If you’ve been in the real estate business for more than two days, you’ve heard the old adage – Location, Location, Location. It may seem to be seriously over used but there is good reason that seasoned real estate professionals begin almost every new project by first considering location – because it is that important.
It’s so important that big businesses such as McDonald’s and Starbucks employ entire corporate divisions and million dollar software in their search for the most successful expansion locations. Until now, small business owners, entrepreneurs, and commercial real estate brokers didn’t have these resources available.
However, selecting the best location for new operations has been so successful for big corporations like Target, Walmart, and Home Depot, that local professionals have learned to piggyback off of these location decisions when they can learn about big corporate expansion plans before it becomes general knowledge and drives up surrounding property prices. The biggest drawback to this approach is that the small business owner’s clientele must be compatible with that of the big corporation being chased. And being in the know before the information goes public to get in at the best price.
New Technology Finds Best Small Business Locations
ZoneSavvy.com accomplishes this by sorting through and cross-referencing demographic, real estate, and economic information. The software looks at ages and income levels of people living in your target area, the price of commercial real estate, and what types of other businesses are located there. It also looks at competitive data such as other businesses in the area offering the same services or products. By comparing this information with data from other areas, it determines which types of businesses are popular in similar neighborhoods and under-represented in the area you're interested in.
What ZoneSavvy Does
As a low cost service, this is a very good place to begin your commercial real estate search. But you’ll still need to follow through with a full due diligence. For instance, you’ll still need to research zoning and permitting regulations. The service points you towards neighborhoods where your business is likely to succeed but you’ll still need to research available properties and probably study specific traffic patterns. If you’re opening a drive through restaurant or convenience store, you’ll want a specific location that offers easy inbound and outbound egress for commuter traffic.
ZoneSavvy looks at the neighborhood that you're interested in and determines how that neighborhood differs from other neighborhoods with the same classification. For example, if other neighborhoods with the same classification tend to have 5 nail salons, then ZoneSavvy assumes that 5 is the ideal number of nail salons for that type of neighborhood.
ZoneSavvy calculates the optimal number of each type of business for the neighborhood. Using these calculations, ZoneSavvy determines which types of businesses are popular in similar neighborhoods and are under-represented in the neighborhood that you're interested in. The ZoneSavvy system recommends neighborhoods where each type of business will be most likely to thrive.
About the author: Brian Kline has been investing in real estate for more than 35 years and writing about real estate investing for 10 years. He also draws upon 30 plus years of business experience including 12 years as a manager at Boeing Aircraft Company. Brian currently lives at Lake Cushman, Washington. A vacation destination, a few short miles from a national forest. With the Pacific Ocean a couple of miles in the opposite direction.