Pactriglo is a Los Angeles-based real estate intelligence platform that uses HEAVY.AI's real estate analytics tools to help expedite real estate development and reduce risks in real estate investment.
Los Angeles is home to one of the worst housing affordability and shortage crises in the country, yet has abundant land to build on. Finding this land required time consuming analysis of tens of millions of records from multiple sources. Existing real estate data analytics and visualization platforms were too slow for the task.
Data visualization was central to Pactriglo’s vision of enabling estate developers to quickly juxtapose existing zoning with municipal housing laws. At 45 million data points, Pactriglo found that the only commercial real estate data analytics solution that could scale is HEAVY.AI.
“With HEAVY.AI, there’s no need to build separate SQL queries. Our customers can use HEAVY.AI Immerse to explore the data, and the system generates the queries automatically. That’s a huge time saver, resulting in a flurry of one-click insights.”
Benjamin Pezzillo, CEO and Founder
Pactriglo now cuts through over 45 million records from four sources, with results in milliseconds. Pactriglo customers leverage the interactive visualization of HEAVY.AI to cross-filter this data any way they need, without downsampling or writing SQL queries.
Visualizes 45 million records from four sources with results in milliseconds
No need to build SQL queries, resulting in tremendous time savings
Eliminates the need for pre-aggregation
Interactive visualization eliminates the need to present with PowerPoint
When Land is Abundant but Difficult to Find: LA’s Paradoxical Housing Crisis
Los Angeles is the second largest city in the United States and easily one of the most iconic. In 2017, her population surpassed the 4 million mark, as people from all over the world migrate to the sunny metropolis for its cultural and commercial celebrity. Yet her popularity comes at a cost. Los Angeles is home to one of the worst housing shortages and affordability crises in the United States.
A 2015 report by the Legislative Analyst’s Office shows that growing demand outpaces insufficient supply of housing. Paradoxically, there’s plenty of land to build on. A 2016 McKinsey report revealed that California has enough capacity to build 5 million units in building “hot spots.” The problem is that housing developers cannot quickly find a plot of land they might develop, nor can they quickly identify information comparing that property’s zoning with municipal housing law. If a given property required a zoning change, that could mean years of red tape. Developers, builders, and third-party service providers to the construction industry needed big data analytics for real estate to explore LA’s property data and quickly find land that doesn’t require a zoning change.
Pactriglo was launched in 2017 to solve this data exploration challenge. Benjamin Pezzillo, a former City of Los Angeles labor union executive and Robert Lega, a GIS analyst, sought a way to improve housing production by making geospatial data easier to explore.
Fundamentally, Pactriglo solves a data visibility problem. The land is real, but finding it required time consuming analysis of tens of millions of records from multiple sources. The City of Los Angeles lacked the ability to make that data easily searchable by developers. Existing platforms, such as ZIMAS, NavigateLA, and LADBS, were unable to dive into millions of data points simultaneously, or to interactively explore the data by zone, down to the street level. Data visualization was central to Pactriglo’s business model, and finding the right real estate analytics partner was crucial to executing its mission. “The existing platforms were designed with public sector consumers in mind, not private. They couldn’t scale and they weren’t customer friendly," said Benjamin. Pactriglo tested multiple commercial solutions as well, but the persistent problem was the volume of its data, over 45 million data points. None of the other real estate data analytics software solutions allowed developers to visually explore housing geospatial data in real-time.
“We wanted to avoid the suffering that comes with the painfully slow queries of traditional analytics solutions. That’s when I heard about HEAVY.AI.”
A HEAVY.AI Solution for Real-Time Geospatial Visualization
Pactriglo was founded on the premise that maximizing developer utilization of existing zoning could circumvent the lengthy political process and help solve LA’s housing crisis. Its custom application could only meet that objective by harnessing the power of HEAVY.AI to query and visually explore regional housing data much faster than any other analytics platform.
“There’s plenty of available land to build on,” argues Pezzillo. “Developers were focused on zoning changes, which necessitate years of risky bureaucracy. But there’s so much land that doesn’t need to be rezoned. We can expedite the speed to construction.”
The Results: 45 Million LA Records, Expansion into San Francisco and Beyond
The company’s first task was to identify available zoning by pulling data from four public sources and making those 45 million records searchable by HEAVY.AI Core SQL-engine.
This massive searchable repository would not be feasible with other analytic platforms. “Without HEAVY.AI, we wouldn’t be able to present the level of insights at the scale that we’re working with. Even on an exceptionally fast CPU machine, you simply can’t crunch a ton of data quickly,” argues Pezzillo.
In addition to its speed, the real value of Pactriglo’s platform is its lightning-fast interactive visualization, powered by HeavyImmerse. “People have a hard time looking at rows of monotonous data. They’re attracted to ways of making complex topics easy to understand. When people want to analyze real estate, they need to do that on a map,” claims Pezzillo. “With HEAVY.AI, there’s no need to build separate SQL queries. Our customers can use HEAVY.AI Immerse to explore the data, and the system generates the queries automatically. That’s a huge time saver, resulting in a flurry of one-click insights.”
Pactriglo empowers its customers by giving them visual analytics and a SQL-engine by HEAVY.AI so they can slice and dice the dataset in its entirety. This eliminates the need for pre-aggregation, and Pactriglo users see results in milliseconds. They can easily cross-filter the data by the features that matter: zoning, sub-zoning, utilization, or construction activity.
“You don’t know what you don’t know until you look at your data in new ways,” adds Pezzillo. “I can confidently walk into any presentation, with nothing more than a web browser, and give a live demo to a client of an entirely new software experience. There’s no need for a slide deck: I present right from the HEAVY.AI Immerse platform.”
Pactriglo is a Los Angeles-based real estate intelligence platform that provides competitive insights to developers who build apartments. The platform expedites real estate development and reduces risks of real estate investment.