June 21, 2017 Maria Verdin

Q&A: Bill Kiefer on The Value of Peer Reviewed Data

Bill Kiefer is Executive Managing Director of NAI Capital in Ventura County, and has been in the commercial real estate industry for 35 years. Kiefer serves on AIR CRE’s Advisory Board for the Ventura County Office Market. AIR CRE asked Kiefer to share a bit about his career, why he serves on the Advisory Board and what makes AIR CRE’s data produced with Xceligent vital today.

The first half of Kiefer’s career in commercial real estate was at Grubb & Ellis, where he started right out of college in DTLA, before shifting to the Ventura County office. The second half of Kiefer’s career has involved joining with former Grubb & Ellis associates as affiliates with NAI Capital.

Why did you decide to get involved with AIR CRE?
I got involved in AIR CRE two or three years ago when Michael Foxworthy Jr. recruited me to be a part of the regional advisory board. Previously, the group didn’t have much depth in Ventura County or in the office market sector, my specialty.

Three to four years ago, AIR CRE began beefing up the data set for office. When I saw AIR CRE and Xceligent were intent on assembling accurate market information, I got on board. I found the data was better because it was broker driven, and not for profit. Since AIR CRE engaged brokers in the market to enhance the data, its knowledge was different than others.

There’s a considerable amount of information available in the market, with anyone able to Google market stats. Why is having accurate data so important in today’s CRE marketplace?
The effort to have access to accurate data goes back 30 or more years to when AIR CRE first started assembling its listing service. Since it was mainly industrial brokers, that’s what type of property data was tracked. Today, that’s completely changed. The data AIR CRE offers through Xceligent now includes office data.

Having access and knowing how to use data to tell a story allows the broker to be more valuable to the client, be it landlords, tenants or investors. The AIR CRE tech platform is incredible, and the data is reliable and bankable. It is real information not generic stats, plus the people behind the platform are broker-friendly.

What is the AIR CRE Advisory Board you serve on all about, and who else is involved?
The Advisory board for the Ventura County office market is an eight-member group that meets quarterly for about 1-1/2 hours with the data collectors and AIR CRE team. In addition to going over the basic property data (size, term, etc.), we also delve into the analytics, such as transactions completed by party (landlord, tenant) to confirm the data is accurate vs. generic data available. That parallels the mindset of brokers, and Xceligent goes out of the way to make sure the data is accurate and they hound brokers to get the information.

Active members of the AIR CRE Ventura County Office Property Advisory Board include: Tony Principe of Westcord in Westlake Village, Jim Gloyd of the Becker Group, Kelly Hagar of M.F. Daily Corp., Caroline Bigelow of CBRE, Bill Clark of CBRE, and Mike Foxworthy Sr. of DAUM.

What is the Advisory Board’s role in vetting the data, and what does the process entail?
The Advisory Board helps the data collectors confirm and challenge the data. We also add in lease and sales comps that we may have available. The Advisory Board helps to enhance accuracy, and that’s unique compared to other data platforms. This is a collaborative effort among active professionals working in a competitive environment.

Properties are identified and we get a handle on the deal terms. Often as we discuss, Xceligent’s tech guru, Matt Nelson, Regional Director of Analytics, adjusts the data real time. We typically review 25 to 50 deals each quarter. This peer review process is one of the aspects that makes AIR CRE’s data so impressive, valuable and unique to the CRE industry.

What are those roundtable discussions like, when you get several top-producing brokers in the same room? Do they get heated or does collaboration rule?
The AIR CRE data platform helps brokers work together rather than against each other. It is rare to have competitors in the same room working in a cooperative environment, but somehow AIR CRE has found a way to facilitate that. It is collaborative.

What is the result of all that review and vetting of the data? Ultimately, who benefits? How does it provide value to the organization and the CRE industry?
The value of what AIR CRE’s Advisory Boards deliver is the accuracy of data. Knowing that it has been checked by industry peers is critical today.

Those with access to that data can deliver better service to clients, and that adds value to transactions and customers, which is why brokers are there. Brokers aren’t there just to collect commissions; we must provide value commensurate with the fees we get paid. AIR CRE’s accurate data is a tool in the box that puts you a step ahead of other brokers.

Please contact Bill Kiefer at bkiefer@naicapital.com