A new interactive New York City business and retail mapping tool could save commercial brokers a few extra blisters on the soles of their feet, according to real estate data website PropertyShark.com, which launched the feature yesterday.
Geared primarily towards retail pros, the application, which currently brings together property and retail data for all properties in Manhattan from 14th to 56th streets, plots out all the businesses and retail stores on a city map. By clicking on a business logo or parcel on the map, a user can find what businesses reside in any particular building, making it easy for them to get an idea of a neighborhood’s client demographic.
Unlike other similar tools, such as the Columbus Avenue Business Improvement District’s interactive business map, the PropertyShark.com map tool matches the retail data with other relevant information about the property itself, including its size, ownership, images and permit information.
“This is huge,” a PropertyShark spokesperson said. “I think PropertyShark.com is the only one who has that.”
The spokesperson added that the company is currently working hard to extend coverage throughout the city, saving brokers from traipsing around town noting retail information for the neighborhoods in which they have listings.
“Commercial brokers had to create from scratch mini versions of this map for all their marketing flyers that accompanied listings,” he said. “This usually involved wandering the streets and writing down the names of all the neighboring tenants. But now they can just go to PropertyShark.com and find everything on our map, bolstering productivity.”
Faith Hope Consolo, chairman of retail leasing at Prudential Douglas Elliman, warned that retail brokers have to be extra careful on working off information found online, however.
“We are in one of the fastest changing cities in the world,” she said, “so unless you’re updating the information every day, [you can't always count on these applications.] There’s a lot of room for error.”
There’s a certain benefit to wandering the streets to put together flyers, she said; it helps brokers get a feel for the neighborhood they’re marketing.
“It’s important to walk around and have the most current data,” she said. “It’s what separates the good brokers from the great ones. There’s nothing like having your feet on the street.”
In the same vein, Joanne Podell, an executive vice president at Cushman & Wakefield, said the website could be useful to her, provided it is kept up to date.
“Information is king,” she said. “These types of sites are really great as long as they are updated on a continuous basis.”
It wasn’t immediately clear how often PropetyShark.com would update the feature.
Robin Abrams, executive vice president at Lansco, praised the feature: “We like to always understand co-tenancy and look at neighboring tenants when considering locations, or marketing space,” she said. “Many firms have some mapping, but this is user-friendly, and can scan broad areas.”