Open Standards Consortium for RealEstate

|

Matt Marschall, managing director, national practice leaderagribusiness valuation services --capital markets group for Cushman& Wakefield, says the new standard is significant because itwill cut costs, reduce the time it takes to get information and,"for the first time, provide real consistency and transparency inthe data we rely on." Marschall has served as the chair of OSCRE'sAppraisal Reporting Standard working group.

|

Real estate practitioners have often said "appraisal is an art,not a science." Now, for the first time since property valuationbegan, technology is about to change that axiom: it's providingaccess to data and tools so real estate professionals can analyzedata more extensively than ever before. Just as importantly, it'sgradually providing it in a standardized format.

|

John Cirincione and Sam Bacharach, executive director of theWayland, MA-based Open Geospatial Consortium Inc., an industryconsortium supporting interoperable solutions that "geo-enable" theWeb, wireless and location-based services and mainstream IT,describes real estate as one of the "last digital frontiers." In apaper Bacharach co-authored with John Cirincione, owner of PropertyAppraisal Corp. in Hudson, OH, he says the industry has failed to"take advantage of the standardization of data and online servicesthat has revolutionized business operations in other sectors of theeconomy."

|

"Technology has already revolutionized the way real estateinformation is retrieved, analyzed, transmitted, reported, andstored. But few would debate the massive costs, time lost andreduced productivity that result from users manually re-enteringdata several times into various applications," he states.

|

But Bacharach says things are finally changing. There's littleargument about the potential benefits of industry standards,including decreased operational costs, increased employee andworkplace productivity, improved accuracy, more open exchange ofinformation, increased flexibility, reduced risk and more real-timetransactions.

|

"Data Standards specify the names, formats, and properties thatwill be used in a given system," Bacharach says. "If I call my landa 'lot' and another person calls their land a 'ranch,' it isdifficult for a computer to understand it. A data model mightreconcile this by making the 'parcel' the word that describes thephysical extent of the land you own and then add an attributecalled 'use type' and one of those types could be 'ranch.'

|

"But without a formal agreement--think standard--that definesthe information used in real estate transactions any sharing ofinformation requires a great deal of human interaction to beunderstood. By creating a standard that 'negotiation' is done aheadof time and more importantly just once instead of each companyhaving to coordinate with every other company with which they wantto share information, it becomes faster, easier and cheaper toshare. This leads to more sharing," Bacharach concludes.

|

According to Patrick Craig, chair of the business innovationcommittee for Cushman & Wakefield, standardization "creates anew value proposition" for valuation firms and their clients. "Forvaluation firms, we now have the ability to transmit our appraisalreport data to the client with speed and accuracy. Previously, thiswas not even possible. Also, we can validate the data against thedata standard to make sure it is compliant."

|

John Hall, chief credit officer for Prudential MortgageCapital's structured finance group, says the technology will enablethe firm to stream data and eliminate manual re-entry."Historically the appraisal information was used only once in asingle transaction and we would have to fill out a form manuallywith 15 to 20 data points. Now, we can move hundreds of data pointsfrom the appraisal report into our forms or even store it in ourdatabase to help source new transactions or monitor existing dealsin our portfolio."

|

Bacharach predicts the step to file sharing, which is what OSCREdemonstrated last week, "is the first step towards what will becomea web-based service where the data files may never be movedcompletely."

|

"A user will query for exactly the information they need, at thetime they need it, and get an answer," he explains. "That way, theoriginator of the data retains it and is also assured that the datahave not been corrupted since they passed a file on. In filetransfers, the information starts to age the second it is separatedfrom the data base and written to the file."

|

"In the service model, the data is always fresh. When I use myGarmin Nuvi to get directions I am using data that were separatedfrom the database months ago," Bacharach says. "When I use GoogleMaps on my mobile phone, I am using data that were separated fromthe database weeks or perhaps days ago."

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications
NOT FOR REPRINT

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.