Your next great investment will probably start with an email in your inbox. You receive an offering memorandum from a partner, a teaser from a broker or perhaps a tip from one of your colleagues. You open the email and search for the vital bits of information you need to assess whether the opportunity is worth spending your limited time on. Is the asset in one of your top target markets? Does it fit your risk/return profile? Are the people on the other side trustworthy? If you can satisfy those initial filters, you may flag the email for follow-up and come back to take a closer look later, but you probably won’t put it in your pipeline just yet.
If it’s a pass, you might still save the details, especially if the asset is in a market you’re focused on. The deal might not fit in your portfolio, but the materials you received might contain unique insights that will help when you are screening or underwriting the next potential investment in the area.
Over time, the information you and your team gather in the form of emails, offering memorandums, market reports and underwriting models becomes an essential part of your knowledge advantage. Combined with real-time information about the assets you already own, these market insights can give you an edge when competing for deals against other teams who lack this information.
But simply possessing information doesn’t mean you can use it to your advantage. If the information is scattered across emails, spreadsheets and PDFs in share drives, it may take too long to find it when you need it - or worse, it may be lost altogether. As long as this competitively useful information is trapped in unstructured emails and documents, it’s potential value is greatly diminished. And the time wasted hunting for the information when you need it further erodes your competitive position by preventing you from moving quickly and confidently in competitive bid situations.