Leveraging Location Intelligence to Inform your Actual Property Portfolio Selections

My favourite a part of penning this weblog is getting the chance to fulfill actually modern leaders and studying about all the thrilling know-how which is getting launched throughout the totally different actual property sectors.  Primarily based on my experiences from present and former roles, the areas of the Actual Property business that I do know greatest are Industrial, Multifamily, and Residential.  However, I’ve a powerful curiosity to repeatedly study in regards to the different actual property asset varieties and to remain on high of the most recent know-how options that assist them.  I lately spoke with the manager group of a PropTech firm within the location intelligence area that primarily serves the Retail sector, and I used to be blown away by their providing.  

Location information is a subject that we hear an increasing number of about.  Whether or not it’s an answer launched by a brand new startup, or an current participant enhancing their providing by means of location companies, there are a myriad of use-cases for this information.   Little did I notice the modern ways in which firms had been providing B2B options.

Placer, based in 2016 and having raised $166M, gives visitors evaluation for each property within the US.  In different phrases, they will present information on how many individuals move by (or enter into) any location within the nation,  together with the day of week and time.  With a purpose to receive this information, Placer has constructed partnerships with common App builders.  The info that they obtain is totally anonymized (and customers have to opt-in), so they’re reporting on the place visits are being made on an mixture foundation, as a substitute of exercise of any particular particular person. The truth is, they constructed their know-how to by no means embody the data of a person consumer.  Though they don’t obtain location information from everybody within the nation, they use a mix of algorithms and AI to fill within the gaps and supply what they are saying is probably the most correct foot visitors reporting within the business.   

There are specific use-cases which are very easy.  For instance, a retail dealer that’s advertising a storefront can present potential tenants with correct foot visitors analytics in order that they will make an knowledgeable choice about whether or not or not the placement will probably be ultimate for his or her enterprise.  And regardless that that use-case in itself is extremely beneficial, it’s simply scratching the floor for what’s doable with the instruments that they supply.  Placer’s reporting isn’t restricted to simply the quantity of people that stroll by a vacant storefront every day.  They will see the place consumers go after they depart a specific retailer, how far they’re keen to journey from house when selecting a restaurant at which to eat, or how lengthy of a commute to work persons are keen to endure.  With this data, hundreds of thousands of companies could make vital selections that are knowledgeable by precise information.

In contrast to most options which have a really particular goal, firms are repeatedly developing with modern methods to leverage Placer’s platform to achieve an edge over their competitors.  Beneath is a small pattern of a number of the options and use-cases that I discovered most intriguing.

Commerce Areas 

A Commerce Space is a polygon which will be drawn on a map round any particular location which depicts the place the folks dwell that go to that location (it reveals their normal location, not the precise particular person nor their house handle).  Along with offering insights for a retailer as to the place their prospects are coming from, they will additionally see the place their opponents’ prospects are coming from.

With this information, firms could make knowledgeable selections as to the place they need to spend their advertising {dollars}.  As a substitute of simply promoting to an arbitrary radius across the location, they will goal the precise cities the place their prospects are coming from, and even higher, the place their opponents’ prospects are coming from.

One other use-case for Commerce Areas is planning future enlargement or contraction of a retailer’s bodily footprint.  One of many greatest fears that multi-unit operators have is cannibalization.  They wish to guarantee that after they open up further areas, they’re servicing NET New prospects, not simply pulling the identical prospects that had been already patronizing their different areas.  With a purpose to discover the correct location, they will draw commerce areas round their current areas together with commerce areas round vacant storefronts.  By layering in demographic information from third celebration distributors by means of their market, they will simply discover related markets to increase into that don’t cannibalize their current prospects from different areas.  The identical precept can be utilized if an organization needs to consolidate areas.  By drawing commerce areas round all of their current areas, they will determine overlapping commerce areas, informing them of which location they will shutter with out shedding prospects.  This answer will be sport altering for franchisors, restaurant house owners, retailers, brokerage places of work, lodges, automotive dealerships and nearly any enterprise that has a couple of location.

Traders / Analysts / Retailers

When deciding which shares to put money into, traders are at all times on the lookout for an edge to see how an organization is performing upfront of incomes bulletins.  Insider buying and selling legal guidelines require traders to rely solely on publicly accessible data, and Placer can play an enormous position on this course of.  The platform gives information on what number of visits are being made to any location, and compares this quantity to historic visits and that of its opponents.  They publish information inside 3 days which gives close to real-time visibility.   If an investor sees that visits to Walmart have elevated 20% quarter over quarter, whereas visits to Goal have solely elevated 6%, they will again right into a normal assumption in regards to the income progress for every operator.

