Reonomy: Product & Company
Reonomy is a software platform that provides its users the ability to search, filter and categorize 52 million commercial real estate (CRE) records across the United States to derive property intelligence. This encompasses; property owners’ contact information; data pertaining to size, location and usage of the property; and financial & transactional information as applied to purchase date, tax filings and debt obligations. Reonomy solves this need for property data in commercial real estate by applying machine learning to big data & leveraging partnerships with owner information service providers as an additional source of records.
Reonomy was founded in 2013 by Rich Sarkis, who saw an opportunity to apply machine learning and big data technology to information on commercial real estate. Reonomy began operations as a web platform for commercial real estate property information focused on New York. Rich Sarkis, who was CEO at that time, built a robust use case before launching the service for CRE properties across the United States. Reonomy has raised $128 million in venture capital to date, in 2020 Reonomy had grown to having over 100 full-time employees.
Reonomy & Solar
Reonomy is the answer to the most common question when prospecting for properties and customers with great solar potential, “Who do we talk to about solar for this property?”. Every solar sales & project development professional has come to a point where a property or location has immense potential for solar but finding owner contact information or getting to decision makers proves to be an insurmountable challenge.
Lead Generation and Prospecting for Solar
Lead generation and prospecting for solar involves; finding an ideal space for solar to be installed, to maximize electricity generation for that property, which has the ideal electricity consumption pattern and is similar to the solar energy generation pattern. The engineering and project development teams at solar companies conclude a consumer or property type that is best suited for their solution, services and operations.
C&I and CRE
The sales and project development team are then tasked with finding this ideal consumer and property type. This sales method usually applied to commercial and industrial (C&I) solar applications involves a targeted sales pitch to commercial real estate owners and tenants, as opposed to broad based advertising. In other words, the sales enquiries are generated by outbound rather than inbound calls or emails.
In a B2B transaction there are 3 key buying influences that drives the decisions that are taken for a completed contract; economic, technical and user. Getting to the correct property owner, tenant and financial data provides the solar developer with the vital insights needed to formulate the strategy for addressing the needs of these buying influences as applicable to that particular property location or property owner.
Prospecting for Solar Opportunities in Commercial Real Estate with Reonomy
Solar companies often discover opportunities on the ground which are ideal for installation and generation. Solar developers employ software capable of estimating to a great degree of accuracy the solar generation profile of a building and estimate to a reasonable accuracy the energy consumption profile. Target customers who have a similar energy generation and consumption profile are easier to focus on and build operational models around.
An example would be to target warehouses over 10000 sq.ft. of roof space that are used for light manufacturing activities or material storage that does not require refrigeration. Solar developers know that this type of solar installation has a distinct value that can be provided to the owner or tenant. Solar developers prefer their customer portfolio to be homogenous because customer service for solar applications of divergent usage profile becomes prohibitively expensive.
Knowing the number of commercial real estate (CRE) properties with preferred energy profiles quantifies the total addressable market. A promotional campaign which provides the specific information to the correct buying influence increases the effectiveness of the campaign. A targeted & intelligent call to action, inciting the property owner or tenant to consider solar for their use. For C&I Solar this involves considering multiple factors and parties that will influence the decision. Owner information alone is insufficient, therefore, tenant information also becomes vital to creating the use case for the property.
Unfortunately, Reonomy does not aid in creating the business influence analysis or the customer journey on its own. The insights will need to be created by research and rely on the experience of the team at the solar project development company.
Search & Filter
Reonomy is not just another source of information in the search for contact info of prospective clients. The differentiator is Reonomy’s ability to add color to the single point of info in the search query. Reonomy’s algorithm uses geographic information, government and regulatory compliance data and other data service providers to identify and collate several layers of information for a particular property. Reonomy’s interface is an application of several filters that allow you to filter down by;
Point on map, drawn area or a radius from a particular start point apart from address based filters
Broadly categorized as Commercial, Industrial, Multi-Family, Special Purpose and Vacant Land with sub categories
Building & Lot
Building and lot sizes along with information on year built, year renovated and zoning information
Record of sales; sales date, value, past owners and likelihood of sale
Current tenant or multiple tenants for retail and multi-family homes
Ownership Contact Info
Ownership data including LLC and holding company details
Applicable tax codes and incentives to the property and the owner
By assigning each property a Reonomy ID all related info, irrespective of source, relevant to that property has a common identification. This allows cross referencing multiple data points when digging below the surface, Reonomy delivers owner information on property owners and their companies that would otherwise be hidden.
