As states reopen and human behaviors are starting to trend towards pre-COVID-19 times, we’ve noted that Retailers and Real Estate professionals are uncertain how to prepare for the recovery and the new normal.
COVID-19 didn’t affect every kind of place in the same way or at the same time, and no one knows exactly how recovery will take place, leaving each brand in an unprecedented situation and with a dearth of data to help navigate and make decisions.
- What does recovery actually look like in the real world? What industries or regions are at risk of a slow recovery or never recovering? How do we help those economies?
- How have people’s behaviors changed compared to pre-COVID-19 and how do they respond accordingly?
- How far away from recovery are we? Based on the rate of recovery, do we have sufficient lead time to plan for reopenings?
In order to tackle these important questions, our users require actionable human mobility insights. That’s why we’ve introduced our Neighborhood Insights for Early Access. Armed with this tool, our users can understand down to a census block level which neighborhoods are rapidly recovering and how to best prepare for the new customer segments.
Understanding Recovery is the Big Challenge
Unacast’s Neighborhood Insights addresses many of the key pain points for our users, including helping to inform timing for reopening stores and how to optimize the supply chain.
Users can get a better picture of mobility patterns in their local neighborhood. Based on when people are back in public places, users can decide when and how they should reopen stores or offices.
Unacast’s Neighborhood Insights can also be used for understanding the changing market landscape. Use foot traffic insights to determine what audiences to expect in the near and medium-terms and to understand how your market landscape is evolving, then utilize these insights to understand which visitor types are returning sooner than others.
Introducing Unacast Neighborhood Insights
Existing COVID-19 datasets and solutions are mostly robust datasets with confusing charts. At Unacast, we recognize the need for simplicity through clear and actionable insights. Our interactive Neighborhood Insights tool zooms into any area in the US, down to the census block group level, and illustrates the area’s vitality via simplified metrics. Thus, our Neighborhood Insights allows any user to prepare appropriately for the new normal.
Visualize data and easily derive recovery insights about YOUR area of interest
When logging in to the Unacast Neighborhood Insights tool, you are immediately able to visualize recovery insights for your areas of interest, down to the census block group level. You can quickly identify which census blocks have recovered (green) and not (red) In addition, users can:
- Compare foot traffic for 2020 with foot traffic for 2019
- Stay current with data automatically updated daily
Create your own collections to follow your specific areas of your interest
Define your own sets of census block groups that represent your neighborhoods or trade areas. By building your own collections you can keep track of the location of your properties and follow their development over time.
Understand the recovery by different segments
Break down foot traffic by visitor type such as locals, non-locals, workers and residents to better understand market changes and which visitor types are returning sooner than others.
Available on desktop and mobile - including export as .csv function
Unacast’s Neighborhood Insights is available on desktop, as well as on mobile, allowing you to take your insights on the go. If you need to conduct further analysis, the data can be exported as .csv and ingested into your data models.
Digging Deeper With Real Life Examples
To exemplify how the Unacast Neighborhood Insights can be used, we chose to look at Round Rock, Texas, which is part of the Austin metropolitan area, because it represents a general commercial area in the US outside of bigger cities. This area has many commercial venues and shopping centers with POIs such as Walmart, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Target, Best Buy, Marshall’s, Barnes & Noble, Old Navy, Olive Garden, Hooter’s, etc. The area is also home to Dell offices.
Suffering a drop in total traffic of about 50% - 60% in March and April the area is seeing an upswing in traffic. At the start of June it's only down 30% from last year showing an upwards trend towards recovery.
Maximizing reopening by measuring new foot traffic levels
Businesses in the area that have not yet opened are now in a position to start preparing for reopening as traffic in the area is picking up. Tracking mobility patterns in your geographical areas lets you know when traffic is back to the same levels as last year, letting you target for reopening when traffic is around 20% down from last year.
Understand the changing market landscape
With its interesting mix of both work offices and commercial venues that are situated near residential areas, pre-COVID19, Round Rock, Texas has an interesting mix of workers, locals, residents and non-locals. Now, as the area starts to recover, we can see that visitor mix has changed:
Even though total traffic is trending towards recovery, non-locals and workers are still notably absent at more than 50% down.
Based on this new visitor mix, there’s opportunity in Round Rock, Texas to serve more of the residents and local visitors than before.
Other Pain Points / Use Cases
In our previous example, we explored two of the key pain points that can be solved with our Neighborhood Insights but this is just the tip of the iceberg. The Unacast Neighborhood Insights tool has vast application in Retail and Real Estate. Below are some additional pain points our tool addresses.
Assessing Divestments and Acquisitions
The market uncertainty caused by COVID-19 has complicated due-diligence for ongoing investments. Traffic around key investments/properties are dropping due to COVID-19. Use Neighborhood Insights to understand what properties will recover slower/ not recover and make better decisions for divesting properties.
Forecasting New Rent Levels
Because of COVID-19 restrictions, many business owners are not able to maintain their stores at normal level. Market demand has dropped and consequently, rent payments have fallen across the board. By analyzing changes in foot traffic for a given area, our users can better forecast or anticipate changes in rent payments or collections.
Redirect Supply Chain
Due to sudden and geographical changes in demand, supply chain management is becoming more complex. Use the Neighborhood Insights to get a better picture of mobility patterns (foot traffic as proxy for demand) in your geographical areas. This enables our users to reroute away from the individual stores that can’t use it and towards other locations or distribution centers that can align with demand and help fulfill sales.
Adapting to New Market Situations
Due to shelter-in-place and work-from-home orders people's behavior is changing. Real Estate companies owning commercial real estate are wondering if and when workers will return to the office. Use Neighborhood Insights to understand how your areas are gaining or losing target demographics and which areas source an increased or decreased number of workers. By using these insights, our partners can better plan for the use of your properties and support decisions on rebalancing your portfolio.
However, market uncertainty can also provide opportunities for new investments. For real estate investors, it is not as easy to travel and see for yourself. Use the Neighborhood Insights to identify changes in cities and neighborhoods you were considering investing in or identify new opportunities and make better decisions for your investments.
Get Access to Unacast Neighborhood Insights today!
How It Works
Our team will work with you, over the phone or by email, to pinpoint the areas for which you'd like insights. Once you’ve selected your areas, we will reach out with your access points and credentials and get you started!
We are now offering promotional pricing for Early Access users — learn more and sign up on our Neighborhood Insights page
At Unacast we’re always looking for ways to improve our products and services. Help us make our Neighborhood Insights more of what you need by participating in Early Access.