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08 Jul '21

Data Ethics in Real Estate

The increasing importance of data in both today and tomorrow’s world has been consistently highlighted by commentators as we navigate our way through the 21st century.

Both businesses and consumers add to their data footprint year after year as more aspects of our lives become recorded and digitised. There is currently estimated to be approximately 20.6 zettabytes in global data centre traffic per year and most analysts expect for this number to grow exponentially in the coming years.

Given the sheer volume of data now in circulation, organisations that are able to leverage and draw value from this data have a huge commercial advantage over their competitors. For example, data allows organisations to better understand customer needs, shape their product offering, lower costs, customise marketing strategy and produce products or deliver services more efficiently.

This is particularly relevant for the Real Estate industry, where the significant power of data is still largely untapped. The sector is characterised by an extremely large client base (the vast majority of individuals and businesses will be customers in some form), a large number of assets (US residential property alone was estimated to be worth $33 trillion), significant financing and investment requirements and a high number of employees dependent on the industry for employment.

Given that the vast majority of individuals and companies interact with the Real Estate industry in some way, the data held will be extensive, expansive, and a lot of the time, personal.

As such, the topic of Data Ethics is an important one for Real Estate. Whilst the challenges are many, they also bring enhanced business opportunities. For example, organisations that demonstrate leadership in this area may enhance trust amongst their clients as a company that looks after their customers and their data. Although a difficult commodity to gain, customer trust is a powerful asset to have and a hard (if not almost impossible) asset to recover from once lost. 

In addition, firms should also consider the likely future regulatory requirements and potential upcoming industry guidelines. By playing an active part in considering Data Ethics now, firms can ensure that they stay ahead of the regulatory curve and help to set the agenda in this area. This is especially important as the industry enhances their use of data through AI and other more advanced techniques to drive business value.

Within the following articles (link here), DTSQUARED explores many of these concepts and more. We hope that you find them interesting and would be more than happy to discuss any of the points raised with you. Please contact us to find out more.

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