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For many property professionals - especially commercial developers, surveyors and investors - finding and properly assessing sites is tricky.
To make matters worse, some property data tools have incomplete and inconsistent data - leading to inaccuracies and confusion.
From site sourcing to making an offer stands an ocean of challenges:
Developers and investors need to source the right sites for investment and to raise funds for their schemes.
Surveyors and agents need reliable and comprehensive data to meet their clients' exact expectations.
Commercial occupiers need to better understand their land/estate’s value and opportunities.
One solution to solve these problems? A property data intelligence tool, which finds on and off-market opportunities, provides insight on planning histories, and overlays values and local insights.
But there’s more to choosing a property data tool than simply taking a demo of the first tool you find.
So what are the common pitfalls to avoid and which key features should a property data tool provide? This guide covers exactly that.
Common pitfalls with property data tools
Today there are many PropTech solutions in the market, all trying to "disrupt" the marketplace. Yet what they don't realise is that property is a people business and that technology only goes so far. Ideally, it needs to be enhanced with the knowledge and analysis of experienced property professionals.
In addition, what many people don’t realise is that most PropTech solutions only address a few parts of the property problem. And many of these tools gather their data manually and have incomplete data, making the underlying cost to create a comprehensive view and assessment of a property very high.
But this is all changing. Nimbus Maps has been developed by property experts for property experts.
Now that we know what pitfalls to avoid, let’s jump into the key features you need to grow your commercial property business.
The top 7 Nimbus Maps killer features to grow your commercial business
Built specifically for you, Nimbus Maps is a truly scalable frontend to your property business that enables you to only buy the best sites. Here’s a quick look at its top features:
1. Assess sites (in detail)
Just one click will reveal a detailed information panel providing the key data points you need to comprehensively assess a site including:
Property use types and planning use classes
Ownership information, including details of properties in corporate ownership
Direct access to Land Registry documents at cost price
Site area, building heights, EPC rating
Sizes and property rates assessments
Price paid data and indexed current values
Whether the property is on the market
The planning history for the property and neighbouring properties
This is perfect for investors, developers, agents and occupiers who want to better assess any site or commercial property they’re considering purchasing.
2. Identify potential planning risks and constraints
Nimbus Maps allows you to understand at a glance if a property has any planning constraints including:
AONBs (Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty)
Sites of Special Scientific Interest
Commercial property professionals can use this insight to better assess the risks and constraints before marking it as viable.
3. Review commercial and residential comparables
Nimbus Maps provides comprehensive sales comparable information to ensure you are buying at the right price and are confident you know the exit values.
Sales prices are displayed on the map as both the sold price and the current indexed value. Both the Residential and Commercial sales comparables can be filtered by type, size, condition, tenure and date sold and then downloaded as an Excel file.
You can even understand what other sites developers bought with planning in place nearby using the planning export.
4. Research planning information in-depth
Real-time Planning Data allows you to make decisions with confidence and know the site is suitable for development. You can see every planning application directly on the map and quickly access the details of any application.
It also allows you to build bespoke planning reports by planning authority, application keywords, outcome, or use our pre-set filters. You can then display the filtered results on the map, or export the results to Excel.
The planning export contains a host of additional information which allows you to access the owner’s details, who the applicant was and which architect or planner they instructed. You can also connect with local active developers and investors, plus check a client's recent activity or experience.
5. Explore commercial availability within an area
Colour coded squares highlight commercial sites that are available for sale or to let, including offices or sites suitable for retail, industrial, licensed and leisure or other commercial uses.
You can see the available sites at a glance on the map or export the data to Excel.
This has really come into its own now we’re doing more and more online. It allows you to quickly and easily explore commercial availability within an area without needing to do a drive-by - which is a labour-intensive activity, gives you a “feel” for a location but doesn’t provide data… and let’s face it, is also bad for the environment.
6. Understand company ownership
Nimbus’ company ownership export allows you to download the entire corporate estate and structure of any company so that you can target them to acquire their sites.
Plus, you can quickly understand the ownership profile in an area by plotting company, council, housing association or privately owned properties on the map.
This is a really unique feature to Nimbus Maps and provides another layer of insight, saving you precious time trawling through sources like Companies House.
7. Manage projects via workflows
Finally, Nimbus’ workflow tool saves sites you’ve identified as ‘viable’ into a simple Kanban board. This allows you to manage projects effectively in teams with access to the same workflow for any user on your account.
You can even download your chosen sites to Excel, including the owner's details, which you can use to power large-scale letter campaigns.
This approach is highly convenient for developers and investors that want to avoid the time, cost and overall inefficiency of large-scale letter campaigns.
Finding the right PropTech tool for you
We’ve come a long way since the days of manually searching for property information, and there are so many ways technology has made running a commercial property business much easier and more efficient.
The right PropTech tool for you is the one that eliminates as many manual processes as possible and provides the most complete and comprehensive data.
Feature and function alone shouldn’t be your sole selection criteria, as you’ll want to take into account the entirety of the business. Are the founders seasoned, property professionals? Are they experts in their field? And are they continually evolving the platform?
The right data intelligence tool for you ticks as many of those boxes as possible.
Choosing or switching your property data tool isn’t a decision to take lightly. The right one has the potential to save time, cut costs, and help you gain a serious competitive advantage. Put together your shortlist, evaluate whether your options have the essential features you need, and demo the best options out there.
Did you know that Nimbus Maps has quickly established itself as a top tool for the commercial property industry? Unlock the benefits of Nimbus Maps to accelerate your commercial property growth:
Find sites and opportunities faster than ever
Assess sites with rigour
Get accurate valuations and comparables
Manage projects with efficiency and ease
Access detailed planning and development information
Run comprehensive development appraisals
Unlock commercial availability at scale