PropTech

Ep 2: Data Analytics in Real Estate Capital Markets

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Commercial real estate firms need a way to quickly compile and analyze market data in order to remain competitive. As a result, PropTech firms have created tools in which industry professionals can use to do so efficiently.

In this podcast, industry professionals will speak on how commercial real estate transactions are currently conducted. The main focus of this podcast will be how brokers and analysts quickly access property data and details in order to make profitable, well-informed business decisions. The podcast will also discuss the tools used to evaluate potential acquisitions through financial modelling, sensitivity analysis, and market research.

We spoke with Roelof Van Djik, Director of Market Analytics Canada at CoStar, to find out more.

Episode Transcript

[00:00:07.420]
So hi, everyone. Thank you very much for coming and welcome to the second episode of the series hosted jointly by the Rotman Commerce FinTech Association and the Rotman Commerce Proptech. So TechTalks is a new Rotman Commerce initiative that seeks to create an approachable and accessible environment for Uof Tstudents to engage with both industry professionals and academics. Now, effectively, the goal of this is to understand technology's growing impact and influence in the various business sectors that touch our lives.

[00:00:36.850]
Now, over the course of the 2020-2021 academic year, we'll be delivering workshops, keynotes, panel discussions and occasionally podcasts with experts from a very from very diverse backgrounds in order to provide wider access to students, attendance to all TechTalk events, whether it be a live event at the campus or pre-recorded webcast such as this one will be free for all of these students. We welcome, however, five dollar donations from all attendees, which will be donated in full to local charities.

[00:01:05.950]
You can donate on our site at our tech talks website and click community support. Before we start, I just wanted to tell everyone at home that we are releasing episodes biweekly on the RC TechTalks website, which will be ending on August 28. So stay tuned and follow up on our social media to stay up to date. The next episode will be liquidity creation in real estate markets. Now, before we introduce our speaker, or rather, we let our introduce speaker, our speaker introduce himself.

[00:01:35.600]
Sorry, I just wanted to go over brief structure of the discussion so we have a better idea of what's going on. So we'll be we'll begin with commercial real estate markets and covid-19. And then after that, we'll dive more deeply into the Coast Guard market analytics platform, which is really the area of expertise of our speaker. So without further ado, really, I guess I'll pass it over to and let you introduce yourself, sir. Thank you very much, guys.

[00:02:00.890]
Yeah, my name is Roelof Van Djik and I am the current director of Market Analytics Canada for CoStar Group. And I've been in this position for for a few years now. We're trying to build out our market analytics here in Canada. Prior to joining CoStar in 2016, I managed the national research platform for CBRE Canada, covering all commercial real estate assets across the country. And I did that for for about ten years and then before that did some residential real estate stuff.

[00:02:32.050]
And so that was all sorts of fun. My background, education wise, have an MBA real estate focus, and my undergraduate was in urban and regional planning, so lots of real estate in there. And which I guess is why I'm here to talk about real estate. And as the market economist at CoStar you probably have a really firm grip on how covid it has affected the commercial real estate markets. Could you briefly speak to the impact this pandemic has had on the major markets?

[00:03:05.470]
And what what kind of trends are the data that you have pointing towards? Yeah, so you're absolutely right, I mean, covid-19 has has had a deep impact on, obviously, the economy and then how people are interacting with commercial real estate. And when you look at it's not just geographically but but asset by asset. So when you're looking at the the office market, clearly when when you see employment data, the actual declines in employment were not that heavy in the office using sector, mainly because people were able to mobilize and work from home, which is where I am right now.

[00:03:43.840]
And so as a result, a lot of these businesses have been able to continue on, even though they're not occupying their office towers or office space. So occupancy physical like human beings in the building is down dramatically. But occupancy rates for office real estate has not been impacted too much at this point. Even though we're starting to see sublet space creep back in on the industrial side, it's very different. The employment numbers for for industrial using real estate took a major hit right off the bat with construction stopping in many jurisdictions across the country, distribution activity dropped dramatically because of bricks and mortar retail shutting down.

