July 28, 2021

What is Real Estate Data Sharing? Insights from Property Tax Teams

Industry professionals share their challenges, insights, and experiences with data sharing across their team and departments
PROPERTY TAX MANAGEMENT TIPS

Every year, property taxes are rising and the volume of data real estate teams are working with continues to grow. As such, property tax teams are increasingly looking for ways to streamline data sharing across the organization. The ability to easily share data with internal teams, advisors, and third parties can streamline decision making for tax teams and connected departments.

We asked property tax teams what data sharing meant to them and what kind of data they were sharing. In this post, we’ll share insights and real-life experiences from property tax professionals.

This blog is based on a session we hosted at our annual Experience-Sharing event. Request the recording here.

What is data sharing?

At its core, data sharing is the act of making data available to whomever needs it. When it comes to real estate data, this might mean fellow members of your tax team, consultants, advisors, lawyers, or some other third party.  

What types of real estate data are being shared across teams and departments?

Real estate data is vast and can include many different elements depending on the industry and company. For example, a Property Tax Manager we spoke with in Oil and Gas highlighted the importance of future tax projections, accruals, budgets and forecasts, tax liabilities, and site details. All of these, he said, were key data points to share both within the property tax team, but also with non-property tax departments.

When we spoke to an industry professional working within a REIT, they were most focused on sharing data related to accounting, leasing and development, and tax jurisdiction information. Finally, a logistics REIT emphasized the importance of appeals, budgeting and forecasting, and tax bills.

Clearly, the importance of each type of data being shared depends on the industry, as well as the structure of departments within the company. However, there was one item common across all groups: data sharing must be timely and uniformly formatted so it can be easily understood and accessed when needed.  

What changes have property tax teams noticed in data sharing over time?

All industry professionals we spoke with agreed: the demand for data sharing has grown considerably. While this is being seen company-wide, it was particularly pronounced for property tax teams. That’s because property tax is quickly becoming one of the largest expenses that organizations incur. This has led to cross-functional teams prioritizing property tax, digging into the data to identify opportunities and understand trends.

Real estate teams are noticing other data-sharing trends, too. With software, the speed at which data can be shared has increased and data accessibility has improved. Property tax teams also say they feel better equipped to provide cross-functional teams the data they require quickly.

What challenges do property tax teams face when it comes to data sharing?

When we asked property tax professionals this question, some of the biggest challenges they cited were related to change management.  

Budget constraints and limited IT resources

While real estate teams see the value of improving data-sharing processes and adopting integrated software solutions, budget constraints and IT resources may limit or slow adoption. What’s more, teams may be resistant to change or fear that implementing new software could be slow.

Security Reviews

Of course, IT departments may have security concerns, which require time to audit new processes and systems.  

Granular control over what data is shared

Moreover, some tax teams may not want to share comprehensive property tax data sets, preferring instead to share only certain points. While the reasons for this vary, a key point was that providing too much data can actually slow down processes and lead to errors. Other departments may not understand property tax implications or lack context, leading them to come to differing conclusions from the person sharing the data. Thus, property tax teams may want to control exactly what data is being shared to avoid misinterpretation.

These are just a few of the ways data sharing is essential to today’s property tax teams and some of the challenges and insights shared by property tax teams. Want to learn more about what property tax professionals have to say about data sharing and connected systems? Request the session recording here.  

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© 2021 Rethink Solutions. All Rights Reserved