Market Data Is Always Changing, Pin It Down With VestMap: Tech Review

VestMap is a reporting solution for agents who want to better understand the social and economic dynamics of their market, or markets where they plan to conduct business.

VestMap is a tool for analyzing physical locations to help in strategic real estate decisions.

Platforms: Browser
Ideal for: All agents; investors; developers

Top selling points:

  • Quick report generation
  • Extensive demographic information
  • Clear color coding
  • Rentometer Pro Report
  • Population growth reports

Top concern:

This is a strategy tool, best for agents who have the time to plan future outreach initiatives and like to service clients in an advisory approach. It won’t appeal to the average producer.

What you should know

VestMap is a reporting solution for agents who want to better understand the social and economic dynamics of their market or markets where they plan to conduct business. It’s ideal for those who work with investors, buyers who like to be “in” before others or strategy-minded brokers planning for new office locations.

Conceptually, this is a pretty simple product to understand. Punch in an address and in return get a deep, flexible report on all the socioeconomic happenings impacting housing. The value comes in how you apply what VestMap offers. And it offers quite a bit.

Reports can be generated by specific address and the resulting subject summary displays plot map, its Google Street view and other upfront details. However, users can then unveil more granular data about the area around the subject, including median home values, forecasted income growth by tract or zip code, school reports and crime statistics, a metric portals have chosen to remove from their listing pages.

VestMap’s Expansion category is a very cool way to summarize an area’s growth trends specific to individual plots. Users can spot improving areas that may be hidden in pockets of decline or uncover a block of addresses with increasing economic stability.

The Rentometer Pro Report is a clever way to gain perspective on how rents are trending across zip codes, as well as to assess an impressive number of economic data points that directly influence what landlords are charging. These are highly popular stats for property investors, lenders and developers, making VestMap a great tool to have when selling or buying apartment properties.

The Neighborhood module offers map-based looks into what retailers are common to a community, a characteristic that also plays into buying decisions. For now, VestMap can identify a select number of companies, such as Starbucks, Family Dollar, Walmart, Home Depot and a few other big-box brands.

The user can name and save each VestMap report according to project and they’ll remain always up to date, provided they haven’t been downloaded into static PDFs. Still, you can quickly re-export the latest version.

VestMap’s capabilities are great value-adds to listing presentations and CMA solutions that focus mainly on home price trends without exploring everything that’s driving them. Remember, the agent is often required to be the source of the source; using VestMap will make you that very thing.

The company assembles its attractive, targeted reports using a number of verified third-party data partners, but primarily relies upon Esri, a highly reputable provider of GIS and data analysis products for governments across the globe and large corporate enterprises.

VestMap is currently testing its Expansion Explorer, a tool for jumping straight into the nation’s fastest-growing markets. It’s also working on integrations for job growth and MSA reports for major cities, essentially ready-to-go summaries of economic activity.

As I said, the value is in how you use VestMap. Here are some ideas:

  • Help picky buyers make confident location choices
  • Show investors where the next price jump will emerge
  • Demonstrate to sellers why their house isn’t worth what they think it is
  • Help relocating buyers choose an area across the country
  • Prove to the new builder in town why you should list their community
  • Determine the best location for your next direct mail campaign

Those who read my column often know I’m a big fan of map technology and the power of physical data. Location, remember, is the basis for all real estate value. The more you understand about places, the more valuable you become — because anyone can read a Zestimate. Be better than that.

Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe

Craig C. Rowe started in commercial real estate at the dawn of the dot-com boom, helping an array of commercial real estate companies fortify their online presence and analyze internal software decisions. He now helps agents with technology decisions and marketing through reviewing software and tech for Inman.

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