[00:04:25.990]
Right. So it looked really detrimental with the huge drop in employment there. But that bounced back pretty quickly. And when you start looking at the industrial real estate universe, although we do expect some weakness on that front for bricks and mortar distribution type activity, we all know e-commerce has bounced back dramatically. When you look at retail sales, e-commerce has grown dramatically. And while retail sales in general has fallen off a cliff, so the type of distribution facilities and activity related to e-commerce is continuing to grow.

[00:05:02.170]
And you continue to see those types of players looking for more space. So we think industrial do quite well on that front. And then I think the big question mark on the retail side of things is, I mean, you have so many businesses that have suffered closing down temporarily. Some of them have already closed permanently. If the what if they're reopening their opening at half capacity or what have you. And that creates a whole different dynamic about how much rent can they afford when capacity is cut in half.

[00:05:35.000]
So there is a lot of question marks there as to how that that sector is going to fare going forward. As far as the actual data, at this point, there's no major like blinking lights in the corner that that's telling us huge problems are on the horizon. I think, oddly enough, one of the sectors that we think will do OK being the office sector, that's the one where we're starting to see the numbers move in the sense that we're starting to see the sublet space come on the market.

[00:06:04.810]
And that's the data that's actually pointing to what we believe is is should happen and we know is happening. So sublet space coming on the market there. Whereas when you look at industrial and retail, like I said, industrial few deals are happening to make us think that things are going in the positive direction, backing up our our our thesis there and then retail. I don't think we've seen a huge influx in vacancy yet, but we do know what's coming.

[00:06:33.640]
Right. And I guess if I can if I can just jump in with a quick follow up question. So perhaps it's a little bit my question is a bit ambiguous, but from what I've seen with the pandemic, the whole work around started the whole culture around. You know, working from working in the office versus working at home is really it's really taken a very substantial a very stark pivot in the in recent months. And I'm just wondering, how do you how do you foresee that or perhaps even how when you have your models, how do they take into the account that, you know, that in North America in particular, that companies are switching more to this this digital means of of collaboration and working together versus requiring employees to be physically at the same location?

[00:07:19.960]
Yeah, and that that's actually a really tough thing to model. And I'll do. So first of all, when you look at our forecast models, the first thing that that breaks them is the fact that you have economic growth moving along like that over the last 30 years. And it also just goes boom and comes straight back up. And the models like I don't know what to do with that and it just pretty much ignores it. So we're constantly fine tuning the models and trying to fine tune the assumptions in there.

[00:07:50.770]
And one of those assumptions that has been in there for decades now is the idea of densification of the office. And so we've seen, you know, more people in less space for years. And now all of a sudden that dynamic has changed dramatically. And I think and that's. Why we we also have the scenarios for for our forecast as well and the issue with the work from home work strategy and then the idea of spacing people out is is an interesting one that that seems to be balancing each other out.

[00:08:27.120]
So the first assumption when covid showed up and the idea that, OK, well, people are going to have to space out more. So if an occupier was signing a lease basically saying, OK, over the next five, 10 years, I'm going to have X number of employees, this is a square footage per employee and therefore I need Y space. Does that mean that all of a sudden, if they need to double the amount of space per employee to space people out, they need to double the amount of space?

[00:08:56.450]
Well, some people were saying that that might happen early, early days. But the problem is you're dealing with a situation where economic downturn companies are not exactly doing that well in this in this time. Who in their right mind is going to double their space commitment, i.e., double their real estate cost? At the same time, not too many CEOs are perfectly willing to do that for obvious reasons. And so what we actually believe is the work from home dynamic, which has taken off obviously on the in the office sector, the vast majority of employees were working from home for the last few months.

[00:09:36.010]
Now they're starting to creep back into the office. When they come back into the office, it'll happen in phases or stages. And you'll see that previously, if you had a row of desks, five desks, there were five people in those chairs. Now you're going to see, OK, desk one, three and five are in this week or these two days of this week. And then two and four will be a.

[00:10:00.162]
The other half of the week or next week, some variation of that type of strategy, and that will allow for the spacing out of employees, but it also allows for not having to double your space, which no one wants to do. So we actually think that that this will kind of balance itself out in the in the short term. Having said that, I mean, we've all heard of some companies saying, OK, you don't have to come into the office until twenty, twenty one.

