Finding Undiscovered Land Development Opportunities

Location intelligence can help developers and builders make faster, more competitive decisions

By Tara Bleakley

For land developers and builders, finding prime development opportunities can be a difficult process in today’s supply-constrained and highly competitive market. Finding the right land assets requires careful research, analysis and due diligence for prospective properties. However, this needs to happen as quickly and efficiently as possible to maintain a competitive edge — and to avoid wasting time and resources on poor prospects.

When tackling these considerations, you might question how to get the most efficient access to the right data. The answer? A location intelligence platform. Having access to location intelligence can enable your organization to visualize, analyze and interpret critical information, such as parcel boundaries and detailed property and ownership data — all on a digital map. Map-based visuals overlaid with powerful data make it possible to streamline land and property acquisition decisions to ensure your investment decisions are made with the best information possible.

A clear picture of market opportunities

A location intelligence platform is designed to help your development team understand the market landscape, allowing you to make strategic business decisions based on your company’s specific search criteria, and display those results in a manner that all executives can understand. These platforms provide access to critical insights, from which one can:

  • Uncover off-market opportunities by understanding transaction history and ownership portfolios, as well as assemblages of land owned by the same entity, regardless if the property is held in an LLC or trust;
  • Analyze potential build site proximity to points of interest such as businesses, parks, restaurants, retailers, and more;
  • Strategically build your organization’s land development plan, and manage your future pipeline while monitoring your competition;
  • Conduct market analysis, including reviewing all land transactions by buyers and sellers, analyzing competitive projects in a vicinity, as well as analyzing active building sites, resale and foreclosed properties; and

Overlay boundaries with property data, zoning maps, demographics, school districts and ratings, flood zones, wetlands, transit lines, etc., with the ability to create competitive ownership layers and monitor markets.

While due diligence is essential to any successful development project, robust access to location intelligence enables an organization to vet land opportunities quickly and eliminate poor prospects before committing time to conduct on-site visits. Having ready access to lot and building sizes, property characteristics, sales transaction history and hazard information makes the due diligence process faster and more efficient, as this data can be retrieved in one place rather than having to consult numerous sources.

Look even deeper

Visualizing market data and information overlaid on a digital map with multiple search capabilities delivers additional potential advantages. For example, developers are always looking for ways to expand their search for off-market opportunities. A location intelligence platform can help them get creative with their research and market analysis, revealing critical information that gives them a competitive edge. This includes finding detailed property owner information for non-owner-occupied parcels where they can go directly to the owner to secure a purchase.

Of course, not all opportunities are obvious. In some instances, a location intelligence platform can help uncover options that might have been missed otherwise. Typical examples of this may include:

  • Getting a visual on aggregate acreage owned by the same person or entity along with the owner’s complete portfolio to find adjacent parcels that could meet your development criteria;
  • Using municipal zoning data over a parcel to see if it is zoned appropriately for a project, such as a multifamily residential complex;
  • Searching for properties based on improvement percentage to discover attractive opportunities for residential development; and
  • Engaging in predictive analysis, using historical satellite imagery to identify land tract changes over time as well as import plan overlays to visually analyze the impact of future development.
Easy access to information fuels success

Using a powerful location intelligence platform provides a comprehensive parcel analysis alongside information based on criteria for specific data points. The results from this intelligence will provide a detailed, data-backed analysis of a market, helping to reveal new opportunities and confirm their value.

Making highly informed decisions about development opportunities can separate your organization from the competition. Leveraging a location intelligence platform will make it possible for your team to visualize, analyze and interpret critical data quickly and accurately, which in turn will help your organization secure lucrative opportunities that other companies might miss.

Tara Bleakley is Data and Analytics Director for Digital Map Products, a pioneer in geospatial mapping technology and location intelligence. She may be reached at TBleakley@digmap.com

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