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With RESO working on the expansion of its Data Dictionary to support more commercial real estate organizations, Emily Line, VP of Member Experience at Realtors® Property Resource (RPR), led a discussion with representatives from the Commercial Real Estate Exchange, Inc. (Crexi) and Colliers International. Drew Jankowski, Senior Project Manager, represented Crexi and Steig Seaward, National Director of Research – USA, represented the major commercial real estate brokerage of Colliers.

The baseline agreement was clear: commercial real estate (CRE) is the biggest asset class in the U.S., but it is stagnant as far as standards fields and data sharing goes.

Steig noted that CRE companies want more standardization, but they haven’t been able to achieve it over the years in previous efforts. It feels like the right time to make a marketplace standard because there’s an upswell in momentum from all sides.

While discussing the current state of normalizing CRE data, Line called it “horrific” and Seaward called it “a full-time job and then some.”

The landscape of CRE was described as disjointed data sets cobbled together.

“We need to develop standard APIs so consumers can ingest data quickly,” said Seaward. “It’s not an efficient model right now.”

Jankowski offered up the benefits of more standardization:

  • CRE data freed up with a standard model allowing for more platforms to provide products
  • Price differentiation
  • Competition

With data modularity and a common Data Dictionary, companies would have more freedom and flexibility to build new products.

CRE customers care about two things, said Jankowski: coverage and completeness. Coverage is how broadly the data set goes, and completeness is the depth of the available data.

Completeness and coverage can benefit from the CRE expansion of the Data Dictionary. On the technology provider’s side, it’s about how data is accessed.

Said Jankowski, “We’re leveraging data with a number of commercial real estate partners. You’ve got a DVD, and you can put it in any DVD player. That’s how commercial real estate data should be, plug and play. We need more fields to support specific commercial business cases.”

Seaward noted a visible shift in CRE mindset. Data that used to be a competitive advantage is not anymore. In gambling parlance, it has become table stakes.

The next chapter of CRE is more transparency and data flow. Jankowski says that standards and interoperability will solve CRE industry issues, plainly stating, “If you make it possible by creating the standard, it will happen.”

Jankowski touched upon working from an “abundance mindset,” closing by stating, “If I share more, I’ll get more in return. Standards make it possible.”

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