“Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion.” – W. Edwards Deming
After managing a traditional title company for several years, I started to observe how hungry so many of our clients are for an edge. The real estate ‘marketplace’ has become more and more transparent and the field, more and more competitive. Data of all types has gotten easier to access and find, and yet finding that edge seems harder.
I see some unconnected dots.
The raw materials of a title company are data.
As a provider of title and settlement services, we’re really mostly a data company. A physical real estate settlement (when we actually sit at a table and sign paper) represents about 5% – 10% of the actual hours we invest in a transaction.
Our finished product is a guarantee that you’re free from legal encumbrance or debt when you buy something you can’t really see. To produce our product takes hours of research, evaluation and communication. The raw materials we use for production is data.
Your free-and-clear property is a polished, cut, beautiful diamond. We bring it from mine to table and most of our time is spent cutting and polishing. The mile of dirt we sifted through to find it is rich, fertile data.
Public recordData is only as good as its interpretation.
Public record data can tell a story and reveal opportunity. Much more than supply-demand based ‘market’ data; information from cities, municipalities and courts tells us about the circumstances of people and can lead you to the property you’re looking for.
Often, investors are looking for a particular type of property and a seller that needs to sell; public record data can help us find that property and understand who needs to sell and why.
We’re mining diamonds and using them for record needles.
Public record data is historically and largely organized by address and person. So there’s all of this super valuable information, and no easy way to sort through it by anything other than one at a time. There are a lot of reasons why it’s been hard to disrupt that system. It works to mitigate risk but it doesn’t work so well to find opportunity. But the diamonds are in that dirt.
Real Estate IQ is a project we hope will help you get ideas about where opportunity in real estate may be and tools to act on them. It will grow and develop over time with your participation and feedback and we’re excited to build and share with you!