Using Prop-tech (Property Technology) to Succeed in the Commercial Real Estate Market

Ever get a sick feeling when you pass by a failed restaurant? What went wrong? Although commercial real estate properties can be an awesome investment that allow you to retire early. Real estate investing takes time, flexibility and ambition to make it work well.

Commercial real estate owners used to use anchor stores and traffic patterns to choose a location for a potential store. But, with the shift to online retail, these indicators are outmoded.

Today’s investors are using tech-enabled systems to gain customers and investment dollars. Proptech seems to be the solution according to surveys conducted this year by Deloitte. It uses digital innovation to address the needs of the property industry.

Entrepreneurs use the data to nurture innovative ideas that enhance operational efficiency, customer needs and demographics. Information databases such as Statista, www.statista.com and ESRI, www.esri.com work much in the same manner. They not only predict the types of products and services needed for a trade area but they can help owners help prospective renters predict the supply and demand by geo segments.

Say you are trying to expand the number of stores you have. With such a huge investment in a bricks and mortar business, it just makes sense to get solid statistical facts before dumping huge amounts of funds into a project. Investors cannot afford to make costly decisions based on a gut-feeling and with no data. Savvy investors keep tabs on economic trends, especially in their local market.

Large industries use statistics before investing, but what about entrepreneurs who need an affordable resource that offers data based on their needs? Companies are out there that offer cost-free estimates on statistic packages (like thevocexpert.com).

George Brezny, who conducts primary and secondary marketing research and is founder of GB & Partners, a low cost (consortium) provider of Marketing Research reports and services says: “A location in St. Pete, Florida had four different restaurants in a period of six years. Not only did they not seem to know the market demographics, the failed restaurants were unable to attract the right customers.”

It’s important to understand the dynamics of the property type you are selecting, according to a recent article published in Forbes, if you are looking to invest in retail, consider the near- and longer-term impacts of e-commerce on tenant and consumer demand. If you are looking at offices, consider how trends like co-working and telecommuting could impact demand for office space in your market.

Brezny offers some advice on what to consider, “Know your customer, conduct product/service need and sales research (B2B or B2C), measure relationships with vendors and walk the talk (brand research).” We have access to market research insights using current data resources such as Statista, ESRI, and MRI and Simmons.

Brezny offers free consultation to give entrepreneurs an idea of what they can learn about their customers. Much like a car mechanic, he can tell you what needs to be fixed and then let you decide if you want to get the work done.  Alice Verberne is a successful author, bloggiest, artist and marketing specialist. She lives in France with her husband and their doggie.  Blessed to have her as GB’s bloggist.