketing can see how many people read their blog articles, what their conversion rates on their emails are, and how far they are reaching Aquicore’s message. Design can see which product designs are stickiest and which calls-to-action people are more likely to click on. Soon, I hope that everyone at Aquicore will have at least 10% of their compensation based on their performance, measured by the data we collect and based on the goals they set.

Our in-house data-driven operations have been inspired by the product we have created for analyzing energy data in the commercial real estate industry. We have seen that data is incredibly powerful in every industry, especially real estate.

 

Data-Driven Facility Operations Make a Difference in a Highly Competitive Space

Now that real-time data has become available for commercial real estate, it is time to take advantage. Many large companies already take advantage of tools to track their portfolio’s performance, based on occupancy rates and tenant retention. However, there is now an opportunity to streamline operations in a way that has not been done before.
In an industry segment where the required number of square feet per employee is shrinking, CRE operations should be looking for ways to differentiate and to make their teams more productive. With the ability to automate data collection and streamline operations related to energy efficiency, budgeting, and sending tenant invoices, decisions can be made faster and more effectively. Additionally, now you can qualify and validate that your service providers, from utilities to HVAC and lighting providers are giving you the values they promised.

 

Energy Data is Becoming More Powerful and Easier to Use Every Day

When I talk to property managers and owners and introduce the concept of data-driven operations, their initial response is “of course I do that.” It’s true – they have spreadsheets that allow them to generate the financial predictions they need. The difference is the speed at which they could be able to generate that information and act on it. Where the industry used to rely on a report that was released once a year to collect information about their performance compared to their peers, that same information can now be collected and viewed in real time.
With data-driven operations, teams in the commercial real estate industry can reach all of their decisions faster. Instead of current operations that may take hours or days to manually put together in a spreadsheet, the process can be automated with data collection hardware and analytics software. Instead of needing to hire extra staff to manage the work, you can make your current staff members more productive. The faster and more informed decisions you can make, the larger competitive advantage you will have.

About The Author

Logan Soya, CEO and Founder of Aquicore, is an expert in data collection, data management, and operations management software. In the past, Logan designed, implemented, and sold numerous multi-million dollar operations management platforms in the IT and Telecom industries both domestically and internationally for high-profile operators.

Passionate about improvement through technology, Logan founded Aquicore in 2013 to bring his expertise in data collection and analysis into the commercial building industry. Logan received his MBA at Georgetown University and London Business School, an MS in Systems Management, and a BS in Physics.