Avoiding CRE Mistakes In Your City

Every city has vacant properties that have not spiked interest from buyers or developers in years.  Those properties, however, can be the gateway to recreating a whole neighborhood with the right development.  Learn how real estate professionals in big cities, including Las Vegas, across the country look at their surroundings and how they avoid major commercial real estate mistakes in the article below.

Real estate professionals can avoid

costly mistakes with advanced

drive-time analyses

Every community has a failed site that prominently stands on a corner or next to a grocer. These sites continue to consume resources from land owners without benefit and can hurt neighborhood businesses. While in some cases a business closes because of the management, far too many close because the site was not right for that business.

A prominent commercial real estate consultant once told me that in real estate “if you’re off by an inch, you’re off by a mile … you make a mistake; you’re dead.”

With so much at stake, commercial real estate professionals cannot afford to make decisions based on intuition or conventional wisdom. Successful companies understand the importance of making decisions based on accurate data and sound statistical methodologies. However, few analytical platforms today enable analysts to thoroughly understand their neighborhoods.

Much of the market analysis software on the market fails to provide an accurate description of local consumers. This is evident in the choice to use linear distance from a site, which is subject to statistical misrepresentations due to natural barriers like mountains and bodies of water that separate populations. Even when examining a large, densely populate areas like Los Angeles, rings can skew the data.

The analysis is made worse when a liner ring crosses a separated population and aggregates the two populations. In compact metropolitan areas like Seattle, a 5-mile ring can cross several separated communities that would not access the site. Although these communities are connected by bridges or tunnels, these areas are not an idea representation of the target consumer.

The same is true in Orlando, Florida, which has a large number of small lakes separating the populations. The communities may be close, and even accessible, but they may not be in a likely consumer group.

Commercial real estate professionals need a way to practically examine a neighborhood, moving beyond old cartographic techniques to see how people behave in a market to determine suitability.

A new way to know your neighborhood

Last month I attended a convention of professionals in the shopping center and commercial real estate industry in Las Vegas, where I met with a real estate developer from Orlando. He told me that success in commercial real estate comes down to finding “a place for people and people for place.” His statement made me realize that far too often, sites are examined without regard to the people who will use them. While many developers look at traffic counts, median age, and income, they fail to look at and understand who is going where and for what reason.

To avoid costly mistakes based on statistical misrepresentations, Esri developed a way to examine a local market, focusing on the people who will most likely use the space. Using Esri Business Analyst, commercial real estate professionals have access to practical analyses-based on driving and walking times, both to and from a site.

Above is the same site in Orlando based on a 5-, 10-, and 15-minute drive time to the site. From this analysis, a real estate profession can see there is a higher concentration of people that can easily access the site who are outside of the original rings and also communities that were within the original rings what would have a more difficult time accessing the site.

The same is true of walking time. In densely populated urban areas, commercial real estate professionals need to examine a much smaller area. Seattle, for example, is a highly walkable city. Looking at the corner of First and Pike, the entrance to the well-known Pike Place Market, a commercial real estate professional can examine the local population to determine proper site suitability.

By changing the way commercial real estate professionals think about the borders of a neighborhood or community, they are in a better place to analyze and determine the gaps and opportunities in the marketplace. If real estate professionals don’t challenge antiquated thinking or dated statistical methodologies, the risk of misrepresenting a site’s potential becomes more likely.

Source: http://www.bizjournals.com/bizjournals/news/2017/06/09/real-estate-professionals-can-avoid-costly.html

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