Unacast, an award-winning location data, and analytics firm today launched its new Unacast Neighborhood Insights, built for retail operations and real estate professionals to understand COVID-19 recovery at a local neighborhood level. The tool provides hyper-local and actionable human mobility insights to inform forecasting and planning as various US states and regions reopen. As a result of the global pandemic, US commercial real estate transaction volume declined 27 percent year over year in March 2020 and in early April 2020, most realtors reported a decline of over 30 percent in buyer traffic according to Deloitte.
Unacast Neighborhood Insights is aimed at real estate developers, property management and retail operations professionals to enable them to:
- Analyze specific census block groups across the US to understand foot traffic and its recovery compared to pre-COVID levels;
- Break down the foot traffic in a census block by dividing it into workers, residents, locals, and non-locals to understand the composition of foot traffic and recovery;
- Get visibility into real-world economic recovery scenarios based on localized, neighborhood mobility data;
- Identify how quickly or slowly certain census blocks and regions relevant to their properties are recovering;
- Obtain real-time public behavior compared to pre-COVID19 time periods;
- Gauge or estimate recovery rates to more accurately plan for reopenings.
“As states begin to reopen and public behavior shifts in a post-COVID-19 environment, retailers and real estate professionals want to know: if you open, will they come? We want to take most of the uncertainty out of recovery forecasting and enable more accurate planning,” said Thomas Walle, Co-Founder and CEO at Unacast. “COVID-19 economic recovery will look drastically different across regions and neighborhoods. Our Neighborhood Insights will arm users with actionable insights as granular as census blocks to navigate the next stages in recovery and make informed decisions.”
The interactive Unacast Neighborhood Insights enables users to select specific US DMAs, down to the census block group level, to get an indication of an area’s relative foot traffic and vitality via simplified metrics outlined in numbers and descriptive text. Census blocks that have recovered -- showing that metrics like foot traffic are at 100% levels on a year-over-year basis are highlighted in green, and those not yet showing signs of recovery are highlighted in red. Users can define their own sets of census block groups that represent neighborhoods or trade areas of interest. The tool has the ability to keep track of specific properties and follow recovery development over time in those areas. Additionally, users can understand the recovery in any geographic region by identifying specific populations by mobility patterns, differentiating if traffic is from workers, residents, locals or tourists. Unacast Neighborhood Insights is available on desktop and mobile with the ability to export data as CSV files.
For real estate professionals, Unacast Neighborhood Insights can help them adapt plans based on specific market situations and traffic behaviors. Users can better plan for the need of specific properties and support portfolio management decisions with data showing how different geographic areas might be gaining or losing target demographics and which areas have an increased or decreased number of people returning to physical workspaces. For example, an indication more office workers are returning to their jobs in a certain urban area might help a coffee shop chain prepare to provision and re-open to support traffic, vs. areas that show little neighborhood movement.
"One of the key questions commercial real estate and retail is trying to understand now is the recovery - when will it happen and where. I've been using Unacast Neighborhood Insights and the level of detail, down to census block group, allows me and my team to make informed decisions as we navigate through COVID-19 and the recovery," says Stefan Martinovic, Vice President of Investments and Midwood Investment and Development.
Other key uses for Unacast Neighborhood Insights:
- Enables real estate teams to assess divestments and acquisitions. With COVID-19 causing traffic around many key real estate properties to drop precipitously, and with uncertainty around re-opening, the Neighborhood Insights gives users insight into which properties will recover slowly and potentially inform decisions on divestment. It can also provide insight on opportunities for new investments by identifying changes in neighborhoods that signal quick recovery and growth.
- Allows retailers information to help them in addressing rent negotiations and rent relief for areas where foot traffic is slow to recover. Unacast Neighborhood Insights can also inform retailers’ supply chain management by measuring geographical changes in demand allowing them to identify precise store locations or distribution centers that can best service current demand to help fulfill sales.
Unacast is developing the COVID-19 Toolkit with public datasets, as well as aggregate mobility and device data from tens of millions of devices. Unacast’s proprietary technology then extrapolates the results to show trends by county and by state. As with all Unacast technology, the Toolkit follows GDPR and CCPA guidelines.
Learn more about Unacast Neighborhood Insights and how to get access here.
Unacast is an award-winning human mobility data company that harnesses anonymous device location data, map data, and strategic intelligence to tackle business challenges for the retail, real estate, tourism, transportation, and marketing industries. With its flagship product “The Real World Graph®”, it provides innovative solutions and insights to operational challenges for companies of any size or shape. Unacast was founded in 2014 with offices in New York and Oslo, Norway. In 2019, Unacast was awarded the #1 small company to work in NYC for by Built In NYC and received Street Fights’ Most Innovative Use of Geospatial Technology award.