The Real Deal: NYU Schack Conference Suggests Big Data Can Transform Real Estate Industry

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The third annual conference on sustainable real estate hosted by New York University’s Schack Institute of Real Estate drew a packed house, a distinguished panel and a provocative discussion that garnered a full write-up in the Real Deal.

The major theme of the conference was that the compilation of massive and complex sets of data – “Big Data”  – can, as Hitmen Samtani’s piece puts it, “transform building construction and management, investment, leasing and even government policy, according to scholars and experts on sustainable real estate.”

The conference was keynoted by Jed Kolko, chief economist at residential digital real estate firm  Trulia and chaired by Constantine Kontokosta, director of NYU’s Center for the Sustainable Built Environment.

Other distinguished panelists included Matt Maron, Vice President of Edison Properties, Chris Corcoran of the City’s data analytics office,  Eric Duchon, manager of sustainable development at Cushman & Wakefield, David Pogue, the global director of sustainability at CBRE, and  Schack clinical professor Stuart Brodsky (who has also been welcomed as co-chair of the Urban Land Institute New York’s Sustainable Building Council).

Among the key ideas discussed at the conference include:

  • The best attribute of big data for selling may be speed, allowing for granular, real time access to key information
  • Trulia has used its vast data on user search tendencies to help pinpoint the three most significant factors for choosing a neighborhood: schools, crime and commute time.
  • Big data allows for the use of existing technologies to be deployed in novel ways, for instance, a mobile app that acts as a noise meter
  • The use of big data to allow real estate marketers to precisely identify the most relevant key audiences and launch customized campaigns
  • ‘The City, which already makes extensive real estate data public will make even more info available to the public
  • The democratization of big data may serve as a spark for modernizing archaic laws
  • Big data ought to be invaluable in developing sustainable practices and creating value, for instance, an analysis of all the data associated with Hurricane Sandy will be scrutinized to ensure more effective and efficient responses to future natural disasters
  • Data analysis demonstrates that, contrary to the prevailing view, newer buildings aren’t necessarily more energy efficient and there are valuable lessons to be drawn from 1930s masonry buildings that had low energy costs
  • Big data may allow landlords to better quantify the rate of return on energy efficient investment
  • LEED-certified buildings consistently outperformed the marketplace
  • More work needs to be done in spreading the word in respect to the value that big data analysis offer

NYU Schack has also recently announced the appointment of senior real estate finance veteran, Manish Srivastava, as its new Director of Academic Affairs. City Biz List New York  has the details.

About the NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate

The NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate  was founded in 1967, at the initiative of prominent real estate leaders who encouraged NYU to establish an academic center that provided an educational foundation for professionals within their industry. Today, NYU Schack is home to graduate degree and related graduate certificate programs—notably the M.S. in Real Estate, the M.S. in Construction Management, and the M.S. in Real Estate Development—which enroll some 700 full- and part-time students from more than 30 countries and have nearly 2,500 alumni degree-holders around the globe.  In addition, each year approximately 7,200 working professionals enroll in the Institute’s professional certificate programs, noncredit courses, and licensure-related offerings in such areas as real estate finance, sales and brokerage, sustainable design, facilities management, and architecture and civil engineering.  The Institute also houses the NYU REIT Center and the Center for the Sustainable Built Environment and hosts key industry events, including annual conferences on Real Estate Capital Markets and REITs. NYU Schack is one of several comprehensive academic divisions within the School of Continuing and Professional Studies (NYU-SCPS), the NYU home for study and applied research related to key knowledge-based industries where the New York region leads globally.

Rosemary Scanlon

  Rosemary Scanlon, Divisional Dean of NYU Schack

 Read the full Real Deal piece.