[00:10:28.062]
And you know what, indefinitely we're going to do this. And then some companies have said, yeah, what we are going to bring you back into the office, but there's going to be more flexibility and work from home. Even the government is really rethinking this work from home thing now. While all these things are going on over here on the workplace strategy, you also have to remember a lot of these leases that companies have signed on are somewhat long term.

[00:10:55.212]
I mean, it's not like they can make these decisions tomorrow that they're just going to unload their space and give it back to the landlord. There's accounting issues with that. If you're not using your space, it gets taken into consideration in different ways accounting wise. So, you know, if you have a three a five year lease still left and when you look at a market like Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver, they had very low vacancies going into this downturn.

[00:11:26.382]
And as a result, people were lucky and because rents were increasing quite fast, so people were locking in and renewing early to ensure that they had the space they needed. And that was happening throughout twenty nineteen. And now all of a sudden, this dynamic has completely changed. A lot of these companies are left sitting on three, five, 10 year leases and some companies that are leases are coming due right now. If you don't know when that vaccine is going to show up, I mean, we know it's probably not going to show up in the next few months, but early twenty twenty one, the vaccine, there might be a vaccine.

[00:12:03.722]
If that is a scenario that occurs, then when everyone gets vaccinated or the vast majority and herd immunity shows up, there's going to be some kind of global amnesia in the sense that people will forget all about this. I mean, there was the 1918 Spanish flu. And, you know, people forgot about it. There was the issue of 9/11 in Manhattan where everyone is saying, OK, Manhattan's done. No one wants to be in an office tower in Manhattan.

[00:12:30.002]
Three years later, everyone's like, OK, they didn't forget about the event, but they realized, OK, let's get back in. So there is that scenario that might come to play and therefore you're going to need your office space. And I don't think there's everyone's just going to unload their office space. There's dynamics that happen, the office collaboration, mentoring, all that kind of thing. That is really good stuff. But at the same time, I think work from home is going to play a much bigger part.

[00:12:57.572]
So when you're dealing with a long term lease, I don't think right now you're going to see a big jump in vacancy specifically in relation to the landlord. So the landlords are still going to get paid. It's a sublet space. It'll increase incrementally. And then if there's no vaccine or herd immunity doesn't develop and global amnesia doesn't set in what happens in three, four or five years when a lot of these leases renew. That's where you might see the pain point at that point in the in the timeline for landlords.

[00:13:30.122]
So, yeah, it's complicated, depending on what scenario you believe in.

[00:13:35.792]
Right. And how people are going to take the vaccine and if antivaxxers is really kicked in. Yes, it's a waiting game at this point. No, but that's interesting because I guess for me, I had never even really considered the I guess that psychological that amnesia effect that you were talking about there. I guess if anything, you've showed that there are more moving parts to this than really do we opt out of our do we try to opt out of the lease contract or do we not?

[00:13:59.432]
There are so many other so many facets to. So, you know, that's really interesting. I guess now I'd like to move the discussion to some a bit of legislation that's been recently introduced so well. So the government has it's recently implemented some relief programs, so notably the CECRA, the kind of emergency commercial real estate assistance. And in Ontario, the commercial eviction down to to protect small businesses. And while to my understanding things are a bit ambiguous, still, I'm wondering how you how at CoStar you guys have seen that this has helped bolster the Canadian commercial real estate market, if at all.

[00:14:36.362]
Has it been effective? Has it not? I do believe that these programs were were somewhat helpful. I mean, there's you can criticize, you can you can be on either side of the fence, but, you know, it was rushed in because it needed to be rushed in and it has been somewhat helpful. And I now, having said that, I also do feel that a lot of these relief programs have helped some businesses that probably would have already gone under, kind of still continue on.

[00:15:09.982]
Right. And for the most part, a lot of these are are you know, there's loans associated with some of these and relief of those loans down the line. And I think for the rental assistance program, the CECRA, there was the issue where a lot of landlords, because the landlord had to apply on behalf of their tenants and the tenants had to provide the paperwork that said that they were enduring hardships and this, that and the other. And it also came with the landlord would eat twenty five percent.

