The CRE Professional’s Guide to Consumer Insights

Consumer insights are a valuable tool in the commercial real estate (CRE) industry. Since the CRE sector is always evolving, grasping the nuances of audience behavior, preferences, and needs is key for success.

This guide will help you gain a deeper understanding of consumer insights, so you can make better-informed decisions and build effective strategies. If your aim is to increase your profitability in the CRE industry, read on!

What are Consumer Insights?

Consumer insights are the data collected through the observation and analysis of various sources. They offer a deeper understanding of the way an audience thinks, feels, and acts.

Simply put, they are a window into the minds of potential clients and customers.  

Generating consumer insights involves a variety of data sources, including:

Behavioral Data

This kind of data tracks people’s online and offline actions and preferences and can reveal the most in-demand property types.  

Examples of behavioral data include:  

Demographic Data

Demographics are statistics that describe populations and their characteristics. They cover the basics of understanding your target audience. By knowing what, who, and where your audience is, you can refine your area of focus and tailor your offerings to match.

Demographics include:

  • Age
  • Income
  • Occupation
  • Household composition
  • And more

Feedback Surveys

Direct input is a great way of getting feedback from current and potential clients. Feedback surveys will help you to gain insights into their satisfaction levels, while highlighting areas for improvement.  

Feedback examples include:

  • Opinion polls
  • Questionnaires asking for preferences and pain points
  • Reviews

Location Data

In the context of CRE, location data includes geographic information such as coordinates, addresses, and attributes. This data is used to analyze and visualize properties and their surroundings.

Understanding these geographical patterns can help you make strategic decisions about property locations.

With consumer insights, you get access to actionable information, not just data. They can help you to better understand customer motivations.

The benefit is that you can tailor your strategies and offers more precisely. In turn, this improves customer satisfaction and retention, while increasing profitability.

What is the Difference between Market Research and Consumer Insights?

Market research and consumer insights are closely related but serve distinct purposes.

Market research provides data about market trends, competition, and industry statistics. It provides a snapshot of what is happening in the market.

Consumer insights go beyond data, revealing the why behind the trends and behaviors. They offer actionable recommendations based on a deep understanding. In essence, consumer insights involve analyzing market research to understand the motivations behind consumer behavior.  

For instance, market research might show a preference for urban living. Consumer insights might show that the proximity to schools and parks is the reason behind this.  

Location insights and consumer insights are closely linked – a combination that plays a pivotal role in CRE. It is important to understand why certain areas are more attractive than others. With this understanding, you can align your marketing strategies with the factors that are driving demand.  

Leveraging Consumer Insights in CRE

Taking advantage of consumer insights gives you a strategic edge on multiple fronts. Consumer insights serve as a compass for analyzing competition. They allow you to identify gaps in the market and tailor your offerings to deliver the best results.

Leveraging consumer insights in CRE
Leveraging consumer insights in CRE

Consumer insights play a key role in enhancing the journey for potential customers. By understanding their preferences and pain points, you can craft tailored experiences. The goal is for these experiences to resonate with your clients. In this way, you can build stronger relationships.  

Consumer insights are a multifaceted gem in the commercial real estate treasure trove. Using these insights, professionals can make strategic decisions relevant to their specific audience. Some valuable uses for consumer insights include:

Tenant Profiling and Segmentation

Insights gained from profiling and segmenting tenants enable CRE professionals to understand tenant preferences and needs. They make it easier to adjust property offerings and marketing efforts to specific tenant segments.

Site Selection

Site selection insights help you identify locations for new development. Include Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in the mix, and you take on data-backed precision. Consumer insights can unveil locations with a high demand potential that resound with target audiences.

Property Development and Management

In the domain of property development and management, consumer insights serve as blueprints. They guide the design, creation and administration of spaces that align with the desires of potential occupants.  

Investment Decisions

When it comes to investment decisions, consumer insights transform risk assessment. By delving into consumer behavior and preferences, market demand can be more accurately predicted. This leads to wiser investment choices and increased ROI.

Risk Mitigation

The importance of risk mitigation in CRE cannot be overstated. Audience behavior patterns and market dynamics are examples of risk mitigation analyses. These analyses are done to provide a deeper understanding of potential liabilities. As a result, they open the doors to proactive measures to ease uncertainties.  

The Role of Technology in Gathering and Analyzing Consumer Insights

Cutting-edge technology plays a crucial role in collecting and interpreting consumer insights. GIS technology and advanced data analytics platforms are extremely useful tools to gather and process vast amounts of consumer and market research data. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning algorithms uncover previously unnoticed patterns and correlations. These data patterns present actionable insights that can help shape your CRE strategies.

Our platform, AlphaMap, combines advanced data analytics and geospatial intelligence to generate insightful location data. Like Google Maps but for commercial real estate, AlphaMap gives professionals a deeper understanding of property hotspots and trends (and more).

Getting Started with Consumer Insights in CRE

To effectively take full advantage of consumer insights, follow these steps:

1. Collect Data

Identify the most relevant data sources and methods for gathering information about your target audience. Examples include behavioral tracking and surveys.

2. Data Analysis

Use analytical tools to extract meaningful insights from the collected data. For example, analyze foot traffic patterns to identify prime retail locations.

3. Plan a Strategy

Develop strategies based on the insights gained. Tailor your offerings and marketing messages to align with consumer preferences.

4. Action and Evaluation

Implement your strategies and closely monitor their outcomes and impact.  

Remember, the process of collecting, analyzing, strategizing, and evaluating is an ongoing one. You should continuously repeat the cycle to refine your approach. This will ensure that your offerings remain aligned with the ever-evolving market.

Final Thoughts on the Importance of Consumer Insights in CRE

Consumer insights offer a multifaceted approach to understanding your audience, allowing for more precise and effective strategies in the CRE industry. Whether you're an investor, a developer, or a broker, integrating consumer insights can set you apart in a competitive market.

As the CRE sector continues to evolve, consumer insights will play an increasingly critical role in shaping its future. Understanding your target audience on a profound level will help you to adapt and thrive in this sector.  

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