Name: Will Parra
Title: Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Manager
Company Name: SCG Retail
Year that you entered your current field? 2013
What advice can you offer to someone who is interested in a career in your industry?
Dive in head first. As someone on the data side of the RE business, there has never been a more opportune time than now. With so much information available in the marketplace, tenants, landlords, and brokers not only need access to data, but they need the right people in place to draw powerful insights from it. I majored in GIS as an undergrad because I had a keen interest in the way data tells stories about our everyday lives. The digital age provides massive amounts of such data, but remember that it is as much an art, as a science. From selecting the correct datasets to understanding the spatial analysis tools, today we can provide tremendous insights into the markets we live and work in, but it still takes a deft hand to navigate the multitude of options so easily accessible these days.
If you have a mentor, who is it and how have they influenced your personal & professional growth?
My grandparents. Having immigrated from Puerto Rico at early ages, they taught me values that I still carry with me. Values like love, kindness, and hard work—I try to carry these values with me throughout all of my endeavors.
What do you consider to be your greatest professional accomplishment in the past 12 months?
Over the past five years The Shopping Center Group and SCG-Retail have established an industry leading mapping and analytics department. We have completed insightful analytical work for both tenants and landlords, and I am very proud to be spearheading this effort in the New York Metro area. It has been extremely fulfilling to transform the way tenants look at site selection & strategy, as well as help landlords understand their tenant’s needs utilizing an array of innovative analytical techniques and data gathering methods.
Who or what do you attribute to your success?
My personal success and the success of our GIS department are one in the same. Our management and executives in Atlanta have made an incredible commitment to staying at the forefront of real estate data and analytics. With their support and our dedicated team brokers, the capabilities of the TSCG Analytics have progressed faster than anyone could have hoped. The ease of use and training provided on the ESRI platform has given me the ability to harness data from a wide range of sources. This spatially driven software enables me to drill down in ways never thought possible even just a few years ago.