Buying Commercial Real Estate with GIS Tools

Savvy CRE investors use GIS technology to make smart choices when they are buying commercial real estate. In this guide, we’ll explore how you too can use GIS tools to increase your chances of success in the CRE industry.  

What are GIS Tools & Location Insights?

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) tools capture and analyze data about geographic locations.

Commercial real estate location insights platforms like AlphaMap use this GIS technology as a basis to help CRE investors understand property-related location data. This data includes:  

  • Population demographics
  • Zoning rules
  • Market trends
  • Foot traffic
  • Surrounding tenants

By using GIS tools and location insights, commercial real estate buyers can boost their understanding of the market. They can make data-driven decisions, and strategically invest in properties with greater confidence.

The Role of GIS in Site Selection and Property Analysis

A commercial property's surrounding environment and location influences its success. Understanding these influencing factors is crucial to making good purchasing decisions. This is where GIS technology comes in.  

Location insights platforms play a vital role in site selection and property analysis by providing detailed and accurate location data.  

This includes factors like population density, nearby competitors, or transportation networks. Investors can use this data to assess the suitability of a property for a specific purpose. A GIS tool can also analyze environmental factors like flood risk or solar potential. This can impact a property's long-term value.

Challenges CRE Buyers Face

Buying commercial real estate isn’t easy. Navigating the complexities of today's CRE landscape, buyers face many challenges. These can impact their ability to effectively invest in real estate.

Finding the Right Property

Sourcing profitable commercial property can be time-consuming and challenging. However, knowing the details and crunching the numbers is essential to success. Buyers need up-to-date information on zoning, property values, market trends, and more.

Accessing Critical Data

CRE buyers often struggle to access crucial property data and zoning information. Not having the right information at the right time can lead to missed opportunities and investment mistakes.

Staying Informed About Market Trends

Buyers need to stay current with the most recent market trends and economic developments. Yet, tracking these ever-changing trends can prove to be time intensive. Without the appropriate tools, it’s an even bigger challenge.  

How GIS Tools Streamline the Process of Buying Commercial Real Estate

CRE buyers can overcome many of the challenges in the buying process when they use GIS technology and location insights.

Finding Land and Property

GIS tools help buyers visualize the data that influences their specific property's location. Buyers can search for properties with very specific attributes, like vacant land, for example. They might also search for properties within a specific price range. And so much more. These key pieces of information are vital for picking the right properties in which to invest.

Facilitating Informed Decision Making

The detailed information gathered from a GIS analytics tool provides a solid foundation for making well-informed, data-backed, property-purchasing decisions.  

Accessing Data On-the-Go

Brokers and buyers frequently travel to view properties. They need to be able to access detailed property information wherever they are. Several GIS analytics platforms have mobile apps which make it possible for users to access location insights while on-the-go. Access to data while in the field enables users to quickly address any queries that may come up during viewings.  

Identifying Off-Market Opportunities

Some of the best property deals aren’t yet on the market. Being able to spot these early means you have a greater chance of finding the good ones before others get to them. The sheer volume of property and location data you can access using a GIS tool, means you can crunch your numbers in a fraction of the time it usually takes.  

4 Ways GIS Tools Streamline the Buying Process in CRE

How to Access GIS Information

Accessing accurate and up-to-date GIS data when buying commercial real estate is crucial. Many government and non-profit organizations want to be transparent about the data they gather. Therefore, a large part of their GIS data is readily accessible online. You can save time and money by using free, open-source data; all you need to know is where to look.

Most counties and local governments make their own open-source datasets accessible to the public. There are simply too many to list here. As a result, to find a particular local dataset, see if your county offers GIS data for free download. The quickest way to find it is to Google the city or county name plus ‘GIS’.

Even though a lot of GIS data is available for free, making sense of it can be challenging when you aren’t an expert GIS analyst. Location insights GIS tools like AlphaMap, designed specifically for CRE investors, have a powerhouse of features to help you up your investment game.

Final Thoughts on Buying Commercial Real Estate

GIS tools enable quick analysis, comparison, and discovery of investment opportunities. This empowers CRE investors to make smart, data-driven decisions, no matter their level of experience. Having information at your fingertips saves time and eliminates the need for extra site visits or countless broker inquiries. Location insights platforms provide user-friendly access to this essential information, fostering success in the competitive world of CRE investing.

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