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GIS: A Persuasive Tool for More Profitable Real Estate Transactions

– Combination of Scientific Data with the Qualitative Measures Reveal Value and Desirability of Available Residential and Commercial Properties –

AURORA, Colo. –– Real estate is all about location, but understanding and making the best use of it requires precise data that helps real estate companies to improve their services, attract perspective clientele and ultimately, contribute to the company’s bottom line. That’s why professionals armed with a master’s in geographic information systems (GIS) with a focus on business applications have a competitive advantage in the real estate marketplace.

“Simply put, real estate is location-based and having a comprehensive understanding of all aspects of the real estate market is possible through the integrative technology that is GIS,” says Dr. Stephen McElroy, GIS program chair at American Sentinel University.

Dr. McElroy notes that GIS technology is a powerfully persuasive tool and is particularly fitting to the application of real estate since a property’s point in the world is geospatial in nature, its attributes are plentiful and the relevance of location is key.

GIS technology captures, analyzes and displays data and information into one common format – a map. This visual representation interprets trends and relationships within a specific area and includes all the information affecting the desirability and value of a property to give a far more accurate picture of a property’s suitability matching a customer’s needs.

“Exploratory data analysis and modeling techniques can reveal new patterns within the constantly changing property market and gaining insights at the right time and place could be the key element in making an opportunistic market acquisition,” says Dr. McElroy.

Data Analysis at Work
Data visualization company IDV Solutions used GIS technology and third party census-based data to combine household incomes, property values and tax rates and then mapped the results.

The collection of factors allows the calculation of a total property burden of price and tax and then a ratio of the total burden to income, allowing someone to graphically see the ratios and identify the best bargains in the country.

Retail chains live and die by their ability to find locations that will pay off. The best location is determined by the wants and needs of the purchaser or lessee and include such considerations as: foot-traffic, population densities, concentrations of commercial establishments, socio-economic profiles of neighborhoods, cost of land or office space, state and local tax rates and prior purchase patterns of residents.

The best at identifying potential retail space have an automatic competitive advantage and that’s where GIS technology comes in.

“Maps bring business data alive and convert business intelligence into location intelligence via the data visualization capabilities inherent in GIS Web map applications,” says Dr. McElroy.  “Maps are an intuitive way to visualize patterns and trends that would most likely be hidden in spreadsheets and databases. So seeing is believing.”

Not only can GIS technology help real estate professionals find the best locations, but they can also examine the comparable strengths of rivals and concentrate on spots that would effectively block competitors and be the greatest disadvantage to them.

The same types of techniques with more complex analysis would allow a company to rank potential retail locations by expected cost, transportation and logistic expense, profitability and competitive advantage.

In addition, data analysis can also help find the lowest ratio of property expense burden to income and identify consumers who might have the highest potential levels of disposable income.

GIS is the Key to Gain Valuable Insights
The combination of scientific data along with the compilation of qualitative measures allows real estate professionals to leverage GIS technology to produce maps that reveal the value and desirability of available residential and commercial property.

GIS provides the tool by which a myriad of data sources can be combined in innovative ways to yield new insights about neighborhoods and regional trends.

But to create an effective analysis is much harder than it might seem.

“Ordering a set of GIS tools is not enough. The person designing and implementing the model must know good sources of data and know the advantages of limitations of different types of analysis,” adds Dr. McElroy.

Otherwise, the results could sound plausible and lead management in the wrong direction.

Dr. McElroy points out that gaining expertise in advanced GIS modeling activities take time and learning how to effectively marry geographic display and insight is more than plotting points onto a map.

“The creation of a simple, hypothetical model as a practice expertise is fine, but using real data in a live situation to create optimal client solutions requires the application of the geographic approach and the scientific method,” he says. “A master’s degree in GIS can provide the skill set needed to empower an individual to effectively execute a complex modeling scenario.”

This is why advanced training in GIS technology and data analysis is so important and why those who gain it have a distinct career advantage.

Learn more about American Sentinel University’s GIS master’s degree program at http://www.americansentinel.edu/information-technology/master-geospatial-information-systems.

About American Sentinel University
American Sentinel University delivers the competitive advantages of accredited associate, bachelor's and master's online degree programs focused on the needs of high-growth sectors, including information technology, computer science, GIS masters programs, online GIS certificates, computer information systems and business intelligence degrees. The university is accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC), which is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a nationally recognized accrediting agency and is a recognized member of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

Contact FacilitiesNet Editorial Staff »   posted on: 6/24/2013

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