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reviously, whether it was an investor
looking for the next lucrative asset, a
developer looking for a buy-low option in
a ready-to-flourish market, or a mortgage
broker sourcing a valuable property deal,
there were systems in place to get the proper
data. It simply came at a very high cost.
Think about the days when a broker relied on their Rolodex. The
person-to-person manner of collecting data from large brokerages
and banks was time-consuming and often inaccurate. The broker
would have to dig through online and offline sources to find the
mortgage history on specific properties, another source to find
building-level details on the same properties, and yet another
source for ownership data. The process would continue ad nauseum
Without the right tools, the best option for commercial mortgage
professionals often was to visit a town or city hall to gather data on
local properties, or dig through the archaic online search tools on
county websites, which usually had incomplete results. And because
different types of mortgage professionals need different granular
pieces of data, these were actually the most reliable options for them
to find the information they needed.
In many industries around the world, tech-driven solutions are no
longer something that are “nice to have.” They’re a necessity. The same
can now be said for the commercial real estate industry. As tech-based
automation is used more commonly and regularly, the aforementioned
processes have become much quicker and more accurate.
Although data collection is surely important, the true benefit of commercial real estate data platforms is curation. There are now a variety of
tech platforms connecting commercial mortgage professionals to vast
sets of curated data — targeting any asset type in any U.S. municipality.
Tech companies give users access to programming interfaces that
pull custom data sets for them in real time. Mortgage professionals
can use this data whether they’re looking to source loans for retail
properties, farms or vacant land, mixed-use developments, warehouses, medical office buildings and more. Truthfully, no financing
niche is left out when it comes to these tools.
These platforms also typically have something close to a
“pay-for-what-you-use” type of subscription model, making the entry
point much less daunting. With a low financial hurdle, commercial
mortgage professionals can start small and gradually build. It is
smart to integrate at least one of these tech-driven platforms into
When you think of the day-to-day duties of a mortgage broker, it’s
a constant process of analysis and making contacts, then rinsing and
repeating. Through machine learning and advanced algorithms that
assess property data, these data tools assist brokers and alleviate pain
points in every stage of the dealmaking process, from search to close.
A critical part of any broker’s job is to identify new loan opportunities.
Their competitive advantage in doing so typically comes from extensive
market knowledge. Although that is still the case, that advantage is also
now dependent upon bolstering their existing expertise with the most
up-to-date and accurate property and market information available.
Richard Sarkis is CEO and co-founder of Reonomy, a commercial real estate data and analytics platform. Since the company’s
founding in 2013, Sarkis has been instrumental in raising $68 million in venture capital and led Reonomy through a successful
web-platform launch in New York City, as well as the launch of a second nationwide platform in 2017. An avid entrepreneur,
Sarkis has launched numerous companies, including an international arbitrage textbook company, a college marketing
network and an offshore tech company. Reach Sarkis at (646) 882-6260 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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