Turning Data Into a Story in Austin’s Commercial Real Estate Industry
My Role: Research + Design
Team: Researcher, Project Coordinator, Designer, Associate Broker
Project Overview: While performing research at Avison Young, I began an exploratory research project to understand why there was a growing demand for product in Austin’s East submarket. The product research was informed by contextualizing quantitative data with qualitative insights in order to help brokers secure deals and establish long-term client relationships with startups, small businesses and large corporations in the region. I served as the research and design lead for this project, and worked with several brokers and the project manager to deliver this project.
Methods Overview: This project included over 40 hours of research in the form of client and broker interviews, survey analysis, historical and socio-economic data collection, and product research.
Solutions Overview: The outcome of this specialized research project is the East Side Submarket Snapshot deck, which includes a contextual narrative, statistics and an interactive map, which was used by brokers and clients in presentations and to secure deals. This project played a major role in the decision of several clients to lease property in the East submarket, contributing to the staggering 94% of product on the East side being pre-leased before delivery.
To understand why the East side submarket was booming and what the cost/benefit ratio was for particular businesses to establish an office there
To understand the most important factors a client considers when relocating their office
Methods & Tools
I conducted primary and secondary exploratory research including, one-on-one interviews with brokers, researchers, journalists and clients to gain a better understanding of the history and trends in the Austin commercial real estate market. Those insights were used to develop a survey questionnaire with targeted questions and to perform product research.
I collected socio-economic and demographics data and performed comparative analysis based on national, state and local historical data and current trends. I used industry tools such as Costar and Real Capital Analytics to pull data related to vacancy rates, absorption, rental rates and more. Additionally, I used Google Maps to create interactive development maps with featured amenities surrounding the submarket.
" ...the opportunity to design our office from scratch was exciting and permitted us to be more efficient. The overall cost was more effective relative to staying "downtown" and the East side still offered walkable amenities. We felt it would positively impact our future recruitment efforts and allow us to do more frequent entertaining."
East side submarket is ideal for smaller businesses like startups, local creative firms and some industrial companies. (but if you’re goal is to lease 1 million square feet, the domain in the submarket for you)
East side submarket is the top submarket in Austin regarding square feet proposed, in development and delivered but with over 94% pre-leased before delivery, early action is essential to land prime real estate. (pre-lease before building begins to have a say in the layout and lock in competitive pricing)
Significant multifamily and residential construction in the area as well as everyday and recreational amenities such as fitness centers and grocery stores are in development to match commercial real estate development trends (employees will have somewhere to live)