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In the latest Commercial Observer Power Briefing, Mike Sroka, Dealpath’s CEO, sat down with Colin Apple and Holden Latimer of Bridge Investment Group to discuss their team’s move from storing data in spreadsheets to a cloud-based solution.
For years, BIG conducted their weekly acquisitions meeting out of a master Excel spreadsheet, with frequent pauses to update data and locate relevant documents and materials. Now, BIG conducts their weekly acquisition meeting out of Dealpath. They can view their pipeline on a deal-by-deal basis, with all relevant materials conveniently attached.
In the panel, Apple and Latimer dive into what demanded this change, and how it paved the way for a more strategic future at BIG.
BIG had a growing investment portfolio, and their team of analysts was growing alongside it. But while additional opportunities called for more analysts, their process and data infrastructure didn’t lend itself well to additional team members.
Because they were operating using Excel, in combination with other legacy tools, analysts were responsible for updating deal information in one master spreadsheet. At scale, though, this process became unmanageable. Only one analyst could edit the master spreadsheet at a time, and with over ten team members, it became increasingly difficult for the team to manage their day-to-day data entry without stepping on toes.
Beyond spreadsheet technicalities, BIG also had difficulty extracting meaningful insights from the data they did track. The third-party data they purchased was difficult to compare with the proprietary data they collected. Additionally, the data itself identified market trends that were a few weeks or months old, rather than the real-time insights they needed to make competitive investments. Ultimately, this lag made the data difficult to effectively utilize in a competitive landscape.
As the team headcount grew, and their property/unit count along with it, BIG identified a crucial need for a central place to store this data and assign tasks throughout the team. Among other factors, BIG was keen on taking their tracking from a spreadsheet to the cloud, which would enable their team to work in real time. Crucially, it would also eliminate their concern for overriding others’ work.
Their search led them to a few cloud-based tools, but the majority simply took their current process and pushed it into the cloud. In other words, they lacked any commercial real estate specificity that would streamline their process and provide the tools to utilize their data as their competitive advantage.
When BIG found Dealpath, they found simplicity and value in being able to source, track and find insights from data in one centralized location, while simultaneously managing tasks based on the corresponding property. Having used Dealpath for nearly two years, the BIG team has streamlined their process, and is still finding helpful new applications as they scale.
The year before they adopted Dealpath, BIG had actually experienced a downswing in the number of deals they evaluated. As BIG grew a competitive portfolio, they were always looking for faster ways to root out properties that didn’t fit their profile and prioritize the ones that did. Dealpath helped them accomplish this by providing essential insights with minimal upfront work.
After implementing Dealpath, BIG was able to evaluate and compare potential investment properties based on consistent standards for cap rates. With this data on hand, BIG could compare apples to apples and underwrite every deal that matched their ideal profile. They could also project exit cap rates.
To get the best pulse on real-time market trends, BIG also utilizes Dealpath’s reporting feature to generate live, up-to-the-minute reports.
With Dealpath now a bedrock of their day-to-day, BIG has discovered additional unexpected benefits that continue to enhance their operations.
Rather than sift through old emails or files, they can simply refer to an old Dealpath deal page to find information about cap rates and due diligence information whenever a question arises. To quickly compare properties from a geographic standpoint, they can utilize the platform’s mapping integration, helping them understand the true potential of a property.
But they’re only scratching the surface. According to Apple and Latimer, BIG will continue to uncover new use cases and benefits as they continue relying on Dealpath’s task and data management capabilities.
Watch the full panel to learn more about how BIG adopted Dealpath to take their deal management to the cloud, and found even better deals as a result.