The opportunity for Real Estate organizations to redefine their strategy and reach today’s most pressing targets is more possible than ever – and it starts with cultivating data talent.
Looking out into the maze of offices in Midtown Manhattan, every building tells a different story about the businesses which occupy them; some floors have a constant flow of activity, while some become dormant between intermittent surges of use. The cultural touchstone of ‘the office’ - a place of daily collectivism – has been replaced by the evolving landscape of hybrid working.
This fundamental change in how businesses occupy their offices has disrupted the market for the Commercial Real Estate (CRE) organizations managing these properties. However, amidst the risks of hybrid patterns is the opportunity to get ahead of the competition. The new normal has a flexibility which can be leveraged to improve margins and retain customers, while simultaneously helping to reach critical ESG targets, for example New York’s Local Law 97, which requires all buildings over 25,000 square feet to cut their carbon footprint by 40% by 2030. Yet, the flexibility of hybrid working demands real-time insight in order to identify the areas for optimization. This insight can only be achieved through cloud-based data analytics.
The time for data transformation in Real Estate is now
The Real Estate industry is ready to digitize. “CRE organizations have access to a volume and variety of internal and public data like never before, all of which can be correlated, cleansed, and productionized to power impactful analytics”, explained Tom White, Senior Associate at Kubrick Advanced, who has supported a number of Kubrick’s CRE clients to implement the necessary data structures and tooling. “When CRE organizations are able to combine both their own data, including occupancy levels, financials, energy emissions, and tenant information, as well as that of their surroundings, such as access to public transport and amenities, they can unlock hidden insights about their portfolio through advanced analytics. For many CRE businesses, their tooling only provides small pieces of the puzzle which don’t quite fit together, instead of the full picture.”
Evan Belsky, Kubrick Data Product consultant, has been exploring the current state of technology in Real Estate and the challenges they present for data transformation. “Many CRE organizations are reliant on SaaS tooling to manage data within their different functions, creating siloes between their property data, their financial data, their customer data, etc,” he began. “This barrier to creating holistic analytics often minimizes ROI as it is very time-consuming for the business users who do scour the multiple platforms for information, not to mention the business users who simply don’t use the platforms because they appear too convoluted.”
Adding to the challenge is the high-cost SaaS subscription models and their difficulty to scale. “Out-of-the-box tooling is designed to reflect broad domain challenges, rather than tailor to the bespoke requirements of individual organizations,” Tom added. “If CRE organizations want to stay competitive in today’s hybrid world, they need to get answers to their unique questions, as every tenant and portfolio is different.”
The power of Big Data
By implementing modern data architecture and capability, CRE organizations can transform the information currently at play into the real-time insight they need. To see maximum ROI from their SaaS tooling, businesses can combine datasets to create comparative visualizations as one-stop-shop for their decision-making.
Great Portland Estates (GPE), a FTSE 250 Real Estate organization based in London, worked with Tom and his squad of Kubrick consultants to create a suite of dashboards which saw 60% of end users utilizing on a daily basis to inform their approach to their portfolio. James Pellatt, Director of Innovation at GPE, reflected on their transformation. “By engaging the inhouse expertise of experienced project leads with the resource of onsite consultants, we achieved our initial strategic objectives with budget to spare – a rarity in the world of technology. For any Real Estate organization looking to fundamentally change the way they think about and use data, I would recommend bringing in the talent to do so.”
Sourcing the skills
The CRE industry is entering a war for data talent that has been ongoing for over a decade across key players in finance, retail, energy, and more. McKinsey estimated that the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated digital transformation by 7 years, and the demand for data engineering continues to grow year-on-year. Meanwhile in Real Estate, only 10% of jobs listed require data and next-gen tech skills, and these only feature in marketing, CRM, and risk management roles. In order to secure the talent necessary, CRE leaders must make finding new talent and scaling data teams their next priority.
And the fight for data and technology talent is a worthwhile endeavour not just for the sake of digitization. A study by Deloitte found more than 45% of CRE employees are over 55, while just 4% are 18-24, putting the industry’s workforce retention and longevity at risk. The opportunity to cultivate junior talent with today’s most sought-after skills is a chance to reinvigorate the wider business for long-term success.
To learn more about how Kubrick is helping Real Estate organizations access and retain diverse data talent to drive long-term transformation, get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org