In late November, two large software companies that service the global commercial real estate market agreed to merge.
Realm Business Solutions of Houston and London’s Circle Software both offer software and data geared towards automating the many transactions and day-to-day complexities of owning commercial real estate.
Realm’s flagship product is ARGUS, which is an industry standard among companies that use the discounted cash flow methodology to value real estate assets. Circle’s core product is called Visual Investor, which is the UK equivalent of Argus. It’s also used broadly in Continental Europe and Asia where the UK-based capitalization approach is favored.
“This [merger] should result in more standardized appraisal reports facilitating cross-border comparisons of commercial real estate investments on a consistent basis,” says Indiana University Kelley School of Business professor Jeffrey Fisher.
The merger should also contribute to stronger transparency in the global commercial real estate markets. Since American and British appraisers have historically relied on vastly different systems, the joined company should help drive a global push towards uniform data standards.