Big Data and Real Estate:
The world of big data is a sometimes fascinating if frustrating beast. The ability to plot and visualise data is one way to digest the complex information easily especially when we are real estate agents looking at geographical information. This post comes after some interesting work done by PropertyFlock when looking at the uptake of Social Media amongst Estate Agents. It is an ideal example of how to use Big Data and Real Estate.
Below you can see how they have used Heat Mapping to show the uptake of social media in the real estate sector; they plotted it very cleverly over time for agents based in the UK. Now, this isn’t an easy thing to replicate as I know the effort that Rush and his team went through to produce it. However, it is certainly a fascinating representation of what they wanted to demonstrate; namely agents need to be using social media and that the uptake, though slow at the start, has dramatically accelerated.
It also shows to me just how early I got involved in the use of Twitter from a real estate perspective.
Big Data and Real Estate: Agents flock to social media?
How can agents use HeatMapping?
Firstly it is particularly simple and can be used in many ways. One of the sites we have had a play with include www.mapsdata.co.uk but there are plenty of others available with varying degrees of usability. In the heatmap we did (shown below), we just plotted postcodes into the site and it automatically converted it to the heatmap below. In some you need to convert postcodes to co-ordinates of longtitude and latitude (this is possible and one of the better sites, especially for batch conversion, can be found here)
To do something as clever as what PropertyFlock did you may need a level of programming. However, I personally believe you could repeat what we did below (which took a matter of minutes), and just repeat for different data sets e.g. plot 2011 figures, then 2012, 2013 and 2014. If you have taken a screen print you could then use gif technology to pull it together to show a moveable and embeddable graphic.
So lets look at its practical application for real estate agents. Consider some of these options:
- Properties you have sold or let in your area
- Properties sold this year versus past years
- Cross reference area and time taken to sell or rent a property
- Properties instructed versus sold
- Local information e.g. busiest transport links, school results
- Applicant registrations according to area for the last x years
Essentially the list is endless but is dependant on the information you have at hand. How useful is the data to you? That is up to you. I see data visualisation as a critical business tool for both management level discussions but also for use in marketing. As the American Management Consultant Peter Druker once said, “If you are not measuring it, you cannot manage it”.
To conclude however, it is also quite fun. Go on…..have a go.