Emily Line (EL): What is your commercial business specialty?
Norma Nisbet (NN): I’ve been a commercial investment brokerage specialist for over 25 years. I started my own business, Vista Properties and Investments, in the St. Louis, Missouri area and have been specializing in land sales, development, and site acquisition for multiple types of retail, residential, industrial, and commercial uses.
EL: When did you start using RPR® Commercial?
NN: I became an early adopter, creating my account in 2013, shortly after RPR® Commercial came out of beta testing. I began to really use RPR® more when I had a diffculty finding specific details on properties that seemed to not be available through other resources.
EL: In addition to being able to find information on properties, what drove you to start using RPR® Commercial?
NN: RPR® offers so much additional information and supplemental support data, while being easily accessible on one site. It’s tremendously valuable as a REALTOR® benefit, since there are no additional costs or monthly fees for the service. Support staff is readily available to assist with any technical issues.
EL: How do you use RPR® Commercial in your day-today work?
NN: It truly depends on the business case. That’s what makes the service so valuable to me. Let’s say I have a property–whether it be vacant land or a building–I can determine the right business for that space by reviewing over- and underserved business types, as well as consumer spending habits, within RPR® Commercial and generate a quick visual for recruiting the right tenant or marketing to a particular segment of the industry. It also assists in providing property and ownership lists suitable for direct contact marketing.
EL: What’s the most valuable feature or functionality?
NN: Lately, I’ve spent time working within the mapping layers. Specifically, the Business Points of Interest (POIs) located within RPR® maps. Right now I have a space suitable for a restaurant. It’s an industrial area and my goal is to place the right restaurant for the demographic working in the area to enjoy lunch, happy hour, or dinner close their workplace. I like using POI in these situations to analyze nearby restaurants by type, annual sales, staffing levels, and number of years in operation to determine how the new restaurant might fare against its competitors. Capturing this information allows me to then focus my attention on recruiting the right restaurant for the space. I have also utilized the system to provide ownership information in outlying submarkets that would normally only be available in the metro areas.
EL: What are the key features or functionality that you’d like to see added?
NN: I’m an Accredited Land Consultant (ALC), so it’s important for me to have access to land values and trends. This is one of the most difficult areas to find accurate, concise information, since every land property has different features and amenities. The capability to find comparable sales would be an invaluable tool to anyone in the land business. Especially difficult are the areas that are outside the parameters of the metro areas. The analytical systems readily available typically have stronger data for surrounding MSA with limited information on outlying lower density and rural markets.
EL: Which reports are you using?
NN: I like pulling Commercial Property Reports to detail facts on the specific property, maps and photos and I also pull Commercial Trade Area Reports that include demographic and economic statistics (actuals and projections) and Esri tapestry segments to note consumer trends.
EL: Do you use RPR® Commercial for prospecting?
NN: I’m just getting into searching off-market data to grab public record information. With RPR®, I can see the land owner or building owner information. If I find an area is hot and it might be a good time for a business owner to sell, then I have access to the owner information to reach out and share my expertise and potentially get their business. This is also an opportunity to market listings to these prospects. The public record data gives me a much greater reach outside of my immediate geography to explore business opportunities.
EL: If you could advise other real estate professionals on how to most effectively leverage RPR® Commercial, what would you tell them?
NN: Explore the online training. You can participate in a live webinar and ask questions or you can watch on demand videos.
To discover all the tools, reports and information you can use in RPR® Commercial, visit blog.narRPR.com/commercial.
This article appears in the Commercial Connections issue Summer 2016: Building Opportunities, Community & Our Future.