Why Aren’t Addresses Good Enough on their Own?
ADDRESSES ARE EASY TO MESS UP
One of the fundamental problems with addresses in Commercial Real Estate is that they are often entered incorrectly into a CRE listings platform. Our experience, based on review of dozens of corporate databases, is that 35-40% of all location data is inaccurate at the address and/or location level. Unless you know the actual address on record for a building, it is often quite easy to make an incorrect assumption as to what that address might be. The growing trend of crowd-sourcing CRE data can also contribute to inaccuracies, and lead to possible overlap in property listings.
EVEN CORRECT ADDRESSES CAN DUPLICATE LISTINGS
Consider this example of a downtown office building that spans the entire block between two city streets. It is possible for a building like this to have different, but valid, addresses associated with each entrance. If the property is added to a listings platform using both addresses, it becomes difficult to detect the duplicate entries using address information alone.
ADDRESSES ARE CONSTANTLY IN FLUX
Updates to government and public safety regulations mean that addresses can and will change over time. One estimate puts address churn at 2-5% of all addresses every year. This represents up to 7.9 million addresses per year based on the 158.6 delivery points tracked by the US Postal Service (https://facts.usps.com/size-and-scope/). This can create problems in a listings platform if a property’s address changes and there is no change to the property’s physical structure. At best, the address information for the property is updated to include the new address, thereby removing any associations to the old address. At worst, a new record with the new address is entered into the system, creating redundancy in the data and creating a situation where double-counting is possible.