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# Wednesday, August 27, 2014

For better or for worse, the real estate industry is known for using terrible euphemisms to describe space, but the truth that lies behind some clichés can be leveraged to your advantage when you are choosing a location for a new, expanding, or relocating business. 

Location, Location, Location

Real estate is intrinsically linked to physical space and yes, location is key.  But what makes one location great for a particular business may be the exact reason it is a terrible location for some other venture – being next to a main thoroughfare with easy access to the Trans-Canada highway is great for a shipping business, but less appropriate for a childcare centre.  The ideal location for some businesses is near other businesses of a similar nature (think groupings of clothing stores along certain roads or in malls), whereas others will do better if there’s a bit of distance between themselves and the next one (think convenience stores).  In terms of getting along well with your neighbours, the right location can be of more help than the proverbial good fence by avoiding the “not-in-my-backyard” scenario that incompatible land uses inevitably spur.

If You Build It, They Will Come

Businesses each have a specific target market…if you build it, they might come, but you could save yourself a lot of energy and marketing time if you just built it where they already are, or where they are headed anyway.  Demographic indicators, from age groups, gender proportions, daytime population, and indicators of wealth and income, all play a huge role in the success of a business – and the relative merits of one location over another.  The Greater Halifax Partnership has a great GIS tool for the properties in their database (http://halifax.zoomprospector.com/.  If you need something more customised and specific, or located outside of Halifax, we can help). 

Timing is Everything 

If you are looking to build a large development, you want to time it so that your project comes to market when demand is high, competing supply is low, and preferably as the economy is trending upwards.  Our recent Market Survey of office space in five of the major centres in Atlantic Canada highlights this: vacancy is pushing upward across Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.  See the results for yourself in the News & Research section of our website (www.turnerdrake.com/newsresearch/index.asp, then explore the Media Centre and Surveys tabs). 

All Over the Map

The beautiful thing about real estate is that because it has, by definition, a physical location, you can map it.  Then you can map other pertinent things around and relating to it, such as competing or complimentary businesses, roads, public transit stops, parks…you get the picture (or will, once you see it all on a map).  Demographic data can be plotted and aggregated for existing and potential locations.  This wealth of information can be analysed and studied in great detail or with a “quick & dirty” report, depending on how in depth you need the answer to the question “where?” to be, and the level of professional advice you require.  It really does pay to “look before you leap”…after all, “nothing in life is certain except death and taxes” but making an educated decision is better than “flying by the seat of your pants."

Wise words from Alexandra Baird Allen, Senior Manager of Turner Drake's Economic Intelligence Unit. If you're looking for the perfect location for your new, expanding or relocating business, give Alex a call at 1 (800) 567-3033 or email her at abairdallen@turnerdrake.com .

Wednesday, August 27, 2014 12:00:24 PM (Atlantic Daylight Time, UTC-03:00)  #    -
Economic Intelligence Unit