Since commercial real estate data was first digitized, it has been sold as a service. Companies like CoStar, Xceligent (RIP), and RealMassive all have subscription-based product offerings. A real estate professional can pay for access to the data but that is about it. But even robust data sets like big brokerages have often needed a way to double-check their own numbers with a third party source. Doing this requires companies to pay for outside data and then provide the labor cost associated with due diligence.
Data provider, Reonomy, is now onboarding large clients like Cushman & Wakefield, Avison Young and WeWork by providing an “entity resolution API.” The tool is designed to compare data from a variety of sources to resolve any discrepancies. Doing this allows companies to make more informed decisions in a much shorter timeframe. Reonomy CEO Richard Sarkis said this in their announcement:
“For years, sophisticated commercial real estate firms have been trying to cleanse their data and stitch together property details across multiple data schema. Our entity resolution API streamlines that process for them, and sets them up with an enterprise-wide solution to improve property data management.”
He added, “The entity resolution API is predicated on resolving different individual records to the same property. It has been trained across a very wide set of property characteristics to detect which records are in fact referencing the same property. It looks at a number of variables including physical attributes, transaction information and geospatial factors.”
While Cushman & Wakefield and Avison Young obviously benefit from this arrangement due to the vast amount of property data that they both control, WeWork is a little different. They don’t just need basic property data like comparable price per square foot or transaction history like a broker might. They build out their own spaces so they need deep insights about the best use of a space. Chief Growth Officer at WeWork, Dan Fano had this to say about his company was using the API: “Data is at the heart of how we conceptualize, analyze and develop our locations. From providing WeWork with leading industry intelligence to powering database efficiency, Reonomy’s enterprise products play an instrumental role in our data initiatives.”
These partnerships mean that Reonomy will be one of the main sources for commercial real estate data in North America. It shows that they too are benefiting in the vacuum left by the bankruptcy of Xceligent. While the battle for real estate data has been dominated by data-as-a-service, Reonomy might be succeeding because they were the are one of the first to offer a data organizing as well. Anyone who has dealt with large data sets will attest that unorganized data is not really data at all.