Technology Solutions

New Year, New Tools

Resolve to use STDBonline's new programs in 2008.

While many outside the industry assume that commercial real estate is all about location, location, location, CCIMs realize that the three most critical factors in transactions really are location, demographics, and timing. A variety of mapping and demographics programs are on the market, but few offer the ease and efficiency of STDBonline’s Quick Maps and Quick Demographics, two new programs incorporated into www.stdbonline.com to help commercial real estate professionals streamline their transactions.

Using Quick Maps

Quick Maps, which is accessible from STDBonline’s Member Services tab, allows professionals to find a location using a variety of data including a postal address or phone number. The program provides users with detailed street maps, aerial images, hybrid maps, topographical maps, and flood plain maps. The map reports can be printed for use in marketing materials or incorporated into a variety of software applications, such as Microsoft PowerPoint, Word, and various publishing and photo programs. The variety of data available through Quick Maps is an excellent complement to commercial real estate marketing presentations as well as online listings.

New Demographics Tools

The new Quick Demographics program provides users with a site map along with three reports currently offered in STDBonline’s Site Analysis product: executive summary, demographic and income profile, and market profile.

The executive summary report provides key demographic attributes in a specified trade area, including current-year estimates, five-year forecasts, and U.S. Census data on population, households, income, number of businesses, and number of employees. The report also helps with site selection, market analysis, and trend evaluation decisions by providing tabular and visual data to spot the trending over a 12- to 22-year time frame. This allows the user to determine whether a market is improving or deteriorating. The key demographic indicators used in the report are population by employment, education, housing, household income, number of households, and housing by occupancy. Several of the reports also include 1990, 2000, and 2007 data, as well as 2012 projections.

The reports provide commercial real estate professionals with a variety of information about a wide range of U.S. markets. For instance, suppose a CCIM has been charged with researching prospective sites for a client who wishes to relocate its office headquarters in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. There are numerous municipalities in this metropolitan statistical area and each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Using the Quick Demographics executive summary program, the CCIM can provide detailed reports on top markets in the area, which range from Grapevine, Texas, to Coppell, Texas, to Carrollton, Texas, to Plano, Texas, and every market in between. Having access to these detailed market reports ensures clients will have the information they need quickly.

The demographic and income profile report compiles trends in household demographics and income and quickly analyzes trade areas to forecast market growth. The key demographic indicators used in this report are 2000, 2007, and 2012 Census population data and projections, number of households and housing units, household income, age, gender, race, and ethnicity.

Another key feature is the market forecast report, which measures the likely demands for a product or service by radii, drive time, standard geography, or any other defined study area. Businesses and other organizations use market-potential data to make decisions about where to offer products and services and where to place their stores, offices, or warehouses. This data also helps companies understand, predict, and influence consumer behavior by providing insight into areas with the highest growth potential.

The data also assists commercial real estate professionals in making informed decisions about products and services based on the latest trends and consumer demand. Mediamark Research provides information on more than 2,200 items organized into 35 categories that represent goods, services, attitudes, and activities. The data includes the expected number of consumers and a market-potential index. The key demographic indicators used in this report are 2000, 2007, and 2012 Census population data and projections by race, ethnicity, and total population housing units; and average household size.

Several of these reports also include owner/renter-occupied
housing units, 2007 consumer spending, and the forecasted annual and compounded growth rates from 2007 to 2010. In addition, the report identifies the top three tapestry segments, which gives lifestyle and psychographic data that indicates who lives in the area, how they live, and what they do with their money. Retailers and employers in the market area find tapestry data extremely valuable.

STDBonline incorporated Quick Maps and Quick Demographics applications to help commercial real estate professionals surpass their competition. These online tools save hours of research time, and CCIMs can use these reports to help clients and prospective clients make the best possible investment, lease, or purchase decisions.

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