[00:15:43.912]
The government will provide a 50 percent loan and the tenant would pay twenty five percent. So there was a lot of issues there for the landlord. They were doing administrative work. They had to ensure that the tenants were providing proper information, taking on the responsibility of that 50 percent loan, at which point it could get basically forgiven at the end of the year.

[00:16:06.202]
So there was a lot of big question marks where the landlord was like, OK, I don't know how much you know, this. This is good for me. And at the same time, you know, you you lost the ability to evict someone if you started going down this path. And there weren't a lot of landlords that were actually saying that they didn't want to do it because of that. But you you knew that was part of the equation somewhere in there.

[00:16:28.702]
So removing the ability to evict, even if you don't go down that path, I think landlords like, well, OK, I might as well just do it and hopefully have a tenant in place by the end of this whole ordeal and things get back up to speed. And so I do think it's allowed a lot of businesses to kind of carry on. Will they be financially viable on the flip side of this, when, you know, as the reopening now they're, for instance, retailers and restaurants, 50 percent capacity or what have you.

[00:17:00.412]
So reduced capacity, increased costs because they need to clean, still need to staff and this, that and the other. And then ultimately, a lot of them still have now new loans that they have to pay or increase debt because of just the way that the business cycle has gone. So I think it's kind of kicking the can down the road a little bit, but it was needed at the same time. So it's helpful. Some businesses, regardless of it, are still going to suffer and probably not be here at this time next year.

[00:17:32.722]
But at least it allowed it gave a lifeline to to a lot of businesses as well at the same time and landlords the ability to kind of help out their tenants and not shoulder the full weight of rent relief programs themselves.

[00:17:48.202]
All right. I'd I'd like to transition to a CoStar and their products and services. So what exactly does CoStar do? Could you give a brief overview of who your clients are and what type of data do to they need?

[00:18:03.442]
So CoStar has been around for about thirty three years at this point, maybe thirty four started in in Washington, DC, in someone's basement in Florence's basement. He's our CEO and he's a founding CEO and started just by providing commercial real estate data in the form of of listings. So it was the main target at that point was the brokerage community putting all listings together in one source so that the brokers knew what was available for their tenants, started as as a magazine and then went to CD rom.

[00:18:36.322]
And now it's obviously completely Internet enabled. Since then, we've expanded our service offering. Obviously, the core for the years has still been that commercial real estate data and that consists of not just the listings. So for sale and for lease listings, but also all the underlying information about the real estate itself. So what is the entire inventory of real estate in a given geographic area where we're covering office, industrial, retail, multifamily, a whole bunch of random specialty type buildings?

[00:19:09.712]
What are all the attributes to those buildings? So size, age, when was the renovation done? Floors, all the different. How many doors for industrial spaces and you name it. And then so we collect we have a huge research team. I think more than half the company is researchers that are on the ground constantly collecting data. And we basically slap on extra data from external sources as well. So, I mean. Traffic count data, demographic data, Oxford Economics provides us with economic data that feeds into our forecast.

[00:19:48.142]
So when you're when you're looking at the forecast that we now have on this platform, we're forecasting on a property level, which is very different from from what everyone else is doing most most of the forecasting services for.

[00:20:00.252]
Real estate are going to do it at a market or submarket level, meaning if you're a client and you're interested in these top 10 office buildings in Toronto, you're stuck with basically looking at the submarkets where they're in and just taking the class A of those submarkets, whereas for if you're a CoStar client, you can pick, OK, I really only care about these 10 assets. You click them, you'll get the historical data for those buildings and a forecast specifically for that group of buildings that you pick because it's done on a building by building basis.

[00:20:35.262]
So there's that aspect to it. CoStar also has several other, I guess, platforms, one of which is apartments.com in the US, which is multifamily data. That's a really that was, I think picked up in the last 10 years, LoopNet, similar idea. That was a marketing platform for for people who are listing their their lease or sale listings. And now that's been incorporated into CoStar. And and really the idea behind all of that is we have all the property level information, all the listings, information, the people that are are using CoStar.

