Large real estate portfolios generate such high data volumes that computer systems have become essential tools for successful portfolio management. Among other things, they should be able to provide portfolio analyses, reports, and scenarios to support portfolio managers in their daily work. Furthermore, portfolio management systems should support the decision-making of portfolio managers and their superiors. This is a requirement we deduce from the fact that important decisions are required in the portfolio management processes, such as the property sales and purchases. 

It is not known whether the systems used in practice meet the latter requirement because there are no relevant studies available. There is also a lack of research into the details of decision-making in portfolio management and into measuring the effectiveness of decision support systems (DSS) in general.

Our paper aims to help close these three knowledge gaps. First we deal with decision support systems in general and derive from the literature and our preliminary studies specific criteria to assess the quality of a DSS. Then we present an ideal portfolio management process, which we also derive from the literature and other studies. Unlike previous investigations, we elaborate on the decisions made during the process. Finally, in the empirical part of the paper, we use our assessment scheme to examine five portfolio management systems applied by major European real estate companies. The results indicate that while the systems offer good support for day-to-day management, they are hardly suitable to support decision-making. More research is needed to validate the assessment instrument and to obtain a complete picture of decision-making in real estate portfolio management.