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NIC MAP Introduces New Feature: Trade Area Search by Drive Times & Traffic Flows

The NIC MAP Data Service recently unveiled its latest product enhancement to the NIC MAP Local Property Search tool as it introduced a new class of trade areas based on drive time or driving distance from a seniors housing, skilled nursing property or targeted location.  Drive-time analysis allows a user to customize a trade area or primary market area (PMA) by selecting the number of minutes it takes to drive to a destination property or location, while selecting between three different traffic flow patterns, reflective of low, medium and high traffic conditions.

Fast and accurate drive-time estimates are helpful to:

  • Research business expansions and determine the demographic characteristics of a customizable market area for seniors and their adult children
  • Compare demographic demand measurements to existing and future supply under different drive-time scenarios
  • Understand the time it takes for your staff to get to work
  • Discern a competitor’s trade area and see where the overlap exists with your property
  • Determine which locations are within 5, 10, 15 or 20-minutes of your property or specific site location
  • Identify the time it takes to get to a hospital from your property under different traffic patterns
  • Market to a specific drive-time area with detailed demand and supply insights
  • Target new markets
  • Identify and retain customers
  • Shape sales and marketing contact and distribution lists by appropriate geographic areas

To compensate for traffic patterns in drive-time analyses, our new trade area search parameters allow users to adjust driving distances using a traffic flow selection. The drive-time search parameters let the user generate polygon boundaries that represent the maximum distance that can be traveled along a road network from a given point within a user-defined drive time, (5, 10, 15 or 20 minutes).

Drive-time analysis is critical in property selection because adult children typically help choose a property for their aging parents.  Feasibility studies often focus on the adult child’s role in helping select the appropriate property for aging parents. One key decision factor is the time it takes the adult child to drive to a property.

In addition to conducting a drive-time search, users will still have the ability to create a custom polygon or radius search with the added functionality of a dual-radius search – selecting between two radii to display on the interactive map. To help streamline this process, the trade area search parameters can be found under the Trade Area header in the Local Property Search tool.

Clients with access to the “Local Property Search” tool automatically saw these upgrades on December 14, 2017.  If you would like to incorporate the Local Property Search tool into your product suite or learn more, please call NIC at 410-267-0504 or email, and you’ll be connected, with Client Services.

About the Author

Beth Burnham Mace

Beth Burnham Mace is the Chief Economist and Director of Outreach at the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC). Prior to joining the staff at NIC, she served as a member of the NIC Board of Directors for seven years and chaired NIC’s Research Committee. Ms. Mace was also a Director at AEW Capital Management and worked in the AEW Research Group for 17 years. Prior to joining AEW in 1997, Ms. Mace spent ten years at Standard & Poor’s DRI/McGraw-Hill as the Director of the Regional Information Service. She also worked as a Regional Economist at Crocker Bank, the National Commission on Air Quality, the Brookings Institution and Boston Edison.

Ms. Mace is a member of the National Association of Business Economists (NABE), the Urban Land Institute (ULI), ULI’s Senior Housing Council and New England Women in Real Estate (NEWIRE/CREW). In 2014, she was appointed a fellow at the Homer Hoyt Institute and was awarded the title of a “Woman of Influence” in commercial real estate by Real Estate Forum Magazine and Globe Street. Ms. Mace is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College (B.A.) and the University of California (M.S.). She has also earned The Certified Business Economist™ title (CBE) from the National Association of Business Economists (NABE). Ms. Mace is often cited in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Seniors Housing Business, Seniors Housing News and McKnight’s Senior Living and has a bi-monthly column in the National Real Estate Investor.
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