[00:21:12.822]
They are, you know, dedicated real estate professionals. They're paying to have access to this service. So in a sense, they're almost like prequalified people. Right. So to give them access to all this information and then to slap on the the actual marketing side of things is is really beneficial to the buyer or the seller and the the landlord who's trying to lease their space. And that kind of looks at where we're 10x showed up on on this idea of acquisitions because 10X is almost like an auction platform.

[00:21:46.902]
They had the the sellers provide as much information about the property as possible, but we can marry that with all the CoStar data. And that's kind of where the efficiency comes in. We married it with all the CoStar data. And not only that, the the eyeballs on the auction site now increased dramatically because we have all of these subscribers to the coast, our platform that are, like I said, I mean, essentially prequalified real estate professionals that are now looking at at this auction as well.

[00:22:17.292]
So it's really a good efficiency to be had there and getting a lot more eyeballs on that on the auction site. And that's where we saw the efficiency of having a group like that inside the CoStar platform.

[00:22:29.352]
Right. OK, well, I'm wondering if we can dive a little bit deeper than into what you just discussed. So I guess my my precursor to this is that so we're commerce students and generally I think the majority of our viewers are, in fact, commerce students. But real estate is something that doesn't get touched on so much. You know, where I think we're more accustomed to the the more generic financial modeling of companies, but not so much real estate.

[00:22:54.162]
When you say when you provide these these five year forecasting models for for your properties, whether it be the office, industrial, etc., we're just wondering if you could maybe unpack that a little bit for us unknowing students at this point as young students. Yeah. So the the forecasts I mean, we actually obviously we have a lot of a historic data for real estate across North America. We have we have other, I guess, operations in Europe as well.

[00:23:26.322]
So a lot of historic information about how the real estate has responded to changes in the economy, which is really what this is all about. Right? I mean, we know the real estate data. We know how much real estate is there. We know what the occupancy rates are for that real estate. We know what the rents are and how they've transitioned over time. Now, the question is, you know, where does it go given positive economic growth scenario, depression scenario, whatever the scenario and trying to figure out where that's going.

[00:23:57.732]
And that's really the value. I mean, everyone wants to know how how things are performing, what things are, you know, what's happened today in the in real estate. But the big question mark, if you're looking to buy a property and that's where you you want as an investor, transparency is key and data provides that transparency. So with us collecting all this data and that flows into the model, now you need to know if you want it from an independent source.

[00:24:27.642]
You don't want, let's say, the broker who's trying to sell, not that have anything wrong with brokers, but the broker that's trying to sell you a property like, you know, if somebody's trying to sell you something, you want to independently verify that that information that they're telling you because they know they're essentially if they make that sale, they're going to get a decent commission. And so they're incentivized to tell you that, yeah, you know what?

[00:24:50.562]
You buy this retail asset right now because retail is booming. Look at the historical data. Retail has been doing great. Don't worry about covid. That's that's nothing. So you want an independent source that can kind of look at the economic outlook, marry that with the commercial real estate data, so you have all the supply information, what new supply is coming down the pipelines? And then look at how the demand scenario changes and demand scenario in our forecast is driven off of economic growth and employment growth.

[00:25:21.812]
And obviously, we have to constantly fine tune that based on how much if you're looking at office, for instance, how much square footage is dedicated to an employee. We know that's changing dramatically right now. It was going down now, going to be going up. So we're we're constantly fine tuning that for our clients as well in our forecasts. And the different scenarios have different assumptions based off of that as well. But ultimately, that's that's a demand side where we get the economic growth scenarios and then we marry that with what we know on to the commercial real estate data.

[00:25:53.042]
And that essentially allows us to to figure out what's going to happen on the supply side and kind of put out the forecast with that now. I mean, there's vacancy and then we know how different vacancy rates has, I guess, transitioned or modified asking rents so we can model that out as well. And that's what we do on. I mean, we're constantly fine tuning our forecasts, so most people will do a forecast once a quarter are forecast to economic data gets put in whenever we get the economic data.

[00:26:27.662]
But the commercial real estate data, we the team here in Canada is making about twelve, thirteen thousand changes to the database every day. And every one of those changes could change the forecast. So if you're looking at our forecasts this morning and our researcher is talking to someone at Brookfield, let's say in Brookfield's, like we just kicked off a new office tower and we got these two major leases on that, as soon as that information is known and gets inputted into the database, approximately within 20 minutes, it will show up in the forecast as well.

