Over the last ten to fifteen years, technology has increasingly been employed in real estate to determine exactly where a retailer should think about expanding. Accessing, organizing, and interpreting large quantities of data (demographics, traffic patterns, walk scores, etc.) and find a retailers’ customer base geographically is table stakes today. Once-advanced tools are now commonly used by even small retail chains.
We applaud the advances made in pursuit of the best (and fastest) answer to the question “Where should we expand?” Retailers, landlords, and brokers all benefit from these tools. However, knowing where a concept should be is only the first half of the job. There is a second, equally-important question: “How do we expand there?” Even the best-laid expansion plans are at the mercy of brokers’ ubiquitous networks and relationships.
Brokers themselves are not the problem and their relationships get the job done. The problem is that building and maintaining these relationships requires time and effort that makes it impossible for brokers to complete the tasks that allow them to add real value to the process: analyzing, advising, and negotiating. In the words of one broker, I recently spoke too: “We often wish we could hire someone here just to do prospecting!”
She is almost right: The answer is not to hire someone, but to demand the same level of technology for brokers to complete transactions that retailers currently use to select the right sites. Technology to match tenants and spaces facilitate transactions and manage networks is common in other industries. It is time that retail brokers had a software just for them.
When we describe our vision for growth IQ, the vast majority of people assume that we are most interested in the first question: “Where?”. Instead, we prefer to examine “How?”. With the tools to complement site selection software, demographic data, or even just the right “feeling” about a space, we can free brokers to analyze and execute instead of cold call and email blast. Retailers and landlords will benefit when they can.
Nathan is the CEO of Growth IQ take just one minute to watch the video below that explains what they do.