Real Estate Data & Technology

Real Estate Data & Technology panel with Michael Mandel, Co-Founder & CEO of Compstak; Marc Siden, Co-Founder & CEO of OnBoard Informatics; Perry Rahbar, Co-Founder & CEO of DV01; Jim Costello, Senior Vice President of Real Capital Analytics; Rob Refkin, Founder & CEO of Compass; and moderator Ben Thypin, Managing Partner of Progress Group.

Access to data is now at an unprecedented level and the panelists in this session agreed that the industry must continue to open up to more transparency. Jim Costello of Real Capital Analytics explained how data collected pre-1980's was frequently disposed of once it was deemed "old". The issue was storage, but this was solved with the introduction of PC's. Unfortunately, this has led to a black hole in data pre-1980's and "If you don't know where you were, you can't know where you're going."

The good news is that data is now cheap to store and is available on an ever increasing scale. Compstak noted the fact that the majority of property transactions are leases and yet you cannot access data about these deals. They have turned it into a business to shine a light on this area and collate data on lease transactions for its online subscribers. Compstak found that people are happy to share data to get data back in return. Compstak believes data should be open and that eventually we will have full transparency and easy access to any and all information needed. Jim Costello pointed out that the question will then become what do you do with it, but it will surely be an improvement when the competitive advantage of a real estate organization no longer comes from data asymmetry.

Before wrapping up the panel, they were asked what advice they would offer to crowdfunding platforms and the response was unanimously that they should remain cautious of risk. It is the nature of competition that eventually a lender will push it too far and when that happens, it could take years to bring back trust. Therefore, platforms should be ready for this and by remaining careful, they should be able to ride it out.