[00:27:01.022]
So it's real time forecasting, which is really important because as things change, you as a client want to know the most up to date information and how that's going to impact the forecast. And so that's one thing that we do. And then we're constantly writing our reports. So you're not waiting on a quarterly basis for an updated report? Every time we get a significant change, that forecast rent growth is going up by X percent versus what it was before.

[00:27:29.252]
We'll go in and fine tune the reports as well and indicate why it's changing because of X information was made available. So everything's constantly being updated, right? Yeah, I was about to say, I mean, it's incredible because as you alluded to, you don't have to wait for these for these quarterly reports or monthly reports in order to really to to get everything, I guess that is that you would need. So that's that's really that's incredible. You know, Micah, I think yours is.

[00:27:57.692]
Yeah. And I read an article recently that was written in twenty sixteen about how a low altitude fly planes are changing their apartment rent. So I'd really like to talk about how it started leveraging the use of these planes, as well as drones to find data for your clients.

[00:28:15.272]
So the the technology side of CoStar is a big thing. I mean, our if you look at the head count for CoStar, we have about 4500 globally. And within that I think two thousand is research. Approximately one thousand is like I.T. high tech type development employees as well. And they're constantly trying to leverage the most up to date technology of which we have the CoStar planes like you alluded to. And a funny story about the coast, our planes.

[00:28:51.182]
I mean, they've been flying over in the US for a while and they have military grade camera equipment and military grade GIS and what have you. So basically the the the systems loaded with all of the known information that we have in our database on building by building, such as the planes flying over it, it's like pinpointing, OK, this is this building and that's all the information about it. And if for whatever reason, something shows up on there and the type the person's like, OK, that building doesn't have a pin on it.

[00:29:20.492]
Let me look into that and they'll take all the pictures and what have you. And if they can't get the information from whatever elevation they're at, they send out the field research team. So they work kind of hand in hand. And the funny story about the planes is we try to get it into Canada for a while and it had to go through some severe government approvals because it was military grade technology. And I mean, I don't know, maybe the thought CoStar was going to invade Canada or something, but we got clearance.

[00:30:00.393]
They've constantly I mean, we've had the field research team for a while and they basically are driving the cities and and that's important because it allows us to build up the full inventory. We don't just go by whatever information, prominent buildings. We're going block by block. When we're setting up a market, we drive every street, go block by block, inventory, every commercial real estate asset. And whether it's important to our database or to a specific asset, an asset type in our database or not, we'll put it in the system.

[00:30:30.453]
So we have full inventory. But when they get notified of a new building, they immediately will go out there and and start getting information on it.

[00:30:39.033]
Ideally, we know of the building because our researchers are reaching out to the community, finding about about new construction offerings. The field research team is constantly driving along, but there's some times where either the developer doesn't want people to isn't marketing the building. So they're not really concerned about people knowing about it. And it's like behind a tree line. So our field research teams drive by and they just see a line of trees and they don't see a building being built there.

[00:31:06.153]
So the the aerial research picks that up. Now, what the field research team does is not just with regular cameras. They go around and get all the information about the building that way, but they also fly fly drones. So they're commercially licensed to fly drones. And they yeah. You know what? They they get some great aerial images of the buildings. Great for marketing, but they also have. Other technology on the drones, one of which is heat sensors, so in the winter, if they're flying over an industrial building, they can see if they're certain parts of the roof that heat losses is rampant.

[00:31:42.103]
And therefore, if you're buying or you're looking to buy that building and you're doing your due diligence on CoStar. Yeah, you know what the seller says that they put in a new roof five years ago. But you're looking at the drone footage and it shows massive heat loss in certain areas. And, you know, regardless of that being a relatively new roof, I'm probably going to need to put a new roof on this asset or something to that effect.

[00:32:05.623]
So it allows us to use readily available technology for interesting ways. And so the platforms constantly being evolved to accommodate new uses of technology, including I mean, all our clients have access to the the app on Android or Apple, where they can just walk around the city, look at whatever building they're standing in front of, and it gives them the full information on what tenants are in there. When are their leases expiring? What are they paying for rent?

