Marc Rutzen, whospecializes in data analytics and technology at KIG, will be covering the application of data analytics and technology in the commercial real estate industry at Illinois Real Estate Journal‘s Technology conference on March 8.
In the following interview, Rutzen opens up and tells Illinois Real Estate Journal that the lack of tech in the industry is what drew him to his profession in the first place. He also talks personal life and establishing his own real estate mobile app.
Illinois Real Estate Journal: Can you tell me more about your work at KIG?
Marc Rutzen: I analyze trends in demographic, economic, and municipal data to determine the drivers of real estate value and produce intuitive visualizations of this data to inform our clients’ investment decisions, and I am currently leading the development of a web-based software platform to productize this service for our clients.
IREJ: What do you like to do outside of work?
Rutzen: Travelling, biking, reading and writing music (I play guitar and piano). Also renovating my house, which really should not be a hobby, but has become one because it’s taken so long…
IREJ: Favorite city ever visited?
Rutzen: New York. I lived there for a year and it was an amazing experience to live in such a fast paced city.
IREJ: What drew you to technology as a profession?
Rutzen: I saw the inefficiency in the real estate industry and thought that if I learned to develop technology for the industry, I could change it.
IREJ: What would we be surprised to learn about you?
Rutzen: I used to manage the scattered sites program at the Chicago Housing Authority – I actually developed my first real estate mobile app, the HUD TDC Calculator, to assist our team in determining the HUD total development cost limits for scattered site construction projects while I was working there. That’s what really first got me into tech development for the real estate industry.
IREJ: What will you be discussing at IREJ’s Technology in Commercial Real Estate conference?
Rutzen: The application of data analytics and technology in the commercial real estate industry.
IREJ: What’s been your favorite memory in commercial real estate?
Rutzen: Meeting and speaking with developers in Brazil during a study abroad trip in Columbia University’s MSRED program.
IREJ: What do you believe needs to change in the industry?
Rutzen: The commercial real estate industry desperately needs technological innovation, but at the same time it can be really hard to change peoples’ habits. UI design is extremely important – making technology that is intuitive and easy to use is crucial in facilitating adoption of new real estate technology products.
IREJ: Do you see any challenges for the future of technology and real estate?
Rutzen: In general the industry is more protective of its data than many other industries. This secrecy generally creates inefficiencies in the market and prevents buyers and sellers from getting the most accurate information on their investments. I think democratizing data can bring a lot of efficiency to the market, but it will be a challenge to get industry participants to see the value in sharing.
IREJ: How are you using tech outside of work?
Rutzen: I’ve attended multiple hackathons and Startup Weekends in Chicago (my team actually won first place in the most recent one!) and am teaching myself Python and PHP in my free time to help with development efforts both independently at these types of events and at KIG.
IREJ: Do you use any social media platforms to stay up-to-date on the latest CRE news/local news?
Rutzen: I read the news on Twitter and TechCrunch.