“While the real-estate industry is most closely associated with location, it has been one of the slowest to catch on to the potential (Sherwood-Bryan 1993d). Nevertheless, it has started to implement a variety of applications (Castle 1993b). One of the most obvious, and least implemented, applications is supporting Multiple Listing Services (MLS) (Castle 1993c). An MLS is the tool that almost every residential realtor (estate agent) uses to analyse available properties. It is a computerized system that lists available properties and includes the characteristics of each property including size, type, number of bedrooms, listing price, etc. We are beginning to see inclusion of mapping capabilities into these systems.
More exciting applications are in real-estate portfolio management and corporate asset management (Castle 1993b). Portfolio managers typically manage large portfolios of real estate for major institutional investors such as pension funds. These managers analyse the entire nation’s real-estate markets, deciding when to buy and when to dispose of properties. The data that are used to support these decisions are primarily geographical. GIS are used to help manage and integrate the data needed to make informed decisions about real-estate investment. Corporate users are much the same in that they have enormous real estate portfolios. For the most part, these real-estate portfolios consist of the property that a corporation uses to carry out its business, such as office and manufacturing space. They use GIS to analyse their holdings, deciding, for example, when to buy as opposed to rent (Castle 1993b).”