Commercial real estate organizations gain many benefits from being CCIM members. One of the most significant is CCIM members free access to STDB (Site To Do Business). STDB provide access to ESRI’s Business Analyst Online (BAO) and ArcGIS Online. That is a big deal!

CCIM Members: Taking Advantage of ArcGIS

BAO and ArcGIS Online are powerful mapping technologies which are transforming many commercial real estate (CRE) businesses. A summary of BAO:

Insight is the power to see people and opportunities in a very clear way. It’s what happens when you use Esri Business Analyst for market planning, site selection, and customer segmentation.

Combine demographic, lifestyle, and spending data with map-based analytics to create accurate reports and present powerful market insights—all within Esri Business Analyst.

ArcGIS is an advanced cloud based mapping platform designed to answer all your real estate questions. Summarized as:

ArcGIS Online is an online, collaborative web GIS that allows you to use, create, and share maps, scenes, apps, layers, analytics, and data. You get access to Living Atlas of the World, apps, and Esri’s secure cloud, where you can add items and publish web layers.

BAO has proven a popular and easy to use technology. Many CCIM members have taken advantage of BAO’s capabilities. ArcGIS Online, in contrast, has seen far slower adoption. Why? Because ArcGIS Online offers a far wider set of tools and mapping solutions for CRE organizations than BAO, but is more complex.

Case Study: Getting Started with ArcGIS Online

We’ve recently been working with a number of CCIM members helping them take advantage of their free ArcGIS Online account. One such organization are Squarefoot, a commercial real estate company based in Barrie, north of Toronto in Canada. Linda, who heads up the company, approached WebMapSolutions. Her request:

“We think ArcGIS Online could be super useful to our business, but it is very confusing. Could you help us get started?”

The online docs available for ArcGIS Online, though comprehensive, proved somewhat hard to follow and relate. Linda wanted a step by step hands on journey through ArcGIS Online designed around Squarefoot‘s needs. Matt L, a WebMapSolutions GIS and CRE expert, worked with Linda and her team.

The work itself had a number of phases:

  1. ArcGIS Online Discovery Workshop – An introductory session focused on understanding. Key questions included: Where are Squarefoot today, and where would you like to be tomorrow with ArcGIS? The goal of the discovery workshop was for Squarefoot and WebMapSolutions to understand one another better, and to chart the path forward for the engagement.
  2. Data – Truly at the core of why CRE organizations first look to ArcGIS Online. Gathering and mapping in one place key real estate data. This is often a mix of internal data (eg. comps) and external data (eg. parcels). Internal data is often in the form of spreadsheets. If you know where to look, there is a wealth of free, often government published, data available. We worked with Squarefoot, defining required data-sets, finding and preparing that data.
  3. ArcGIS Online Workshop – Spanning a number of weeks, WebMapSolutions worked with Squarefoot walking them through how to use ArcGIS Online to publish their data, and map this data with free public data. The focus was on the 3 key ArcGIS Online components:
    • Publish internal data from spreadsheets and shapefiles to ArcGIS Online as map layers

    • Generating a web map or mash up of internal and external (free) data eg. comps with parcel data. And styling, symbolizing and filtering this data

  • Publishing the web map in a web app using Web AppBuilder. This is what is shared with internal staff or clients. It is a web page which contains your map, with the layers and tools eg. print, query etc,  you have chosen to include.

There is much to take in when working with ArcGIS Online, which was why we spent time with Linda and team, setting ‘homework’ and repeating workflows. We provided spreadsheet and shapefile templates, to help Squarefoot publish data to ArcGIS Online in the correct format.

As they say practice makes perfect and Linda proved a quick learner. To use Linda’s words:

“This is wonderful. ArcGIS Online will be a very big help to our business”.

We remain on call ready to help Linda and team with additional questions, as they dig deeper into ArcGIS Online and start using  advanced functionality such as analytics and data enrichment.

Need help getting started with ArcGIS Online .. contact us on 801.733.0723

Read our free white paper ‘ArcGIS Deployment Guide’, which provides a road map for getting started and moving forward with ArcGIS Online.

Author: Matt Sheehan

Matt Sheehan is a Principal at WebMapSolutions. Matt evangelizes GIS and location intelligence around the world through keynotes, articles, tweets and his books. Follow him on Twitter:

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