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How Advances in Location Technology are Helping Commercial Real Estate Brokers Find Better Deals

‘Location, location, location’ has always been a golden rule of the real estate market. With all of the changes happening in the property industry, this rule needs a subtle but important update. It should now be: ‘location intelligence, location intelligence, location intelligence.’

In the world of commercial real estate, if you are focusing only on the geographical position of a property, without buttressing your decision-making with other strategic datasets, it’s similar to buying a pager in the era of the smartphone—impractical.

What is practical is to differentiate yourself in an industry that has grown from $2.4 billion to $34 billion between 2008 and now, according to Venture Scanner database. The commercial real estate industry in the United States sits at the crossroads of some of the biggest technological shifts of our time. The growth of smart cities, development of self-driving vehicles, and the focus on robotics and automation disrupted the conventional market dynamics. But for the real estate sector, it is the advancement of location technology and data analytics that has tipped the scale in the favor of discerning brokers.

How do you identify a discerning broker?

Discerning brokers are the ones who don’t make the mistake of assuming they know their market. They realize the power of information and use it to deliver what their clients want. They are driven by concrete strategies and are always on the lookout for actionable market insights that allow the discovery of new opportunities. They break through the market noise and beat their competitors. And for doing that, they don’t shy away from using the most powerful weapon in their arsenal: location intelligence.

Since the value of commercial real estate is inherently dependent on the broader social and economic conditions of the region, the scope of location intelligence is also much broader than simply pinpointing the coordinates of the property on a map. When brokers utilize spatial technology, they throw the guesswork out of the window. Instead, they make calculated decisions based on facts and figures. They leverage publicly-available and, in some cases, commercial datasets to figure out not only what the value of a property is at the time, but also what it can be in the future.

How are brokers leveraging location intelligence?

Here are examples of some of the most important questions that brokers need to answer:

  • How can I identify an upcoming hotspot in the market?
  • How accessible is a prospective property to the public or how accessible will it be in the future?
  • How do I know if a neighborhood will attract shoppers and renters?

For most successful brokers today, the best way to answer these questions is to leverage technology. This was the thinking when our company Digital Mapping Products created our tool LandVision. LandVision a turnkey mapping application that enables brokers to easily visualize, analyze and interpret all critical information sets, such as parcel boundaries and detailed property data, in a single map-based application. Brokers can also discover off-market opportunities and proactively reach out to sellers by studying transaction history and ownership portfolios, regardless of whether the property is held in an LLC.

The technology and tools for the next generation of brokers

We are committed to adding innovative new features into LandVision that allow commercial real estate brokers to uncover hidden leads across entire markets —courtesy of high-precision, in-depth filters and the ability to search within mixed datasets simultaneously. Using parameters like drive time or mileage, brokers can use LandVision to study site proximity to 16.4 million different points of interest across the United States like businesses, parks, restaurants, retail stores and more. Meanwhile, LandVision accelerates the due-diligence process because brokers can find everything they require in one place—the lot and building size, property characteristics, transaction history, hazard notices, you name it.

We also designed LandVision to aggregate data from multiple sources, including zoning maps, demographics, school districts and ratings, flood zones, wetlands, and transit lines to allow brokers to expand their knowledge of current markets and give them a competitive edge. Further, custom market alerts can empower brokers to monitor the market and stay abreast of new opportunities. All results can be shown in presentation-ready aerial map views—ensuring that when brokers connect with the owners or potential buyers, they can quickly win them over with visually-appealing data-backed insights.

Ultimately, location intelligence has not only proven to be the key differentiator between winning and losing a deal, the technology is also allowing brokers to identify better deals than their rivals. If you are armed with the right tools to do the job, you are armed with the power to outdo the competition. And that is what matters in today’s highly competitive market.

Propmodo is a global multimedia effort to explore how emerging technologies affect our built environment.

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