Commercial real estate data standards suck
I had an out of state inquiry this week on a commercial property that I have listed. Great news of course and I promptly sent the information back to the inquiring broker. The conversation we had though was interesting in that the broker wanted me to send any and all comps that I had relating to the property, recent solds, actives and information on and all landlord rent concessions or as we Big Boy Commercial Real Estate peeps call it Tenant TI (we’re so fancy). Simple, fair and normal requests. Here’s the problem. All that data doesn’t really exist. Ok, maybe it does exist, but in three or four different formats and possibly three to five different places… maybe.
THE BIG THREE
For any Commercial Real Estate Broker or Agent today. Three main Data Bases or MLS type services are used.
Click through the links for each service. Look at each service proposed niche or uniqueness to the Commercial Real Estate Market. All seem to provide quality data. Here’s my problem. It all sucks!! Now before the whining and crying begins, let me state my points.
If the data that you can and need to provide to your clients does not give them the complete picture, then you have (dare I say it) failed. All of the services mentioned above try to compile, aggregate, pool, drill down etc. that data gold. But, they are only as good as the data they receive. I have yet to come across any service that has the whole data picture. My local board as an example has little or no commercial property data other than a sprinkle of duplex, small multi-family listings.
Why are there no data standards for Commercial Real Estate? Residential real estate has very specific data standards. My experience has been via the residential side is that you are not only required to provide specific data to your chosen MLS service. It’s part of the agreement that you sign when gaining acceptance for membership. I’ve heard of services fining the Broker or Agent for incorrect data. Does this exist for Commercial Real Estate? Are attempts being made? Most commercial MLS type services that I am aware of are basically voluntary. WHY?
ZILLIA ,TRILLOW or RPR
Why are there no comparable online environments likeTrulia or Zillow for Commercial Real Estate? Is a combination of both a possible answer to the Commercial Real Estate data void? Is the Realtors Property Resource a possible solution? Maybe, the data does not come from the Brokers at all.
Well, don’t we all have some interesting ideas and experiences? Most of the things I post are mostly questions or points of view from someone trying to serve my clients. Do you have any experiences or examples that would be helpful? What possible solutions can you provide? One thing I do know, Commercial Real Estate is full of smart and opinionated people. Let’s get the conversation going.