Build Magazine June 2015

Build Magazine 17 There’s a lot more than the price tag to consider when selecting new development sites. Charlie Davies, Technical Director at iGeolise, explains how you can you make sure your next build delivers on location, location, location. of customer you’re trying to attract at the end of it you’ll make more accurate decisions throughout. When it comes to location, people in the UK are generally commuting an av- erage of 54 minutes to work, although it does vary slightly depending on the area. It’s also worth knowing that men are more likely to travel longer than women. If you have an idea of where the people you’re looking to appeal go to work you can suss out if its suitable for their lifestyle. Direct marketing, straight to the peo- ple that matter The typical way of direct marketing by location is to target people within X miles radius of the development. The problem here is that not everyone is close by. Next time you look at an X miles radius circle, you’ll realise that some of that area is super easy to get to, whilst other places are very tricky to access. It’s better to think about how the users get there and how long it will take – and adjust your campaign materials to this. A carbon neutral future Before you even contemplate a single solar panel gets you can begin to think green by selecting locations based on public transport network accessi- bility and access to local amenities. It’s a simple way of showing that the development is cutting down on the need to drive. Venn diagrams When you’re deciding between multiple locations, it’s a good idea to map out where they are in relation to other things. For example, you can specify that the new care home must be close by, yet nearby shop- ping is preffered but not essential. Adjusting the catchment area that’s acceptable lets you compromise on things that may be lower than the list than others. Transport preferences How your end customer travels should play a big part in selecting a new loca- tion and it goes further than planning enough space for parking. It’s about fully understanding the required transport links if public transport is a priority, or creating well-lit streets if walking is preferred. Calculating timings will make this as accurate as possible. What’s nearby? Overlaying local services in the area is essential when planning new devel- opments. To make it as accurate as possible think about how your target market will travel to them too, because this has a big impact on the time it takes to reach them. This is excellent information to utilise not just when making plans, but also when compiling information for the potential buyers. If you have the know-how on the local schools, GPs and dentists their level of research goes down and they’re more likely to convert. Where’s your market? A good way of understanding if a site is suitable for your prospective market is to profile the ideal buyer and work back- wards. If you have an idea of the type Congestion A prospective location could be considered ‘close by’ in mileage but if the congestion on public transport or car traffic is particularly bad, you may want to think again. With traffic jams recorded as one of the biggest causes of stress it’s no wonder buyers are looking at this. The pre-existing resident’s routine How familiar are you with the future development area? It’s easy to model, estimate and predict what is the big- gest problems and plus points in each location – but how reflective are your results of real life experiences? I’d rec- ommend speaking to those already in the area to make sure your estimations are correct because nothing beats stories of those that live it daily. You’ll start to realise why they avoid a par- ticular ring road and the reason why the school run is longer than expected. It also means you can avoid the same mistakes made before. Planning ahead When the Crossrail development was announced the market jumped to – some prices rose by 82%. Knowing the plans for new motorways and transport links means you can be one step ahead and build your net- work to fit well with the plans. Use location in your favour If you plan using journey times rather than miles radius you’ll be able to see where the council may need to step in to provide new bus routes and road networks. If you can show the amount of people this will be for, their transport needs and the costs required to develop this, you’re onto a winner. It’s also worth suggesting the commercial impact this investment will have on the local area. As you’ll know the area like the back of your hand, you’ll also be able to suggest garbage collection routes and other services needed. Top 10 Location Considerations When Developing Sites Construction