Leveraging Location Intelligence to Inform your Actual Property Portfolio Choices

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.  Based mostly on my experiences from present and former roles, the areas of the Actual Property trade that I do know greatest are Business, Multifamily, and Residential.  However, I’ve a robust curiosity to constantly study in regards to the different actual property asset sorts and to remain on prime of the newest know-how options that help them.  I just lately spoke with the chief workforce of a PropTech firm within the location intelligence house that primarily serves the Retail sector, and I used to be blown away by their providing.  

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

Placer, based in 2016 and having raised $166M, offers visitors evaluation for each property within the US.  In different phrases, they will present knowledge on how many individuals move by (or enter into) any location within the nation,  together with the day of week and time.  As a way to receive this knowledge, 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 combination foundation, as a substitute of exercise of any particular individual. Actually, they constructed their know-how to by no means embody the knowledge of a person consumer.  Though they don’t obtain location knowledge 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 trade.   

There are specific use-cases which are very simple.  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 resolution about whether or not or not the situation will probably be preferrred for his or her enterprise.  And despite the fact that that use-case in itself is extremely beneficial, it’s simply scratching the floor for what’s potential with the instruments that they supply.  Placer’s reporting isn’t restricted to only the quantity of people that stroll by a vacant storefront every day.  They will see the place buyers go after they go away a selected retailer, how far they’re prepared to journey from house when selecting a restaurant at which to eat, or how lengthy of a commute to work persons are prepared to endure.  With this data, tens of millions of companies could make essential choices that are knowledgeable by precise knowledge.

In contrast to most options which have a really particular objective, firms are constantly developing with modern methods to leverage Placer’s platform to realize an edge over their competitors.  Under 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 could be drawn on a map round any particular location which depicts the place the individuals reside that go to that location (it exhibits their common location, not the precise individual nor their house deal with).  Along with offering insights for a retailer as to the place their clients are coming from, they will additionally see the place their rivals’ clients are coming from.

With this knowledge, firms could make knowledgeable choices as to the place they need to spend their advertising {dollars}.  As an alternative of simply promoting to an arbitrary radius across the location, they will goal the particular cities the place their clients are coming from, and even higher, the place their rivals’ clients 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 make it possible for after they open up further areas, they’re servicing NET New clients, not simply pulling the identical clients that have been already patronizing their different areas.  As a way to discover the proper location, they will draw commerce areas round their current areas together with commerce areas round vacant storefronts.  By layering in demographic knowledge from third celebration distributors by their market, they will simply discover related markets to broaden into that don’t cannibalize their current clients from different areas.  The identical precept can be utilized if an organization desires to consolidate areas.  By drawing commerce areas round all of their current areas, they will establish overlapping commerce areas, informing them of which location they will shutter with out shedding clients.  This resolution could be recreation altering for franchisors, restaurant house owners, retailers, brokerage places of work, motels, automobile dealerships and nearly any enterprise that has a couple of location.

Traders / Analysts / Retailers

When deciding which shares to put money into, buyers are all the time searching for an edge to see how an organization is performing upfront of incomes bulletins.  Insider buying and selling legal guidelines require buyers to rely solely on publicly obtainable data, and Placer can play an enormous position on this course of.  The platform offers knowledge on what number of visits are being made to any location, and compares this quantity to historic visits and that of its rivals.  They publish knowledge inside 3 days which offers 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 common assumption in regards to the income development for every operator.

Goal can then dig deeper into the evaluation to find out if clients 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 buyers 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 conduct.  Using the instance above, a conclusion could possibly be made that buyers favor 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 clients’ spend earlier than they go away.


Usually it’s the case that individuals that reside 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, lots of those self same households traveled to particular cities on Cape Cod.  Of the residents of this county that owned second houses, the vacation spot that was hottest for them was Naples Florida.  By understanding the place their clients are probably to return from, the journey trade can focus their advertising spend in these areas.  The beneficiaries of this knowledge embody resort 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 conduct.

Workplace / Hybrid Workforce

The pandemic has accelerated the largest change to the place/how individuals work in a technology.  Now that many firms have both instituted a hybrid work technique or are within the strategy of attempting to determine one out, they’re coming into uncharted waters and so they have many unanswered questions.  How far are their staff prepared to commute to work?  How a lot everlasting house or flex house do they want, and the place ought to these websites be positioned?  The place do their guests/clients come from, and the way far are they prepared to journey?  Moreover, flex house suppliers try to find out the very best areas to open up new websites and the way large these areas should be.  Additionally, constructing house owners try to evaluate how a lot threat they’ve concerning leases not being renewed because of their occupiers’ workforce not prepared to journey.  All of this data could be gleaned from Placer’s knowledge by trying on the common areas the place people who commute to an workplace are coming from, and the way far persons are prepared to journey every day.  It isn’t simply the house owners and occupiers which are affected by this altering conduct.  It’s additionally the mass transit operators, the native eating places that employees eat at, workplace provide distributors, building firms, and extra.

The record of use-cases is sort of infinite.  Shopper Packaged Items firms (CPGs) can use this knowledge to get a deeper understanding of the offline retail developments and higher perceive their clients’ journeys.  Multifamily builders can acquire perception to the place there are the largest wants for flats.  Native governments can perceive migration developments, acquire 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 enables knowledge suppliers to overlay their knowledge onto Placer’s platform to supply deeper insights for a wide range of companies and purposes.  And the extra customers that they acquire on the platform, the extra use-cases get found.

As location based mostly providers proceed to develop in recognition, so does the priority that buyers have about privateness.  Once I met with the workforce at Placer, privateness was the one subject that I centered most closely on.  Certain, the Placer platform offers unprecedented ranges of worth, however at what value to society.  Once I introduced up my considerations, it was clear to me from their solutions that privateness was the primary most essential precedence to them.  I can actually say that I left the dialog feeling very happy with the best way that they strategy this essential subject.

First, all the knowledge that they obtain is totally anonymized.  Any data that may establish a selected individual is stripped away earlier than the information ever reaches the Placer workforce.  Secondly, all of their third celebration App companions require their customers to Decide-In to share any knowledge.  If a consumer isn’t considering being included, they will simply opt-out any time.  Placer’s enterprise mannequin has nothing to do with particular person identities; they solely give attention to aggregated location knowledge.

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



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