5 Things to Know about “Big Data” and Real Estate

Real estate enthusiasts may have heard about the new “Big Data” analysis trend. Today’s innovative, technology-based society allows for the creation of highly informative data-collecting tools, forging the path for professionals to truly reach new heights in their business.

So, you may be asking, what exactly is “Big Data,” and how does it actually help real estate professionals and the overall industry?  Here are 5 things to know about this growing, technological real estate trend.

What is “Big Data”?

According to RISMedia, “Big Data” analytics is the “practice of using machine learning to process and draw conclusions from high-volume, high-variety, unstructured information.” In simpler terms, “Big Data” provides powerful tools to combine the general big picture with individual, more specialized details in the housing market.  This then generates a deeper understanding of variables such as home prices, nearby schools, community offerings and more, and how they will affect the industry and future needs, desires and demands of clients.  What makes this data collecting tool different from those used in the past is the magnitude of information it gathers.  This all-encompassing format permits the acquisition of information from as many different sources as possible, including available amenities, average neighborhood income, number of interested buyers, nearby businesses and more. Clearly, “Big Data” delves deeper, going as far as to even sort real estate listings by incredibly diverse features like neighborhood stylistic preferences, artistic inclination and even “neighborhood spirit.”

Who Uses It?

Having such a vast amount of data so readily available marks the dawn of a new era in real estate.  Although popular home search sites such as Zillow and Trulia have always offered helpful information, the emerging use of “Big Data” furthers the online real estate experience, informing customers and agents of details beyond anything they could have ever imagined.  Data Science Central adds that because of these recent capabilities, we now have a market in which both customers and agents are more thoroughly informed. Therefore, companies like the Zillow-Trulia powerhouse eagerly take advantage of “Big Data,” satisfying future homeowners with detailed, comprehensive overviews, or “Zestimates,” of countless neighborhoods, communities and homes around the world.

How is “Big Data” a Big Help to Home Buyers and Sellers?

With the use of “Big Data,” the ways in which consumers search for real estate have been transformed.  According to the National Association of Realtors® Managing Director of Data Analytics Todd Carpenter, the home searching process is now an entirely new experience, more effectively marketing homes to consumers through transferred data over networks and through devices. He emphasizes the increasing use of various mobile apps that run off “Big Data,” including everyday virtual tools such as daily physical activity trackers, real-time traffic navigation and even management of a home’s thermostat from afar.  Informed decisions can be made based solely on what’s important to future homeowners, who can now essentially customize every detail of their future home to fit their desires and needs. The process is more direct, concise and effective, benefitting all individuals involved in the real estate transaction.

How Does “Big Data” Benefit Real Estate Agents?

This informative, detailed data tool is an agent’s best resource. The Real Deal describes it as being able to “fill the information void for real estate agents” when it comes to representing and marketing a home.  Any questions asked can be answered in real-time with visual graphs, statistics and more when using “Big Data,” making it easier to communicate valuable information during the home buying process. Predictive analytics are another aspect of this new trend that have the potential to greatly help agents, educating them of future buyer and seller behavior, including expected home preferences, as well as popular neighborhood and market trends.  Realtor® states that if real estate agents embrace these technological advances, knowledge, strong client relationships and trust will all most likely increase as a result.

The Big Picture: What Does This Mean for the Future of Real Estate?

“Big Data” is all about being informed, and being informed means that the real estate industry, as a whole, has the potential to evolve. The detailed analysis it provides is not here to intimidate or take over, but rather to add trustworthy support, helping all individuals involved in the business.  Mashable describes “Big Data” as a tool for consumers to merely begin their home search process—“jump-start” it—while at the same time, giving agents an even better awareness of the current market demands, positioning them for ever greater success.

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