You could start the search by creating a filter and radius, such as all multi-family building units within a 20 km radius that have been built in the last 5 years and have a gross floor area of 20000 sq.ft. and built upon a land of 1 acre. The categories and sub-categories allow the user to fine tune the filter and drive towards a specific list of targeted buildings.
Reonomy can also be used as a research tool that can assess the viability of particular product or services for a given location or region. Knowing how many warehouses in the known sunnier parts of the United States can be vital to marketing plans and promotional budget allocations.
Software, App & API
Reonomy provides an API that could be integrated with a solar or GIS service that can cross reference data. The API would be an interesting overlay to solar irradiance data which could lead to immediate understanding of buildings and properties with high potential for solar. If the API query of the building type and sub category could be used in conjunction with energy consumption data, it could prove to be a valuable addition to any solar and energy efficiency services company. There is no app, which might disappoint some but the website is easy to use and the offering of API allows for integration with other software service’s app.
The pricing for Reonomy is on an annual basis after a 30 day trial period. The pricing is dependent on the requirement of weekly or monthly extraction of contacts, which applies to the API integration query counts as well. While the prices are not open on the website, the reviews suggest price points ranging form $199 to $600 per user. Reonomy does offer a monthly or annual subscription at a discount of 10% over the monthly but you are locked in for a minimum 1 year period irrespective of the payment method with penalties for early termination or downgrading of services.
Reonomy reviews are mixed, most ratings have 5 stars and high praise but some disappointments due to poor experience despite reaching out to Reonomy customer service representatives do exist. The indication from the first reading of these reviews is that the effectiveness of the tool is inconsistent and for obvious reasons is more effective in urban regions and regions with a predilection for data accuracy. Reonomy does acknowledge that there could be inaccuracies in their data, however they do not indicate inaccuracies for particular regions. This leads to user reviews vastly diverging between locations and applications. Reonomy reviews from solar companies are fewer, one solar company CEO’s feedback highlighted in the Reonomy website is somewhat flattering.
Reonomy is directly competing against Costar for CRE information and there are a few alternatives with similar solutions but none of them have services for solar. The CRE information service is targeted towards brokers, appraisers, tax professionals and real estate investors who are seeking deals before they come to the market and/or widely known amongst industry peers.
Amongst solar the alternatives for lead generation include digital marketing companies providing lead generation and sales funneling services particularly for solar installers. These are indirect alternatives to Reonomy but they do not offer the depth of property information.
While Reonomy is easy to use for real estate opportunities; Reonomy’s service for solar will need to be integrated or cross referenced against other source data to arrive at actionable information. The key argument for the use of the Reonomy service is the simplicity of quickly searching and filtering down to contact details but does this justify the price and the annual commitment? Looking at the pricing from a cost of customer acquisition perspective Reonomy tends to be higher than other sources.
The alternative is to depend on advertising partners who use demographic data on social media to target people instead of the property. The likelihood of reaching a person who has a buying influence is higher if the social media targeting is finely tuned. The power lies with the consumer and therefore a consumer who has intent, is more likely to contact us and is also more likely to purchase. For this reason buying consumer contact information and engaging them on a broad basis with advertising and subsequently creating consumer journeys for inbound queries is arguably the more effective strategy.
As of 2020 Reonomy’s feature rich software is a good source for owner and tenant contact details which if used effectively can enhance customer experience and customer engagement. Annual subscriptions are unlikely to be cost effective for a small business intent on good customer service. For larger operations with sufficient resources and a wider range of offered services and covering several sectors & regions; Reonomy will be a vital source of information for finessing their customer journey by reinforcing the sales proposition and increasing its relevance to the specific economic, technical or user buying influence.