Real estate has gotten 10X more powerful with big data.
In our recent ConZoom session, Camille Renshaw – Co-Founder and CEO of B+E Net Lease (pronounced B and E) and formerly of Ten-X Commercial, a Google capital company – walked us through how big data platforms such as CoStar are helping boost the real estate industry by allowing it to gather valuable insight to sell and manage property with a laser-sharp focus. ConZoom is a virtual event that is part networking (you’ll meet at least a half dozen high caliber startup players) and part purposeful (you’ll ConZoom new ideas).
A real estate industry veteran who has closed over $30 billion in transactions to date, Camille is a serial entrepreneur in the fintech space, as well. In fact, B+E is the first brokerage firm to offer an online trading platform for 1031 exchanges and net lease real estate. She is also CEO and partner at RenshawCo,, a VC that invests in commercial real estate and fintech companies.
How Big Data is Supporting a Thriving Real Estate Industry
Big data has had a massive impact on the net lease industry and Camille’s company, B+E, is home to the largest data set in the game.
B+E primarily focuses on single-tenant leases, a particular niche within commercial real estate often called “net lease”. With net leases, rent is paid to the landlord net of expenses, so the tenant pays property insurance, maintenance, taxes, and all other expenses related to the property themselves.
B+E has travelled lightyears in technology to create a “new standard” in net lease brokerage, where they are able to track in real time almost every single property in the U.S. on the market.
“We have developed a lot of technology, AI and other tech, to sweep the market for every available transaction in the U.S.,” Camille said. “Sitting today, there are about 3,400 U.S. properties on-market in a given day.. Net Lease real estate is a $7 trillion space in total, and about $60 to $70 billion of that trades each year.”
B+E’s proprietary process redefines trading in the net lease industry by creating a fluid process that affords “greater transparency, speed and unrivaled transaction efficiencies”. Along with senior talent manning the technology, B+E virtually helps all players, big and small, easily trade net lease real estate.
“We have the largest data set in net lease real estate,” continued Camille. “It’s really a combination of artificial intelligence (AI) and extract, transform, load (ETL) functions that collects and analyzes all the properties that are on market.”
Hurdles Before ‘The New Standard’ in Real Estate Net Lease Brokerage
Tracking real estate data was not always as accessible. Before the industry turned towards big data platforms for support, firms employed their own tactics to go out and harvest data on their own. “Candidly, we used to have five, six analysts do that and keep it in Excel spreadsheets, just to get an idea of what was available that matched the buyer’s criteria, [such as] the price, location, etc. — just sort of the basics,” Camille said.
She explains how they mastered the data gathering process and eventually managed to turn it into a big data platform: “We developed functions depending on where we’re needing to source that data to collect it back. And then suddenly, we realized that we had the net operating income (NOI) for that individual property at the point of sale, which when coupled with muni data, tells us what capitalization rate it sold at.”
Household Names in Real Estate: CoStar and Other Gamechangers
Camille cites CoStar as the biggest data platform in real estate. However, other platforms are springing up here and there as well.
“The real data monster in CRE is CoStar,” Camille said. “There are a few others that are coming up like Reonomy and Cherre. They’re doing a great job and they’re using a lot of AI, but they don’t take this tactic of the initial NOI, mostly because their audiences don’t care about cap rates as much as we do.”
And since B+E only tracks single-tenant leases, its platform offers far more sector-specific metrics and functionality that Net Lease investors cannot get easily from other platforms. “Because we’re only tracking one tenant, the property behaves much more like a stock. We have these basic little Legos, which you can combine into larger portfolios or syndications. Or you can securitize large deals into fractional units and engage mainstream investors, Or finance some as zero cash flow transactions providing niche tax advantages to sophisticated investors. You can do very complicated things with them, but they start with these little pieces.”
And perhaps the biggest function of these data sets, B+E uses its platforms to sell properties. “And obviously, we use BeNetLease.com to sell real estate. It’s an interesting space because our average fee is $135,000. So, it allows a pretty high customer acquisition cost,” she added. “We can experiment with data and product in a way that most other startups can’t, due to our high CAC.”
B+E’s History with Ten-X and Google
During the founders’ tenure at Ten-X, the largest institutional investor was Google Capital. Camille said B+E’s personnel largely gained its expertise in big data during its time at Ten-X. As most of its founding employees did graduate from the former Google Capital company, this has caused B+E to have a good standing partnership with Google.
“We have had a really good partnership with Google from the beginning. We started out in a Google incubator on the Marketing side with them to help leverage our unique combination of commercial real estate expertise, big data, and global visions for digital marketing,” Camille said. “Also, while we use Google AdWords and other digital avenues to find what we call the ‘Unicorn Buyer,’ they helped us better understand what data to collect. Working with Google was a game changer.”
As times change, the real estate industry relies more and more on big data and other technologies to help both big and small businesses get the right insight and confidence to trade on the bigger stage.
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