Brokerage best practices

7 Things to consider when evaluating commercial property databases

September 20, 2022

As a commercial real estate broker, having access to reliable, detailed property information is vital to your success. Without the correct data, it’s difficult to locate potential opportunities for your clients, ensure listings are priced competitively, or win new business.

Fortunately, the CRE world is chock-full of data, and it's never been easier to get the insights you need to make the right business decisions. Unfortunately, not all CRE technology is created equal, and selecting the wrong commercial property database can cause plenty of headaches.

Today we’re outlining a few questions you should ask yourself as you compare commercial property database solutions so you can zero in on the right choice.

How many properties does it include?

As you’ve probably noticed, there are lots of different types of CRE databases available to brokerages. Some are pretty niche, while others offer insight into a broader selection of listings. 

As you compare your options, it’s best to opt for the latter: databases that provide property details and owner contact info for several million real estate opportunities. That’s because CRE is a numbers game: the more properties you can research, the faster you can identify potential listings and grow your leads.

While some databases may only offer details on 20 or 30 million properties (or fewer), Buildout has data on more than 100 million properties.

What kind of data does it provide?

Access to a commercial property database can be a hefty investment, so you want to ensure you’re getting your money’s worth. While quantity is important, you also want to pay close attention to quality and types of data. 

For example, does the database simply offer details you could get from your local tax assessor, or is it more thorough? Do they provide complete owner data, including a name, phone number, and email address for the person who owns the building, or just generic details about an LLC?

Before paying for a database, ensure you’ll have access to comprehensive records, so you don’t have to spend your time and energy hunting down additional details elsewhere. For example, Buildout Insights provides access to accurate owner contact information to save you time and ensure more successful prospecting.

Does it offer predictive analytics?

One of the reasons you need access to a reliable database is so you can identify potential opportunities as early as possible. But this can be challenging — even with years of experience and plenty of data at your fingertips. That’s why it’s crucial you choose a database with predictive analytics.

Buildout uses a proprietary algorithm to determine which properties will likely sell or refinance in the next year. This way, you can initiate conversations early and beat your competitors to a deal.

How well does the provider know the CRE industry?

One of the biggest challenges with some of the commercial property databases (and other CRE solutions on the market) is that they were built by professionals who have never actually worked in the CRE space. While providers can make an educated guess on what you need, they don’t truly understand the pain points and challenges brokers and CRE marketers face on a daily basis.

However, Buildout Insights was built by an experienced CRE broker who is intimately familiar with the industry and knows what data and features brokers need to succeed.

Does the provider do more than just store and organize property data?

A database should be more than a glorified spreadsheet. Unfortunately, that’s precisely what you’ll find with some solutions on the market. Companies gather data that can be easily found through other sources, organize it behind an attractive UI, and charge you a considerable amount to access the information. But if you’re paying for a commercial property database, you deserve more.

Buildout Insights includes a likely sellers feature, which tells you which leads are most likely to sell or refinance and gives you updated contact information for properties that have recently sold.

Does it include residential data?

As you compare your options, be sure to ask potential providers whether or not their database includes residential property data. If they say no, they’re excluding a large swath of the market and lots of possible listings.

Make sure you’re selecting a database with residential data, or you could miss out on information about condos, duplexes, quadruplexes, and other multi-family investment opportunities.

Is it user-friendly?

A commercial property database could give you access to all the information in the world, but if it’s not convenient to use or simple to navigate, it could create more headaches than it solves. As a CRE pro, you already have a lot on your plate, so it’s essential that the tools and technologies you leverage are designed to save you time and make your workday easier.

Like all Buildout solutions, Buildout Insights was designed with the user in mind. It’s clean, seamless, and easy to use with powerful search functionality. This way, you can quickly find the most relevant properties, gather the details you need, and move on with your day.

Selecting the right database can be daunting, especially because guessing wrong can negatively impact your success. But by asking these seven questions while you compare options, you’ll ensure you’re making the best choice.

Learn more about how Buildout Insights can help you beat the competition. Contact us to schedule a demo.

Learn more about how Buildout Insights can help you beat the competition.

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