Real estate is one of the major industries in every country, comprising between 25% to 50% of any given nation’s assets. As shown in the diagram above, dozens of categories of Industry Players can use GIS in innumerable Potential GIS Applications, which in turn requires a broad spectrum of Products and Services.

Sooner or later all real estate professionals will be using a GIS. Those who are not already familiar with the technology need answers to these questions:

  • Who else is using GIS in real estate? How long? How successfully?
  • Does a GIS pay for itself? How Soon? In what ways?
  • What is the likely risk-reward ratio? Cost-benefit ratio? Return on investment(ROI)?
  • Can I operate a GIS myself, or do I have to hire a GIS technician?
  • Where do I get the data? How much does the data cost? How often must it be updated?
  • How easy is a GIS to learn? To remember how to use after serval days or even weeks of not using it?
  • Can I buy off-the-shelf software and data that directly apply to my job, or do I have to customize a generic GIS?
  • How does GIS differ from other computer technologies?
  • How many sources of GIS software, hardware, data, customized programming, etc., are available? How do I find and choose among them?
  • What are the best aspects of a GIS? The worst aspect?
  • Can a complete GIS reside on a lap-top computer? Desk-top computer? Mini or mainframe computer? On a local area network, wide area network, and/or time-sharing system? On the Internet, either free or for a subscription fee?