Almost nothing has changed and improved more noticeably over the last 20 years than the cell phone that everyone carries in their pocket. From a monstrosity that required a battery pack and was less weildy than just finding a pay phone to a supercomputer with the most advanced technology embedded within, the phone has come a long way. Smart phones have presented a lot of opportunities to retailers, marketers and real estate brokers, but they have also made navigating deals a little more complicated. Firms that want to stay on the edge have to find new ways to track and anticipate the movements of a typical consumer. Modern phones have location tracking services to help guide users with satellite GPS and provide them with location specific information with the touch of a button. For those that opt in, this technology is also changing the way that retailers and commercial real estate firms look at their cities. By tracking the foot traffic of smartphone users on various heat maps, firms can get an accurate picture of consumer habits and popular areas within a city. Foot traffic analytics are one of the newest tools in the commercial real estate realm and at LCI Realty, we’re all about innovation. Here is what you need to know about mobile location analytics.

How Foot Traffic Analytics Work

Foot traffic or mobile location analytics take measures of consumer movements throughout trade maps to analyze times of the day, month and year that an area is busy. Depending on the time table used for tracking movements, retailers can get a picture of daily or weekly habits or they can use the heat maps to get a picture of things like holiday shopping habits. These maps can be used to see how an entire population moves and they can be fully customizable for a demographic picture as long as the user shares that info. For example, with the right foot traffic analyzing software, you can track the movement and habits of women in their 30’s to see what their consumer habits look like. This information is not collected and sold without user permission either. Rather, users are asked if they would like to opt in to location tracking analytics to improve their experiences. This information is all aggregated together to give an accurate picture of a demographic’s movement through an area. Check out the example below.

Heat Map


How Does This Affect Real Estate?

Real estate brokers are just as interested in the foot traffic and locations of consumers and tenants as retailers. For new developments, heat maps can be used to measure where a successful new location could break ground or to track where traffic is beginning to slip. This is a powerful tool that can be presented to investors, displaying exactly what type of rejuvenation or new investments might benefit an area. There is still quite a bit of guesswork involved, but it’s informed guess work. Furthermore, there is a lot of dissonance in each heat map. Brokers and investors need to track patterns without getting sideswiped by commute info and other factors.

Marketing Advantage

Marketing executives are overjoyed at the ability to track foot traffic statistics in relation to their target demographics. Marketers can track in real time where consumers spend their time allows them to customize campaigns based on data. For real estate professionals that must walk between investors, marketers, lenders and tenants, these foot traffic heat maps are extremely useful. Now anyone in the real estate field can look at this data without needing to consult city governments and pay for expensive analytical data previously held by city examiners and managers.

Foot Traffic And The Future?

Obviously one of the biggest problems presented by developments like this is the privacy of consumers. People want and deserve the ability to make informed decisions on their own and to enjoy their own privacy. For now, foot traffic analytics are all measured for users that opt in to the program and it seems unlikely that the FTC would allow that data to be used without permission. However, this data does continue to get more and more accurate, which means that interested parties will be able to glean more and more from foot traffic analytics. It’s up to marketers and brokers how deep they want to drill down into the analytics available to them.

At LCI Realty, we combine experience and understanding of the established practices of the commercial real estate industry with a willingness to follow the new and exciting. Are you ready to use our knowledge and understanding to make the most out of your investments? Contact the LCI Realty team today by calling 480-565-8981 or send us an email at