Goal can then dig deeper into the evaluation to find out if prospects that go to each retailers sometimes cease of their retailer first, or in the event that they extra usually go into Walmart first.  They will additionally see how a lot time a buyer spends in every retailer on common.  In the event that they see that consumers come into their enterprise first and spend an hour, after which go into Walmart afterwards and spend solely 20 minutes there, they will make assumptions about what’s driving that buyer habits.  Using the instance above, a conclusion may very well be made that customers desire to enter Goal to get a really feel for stock choices and pricing, however then head over to Walmart to make their purchases as a result of their pricing is extra aggressive.  Goal can use this data to regulate pricing, retailer layouts, or different methods to higher seize their prospects’ spend earlier than they depart.


Typically it’s the case that folks that dwell in sure markets journey and trip to related locations.  For instance, at a earlier position that I had at an actual property brokerage servicing the northeastern US, we concluded that many individuals that lived in Fairfield County Connecticut traveled as much as Stowe Vermont within the winter for ski journeys.  In the course of the summer time months, a lot of those self same households traveled to particular cities on Cape Cod.  Of the residents of this county that owned second properties, the vacation spot that was hottest for them was Naples Florida.  By understanding the place their prospects are almost certainly to come back from, the journey business can focus their advertising spend in these areas.  The beneficiaries of this information embody lodge house owners, Airbnb hosts, actual property brokers, journey brokers, restaurant house owners, and nearly anybody who makes a residing off of tourism.  Going a step additional, airways may even optimize routes based mostly on the place they’re seeing altering journey habits.

Workplace / Hybrid Workforce

The pandemic has accelerated the largest change to the place/how folks work in a era.  Now that many firms have both instituted a hybrid work technique or are within the means of attempting to determine one out, they’re getting into uncharted waters and so they have many unanswered questions.  How far are their workers keen to commute to work?  How a lot everlasting area or flex area do they want, and the place ought to these websites be positioned?  The place do their guests/prospects come from, and the way far are they keen to journey?  Moreover, flex area suppliers try to find out one of the best areas to open up new websites and the way large these areas must be.  Additionally, constructing house owners try to evaluate how a lot threat they’ve relating to leases not being renewed as a result of their occupiers’ workforce not keen to journey.  All of this data will be gleaned from Placer’s information by wanting on the normal areas the place folks that commute to an workplace are coming from, and the way far persons are keen to journey every day.  It isn’t simply the house owners and occupiers which are affected by this altering habits.  It’s additionally the mass transit operators, the native eating places that staff eat at, workplace provide distributors, development firms, and extra.

The record of use-cases is sort of infinite.  Shopper Packaged Items firms (CPGs) can use this information to get a deeper understanding of the offline retail developments and higher perceive their prospects’ journeys.  Multifamily builders can achieve perception to the place there are the largest wants for residences.  Native governments can perceive migration developments, achieve visibility into the COVID restoration to see if residents are returning to regular routines, and measure the success of initiatives (for instance, did the brand new canine stroll that they added to the native park drive extra guests).  Placer has additionally constructed a third celebration market that permits information suppliers to overlay their information onto Placer’s platform to supply deeper insights for quite a lot of companies and purposes.  And the extra customers that they achieve on the platform, the extra use-cases get found.

As location based mostly companies proceed to develop in recognition, so does the priority that customers have about privateness.  After I met with the group at Placer, privateness was the one matter that I centered most closely on.  Certain, the Placer platform gives unprecedented ranges of worth, however at what price to society.  After I introduced up my considerations, it was clear to me from their solutions that privateness was the primary most vital precedence to them.  I can actually say that I left the dialog feeling very happy with the best way that they method this vital matter.

First, all the information that they obtain is totally anonymized.  Any data that may determine a particular particular person is stripped away earlier than the info ever reaches the Placer group.  Secondly, all of their third celebration App companions require their customers to Choose-In to share any information.  If a consumer isn’t interested by being included, they will simply opt-out any time.  Placer’s enterprise mannequin has nothing to do with particular person identities; they solely concentrate on aggregated location information.

To additional punctuate this level, the Placer group used an analogy on how the observe of anonymized information has change into the norm in different fields.  There’s virtually no information on the planet that’s extra delicate and guarded than well being data.  HIPAA gives broad protections for all people to make sure that their medical data stay fully confidential.  Well being care suppliers usually are not permitted to launch affected person data to others with out the affected person’s authorization.  But, constructive COVID outcomes (and different viruses and illnesses) are reported publicly by every city, county, and state.  Not solely is that this observe permitted, however it’s usually accepted and even anticipated by the inhabitants.  Similar to medical data, so long as the info is anonymized and all private identifiable data is totally eliminated, location information will be collected and reported on with out violating anybody’s privateness.  Placer goes the additional step by requiring that every one customers opt-in earlier than any of their information is included of their reporting.  Placer is checking all the containers of defending particular person privateness and so they take this accountability extraordinarily severely.  Placer continues to dedicate important sources to make sure that they’re doing every thing doable to guard particular person privateness.  



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