PropTech Entrepreneur Launches CRE Data Collection Platform Lyra Intel
Serial entrepreneur Rob Finlay, who has been launching commercial real estate-oriented companies for nearly 20 years, kicked off his latest venture this week with the public launch of Lyra Intel.
The Lyra Intel platform, which attaches to existing property management systems, collects data about properties and tenants and offers it in a dashboard format. That kind of easy-to-grasp presentation hasn't always been available to owners or property managers, Finlay told Bisnow.
After collecting data at the portfolio, property or occupant levels, the system allows property owners and managers to better understand resident or tenant needs by putting data in a readily understandable form, according to Finlay.
That allows for better use of marketing dollars to improve revenue, or more precise targeting of services by management to grow ancillary income, he said.
"That kind of data is sometimes collected — though not always — and often not in a systematic way. Property managers often have to rely on anecdotal evidence or intuition to know what amenities might help retain tenants, or what kind of service tenants will pay extra for."
For instance, an on-site manager might believe that a playground would be a worthwhile investment to retain tenants, but the data might show many more dogs than children at a property — in which case a dog park or washing station might be a better investment.
Lyra Intel started out as a mission to figure out ways to generate ancillary income for his own properties by adding services or value to residents, Finlay said.
"To do that, I needed solid information about my residents. But I found that I needed to do a better job [of] collecting and standardizing the data that I was receiving," he said.
The collection and presentation of data is often scattered or unsystematic, Finlay said, as befits an industry that tends to adopt tech late. The goal of Lyra Intel is thus to put data collection on a more systematic footing for real estate managers.
"Once I get better data, I can understand my residents better," Finlay said. "And once I can visualize the data, I can make decisions [about] how better to retain residents and increase revenue."
The company, which is so far self-funded, is the latest launch by Finlay, a serial entrepreneur who often invests in tech that the industry has previously been slow to adopt.
In 2000, Finlay founded Commercial Defeasance (better known as DefeaseWithEase), the goal of which was to expedite defeasance transactions. Seven years later, he launched TCAM Asset Management, which focuses on the affordable housing market, and in 2015, Finlay launched Investor Management Services, a software as a service platform in the CRE space.