How location data is reshaping commercial real estate

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Thanks to the ubiquity of mobile phones, location data is becoming a strategic tool for almost every industry. Telecommunications companies have taken advantage of these analyzes to build new networks that provide even more detailed information on their uses. Insurance companies have leveraged geospatial information to minimize policy risk. Retailers have used data on how people move about in their daily lives to understand the competition, find new customers, and make smart site selection choices.

The same is true for commercial real estate. For businesses in this space, accurate geospatial data about points of interest, mobility trends, and demographics in a given area can add functionality to sales platforms, refine marketing, and increase global competitive intelligence. Without accurate data-driven intelligence, these same organizations risk making costly decisions about customer engagement and capital investments that could have been avoided.

Among the most popular tools for commercial real estate companies are platforms that allow them to connect all of their data, appraise properties, and manage their sales pipelines. While companies like Placer (a location analytics provider) and Cherre (a real estate data platform) offer brokers out-of-the-box solutions, other companies such as CBRE and Colliers have developed their own technologies. For brokers, these tools make it easy to identify, assign and list winning assets. Meanwhile, investors benefit from a seamless discovery experience that allows them to explore buying and development opportunities remotely. Together, these solutions streamline investment, research and operations.

In addition to providing information and features such as price indicators and virtual tours, PropTech platforms can be supercharged with location data, such as points of interest, mobility and demographic data. Points of interest data can provide information about physical locations that someone might find interesting (such as restaurants, parks, landmarks, or physical stores), while mobility data measures people’s movements. people around these locations. Demographics breaks down a given population by age, gender, ethnicity, employment status, and income, among other factors.

Incorporating any combination of these analytics into real estate platforms can offer neighborhood scores that assess a property’s walkability or proximity to other accretive amenities. With resources like these at their fingertips, investors can make smarter decisions about where capital commitments will go furthest, and brokers can better position properties.

Planet Fitness, for example, might look to expand into the Venice Beach area of ​​Los Angeles. By combining location intelligence with real estate platforms, Planet Fitness can select locations that maximize the gym’s competitive advantage while providing quick access to complementary points of interest, from juice bars to supplement stores via the popular beachside promenade.

For commercial brokerage firms, marketing requires precise targeting. In this space, audiences are often small and hard to reach, so it’s not enough to simply run an ad in a newspaper or buy a radio spot. Location data provides brokers with a number of avenues to get the most out of ad spend. Imagine, for example, that a broker has just listed a series of new commercial spaces on the ground floor located under a luxury apartment building. With geospatial information, they can better justify the value of that location by providing information on foot traffic, average consumer income, or proximity to competitors.

Armed with similar data, brokers can also devise smarter marketing strategies such as geo-targeting or geo-fencing to connect with potential investors and brands. E-commerce company Warby Parker, for example, could adopt these data-driven tactics to serve visitors to physical LensCrafters sites with personalized ads for a better deal on eyewear. In other words, location data can reveal who to target and the best time and place to do so.

To advise and gain the trust of customers and partners, commercial real estate companies must be able to provide information that will allow investors and brands to stay ahead of the competition. Whether purchased directly from a data provider or obtained through a third-party location intelligence platform, location data can provide customers with a comprehensive understanding of the competitive landscape.

For a retailer looking to open a new location in the chic Marais district of Paris, for example, geospatial data can provide a snapshot of variables such as weather, footfall and dwell times. Additionally, this information can be combined with accurate international data sets that increase intelligence on other points of interest, nearby competitors, complementary retailers and consumer transit routes from elsewhere in the world. the City of Lights. By cross-referencing this data, a broker could offer the retailer the ability to select a site that maximizes sales and eliminates competition.

For another example, imagine that a manufacturer is looking for the optimal location for a new factory overseas. To better serve this client, a broker must have access to simplified data that will support decision-making. The manufacturer would benefit enormously from knowing, for example, whether a particular international site is close to major highways, gas stations, education centers or public transport so that employees can arrive on time without problems.

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Also consider how much that same manufacturer could benefit from other location-based B2B insights. For example, they could learn more about nearby suppliers, logistics centers or distribution centers, which together would facilitate lean manufacturing and minimize production delays. They might also find out how close a potential site is to residential or urban areas from which they might find their future workforce.

COVID has put unprecedented pressure on the real estate sector. Brokers need to create logistical, marketing and competitive intelligence advantages over top rivals and stay ahead in a relatively unfavorable market. With location intelligence, commercial real estate companies can capitalize on these benefits, better equipping sales and marketing teams while leveraging logistics efficiencies. In this case, investments in location data should pay off.

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