[00:32:33.523]
What's the vacancy for similar assets. So it's all the use of technologies is the way to go. And it creates that transparency in the market that allows people to make smart, educated decisions on their investments, smart, educated decisions on the amount of space or the leasing decisions they want to make.

[00:32:52.153]
Right. So that's honestly that's truly innovative. Know, when I heard that news, that CoStar and other data real estate companies were using these drones, I had a sneaking suspicion that it wasn't purely for for taking pictures of the property. I thought that something a bit deeper. But I had no clue that you could leverage that kind of that leverage, that kind of advantage, I suppose. Yeah. And it's it's great to have the marketing images and the videos.

[00:33:20.323]
And that's a big selling part for people who are trying to like our clients, who are trying to sell their properties on LoopNet, and they get a certain level of ads that they pay for. They get all this drone footage that they can then, you know, make their ad look really pretty and really good for the buyers. But then there's the actual practical use as well, right? Yeah, no, that's the it's really incredible, I think.

[00:33:43.633]
At least. Yeah. So I've noticed that we're we're actually we're running a little bit out of time here, so we should probably but I think I guess we wanted to leave just with concluding thought something a bit more general. So you of course you were once a student yourself, both at the undergrad and at the graduate level, and you studied business and then you pursued your your MBA specialist in real estate so far. Do you have any students basically for.

[00:34:11.603]
Sorry, any advice for students looking to break into the CRE space or into something alike. I think the the advice I give and so I actually go and guest lecturer at the University of Guelph and their real estate program as well. And so I get that question. A lot of those students and I mean, I think the advice to a lot of people go go in or when they come out of school, they're like, I, I want to do this.

[00:34:36.943]
This is exactly what I want to do. And similar for me, when I came out of the urban planning program that I that I took the undergrad program, I want to me planning was the way to go. Save the trees makes her development is proper. And I worked for a project management firm where essentially I was the guy going in there arguing with the conservation authority that we need to tear down these trees. So it's like, OK, this may not be the exact job that I wanted, that I envisioned.

[00:35:08.773]
And I think for a lot of students when they come out, they have an idea of exactly what they want to do. And sometimes that that doesn't work out that great. And there's so many aspects of real estate that you can get into from from the planning side, engineering, development, finance, the mortgage underwriting and this, that and the other tenant rep, you know, investment sales, landlord rep on the brokerage side, property management. I mean, it's so wide and varied.

[00:35:41.053]
And I've noticed in the last five years, everyone wants to get into development like a whole bunch of people development. And it don't get me wrong, I was really cool. It's wonderful to say, hey, you know what? I was a part of building that building. And 20 years, 30 years later, you can tell everyone when you walk by, you can show them that. But at the same time, if we're now going into a period where the development might slow down a bit, there's not going to be a job for everyone in development.

[00:36:07.513]
So be open to to change. And I think the people that are most successful and you look at like a lot of the leaders of a lot of these organisations, and they did a stint on the development side. They did a stint on the investment, sales or underwriting side. They did a stint on the lending side. So they they really have a really good idea of everything involved in how an asset operates. I've forgotten appraisals. That's a major part of the business.

[00:36:37.453]
So they have a good understanding about how the real estate itself operates, how the finance of the real estate operates, how the businesses that interact with the real estate operate. And and so, you know. Try varied things earlier in your career, and that way you can then you can work towards that end goal and being well rounded is key. Really key is that holistic perspective, I guess? Absolutely right. All right. Well, with that, I think there's no way better way to to end it.

[00:37:10.163]
Thank you again very much for joining us or our second installment of the tech talk series. And yeah, we we thank you very much for your time. Again, my pleasure.

About The Association
Rotman Commerce FinTech Association
Tech Vlogger & YouTuber

The Rotman Commerce FinTech Association (RCFTA) is an undergraduate interest group at the University of Toronto. Our mission is to educate students on the growing relevance of technology in finance by providing hands-on learning opportunities to enhance technical and soft skills through workshops and case competitions.