The business geographer performing market analysis for real estate should become skilled in the advances of geographic technology, as well as geographic and real estate analysis and procedures. And the client should become skilled in judging the analyst's work. In this context, the eighteenth-century poetic essay by Alexander Pope (1688-1744) is appropriate (see box 10.1). The left column is particularly relevant to the analyst practitioner, while the right column is particularly relevant to the client who is making his or her judgmental decision. The client, whether an investor, financier, or developer, should know enough about business geography and real estate market analysis to correctly understand the evaluation and report, know which questions to ask of the analyst, and know how to translate the report into correct judgment. The client making the judgmental decision should not have his or her vision clouded by details of the choice made for which data source to use for population projections, nor should the judgmental decision be steered off course by the choice between which desktop GIS software to use. Instead, the client has other considerations, such as How do I select and work with a business geographer performing market analysis for real estate projects? and When and how should a business geographer consultant be used? This chapter gets the reader started in these tasks. Financiers, investors, developers hire business geographers to provide a variety of services, including choosing the appropriate data, software, and methods to use, and rely on their professional skills of execution and ability to complete and present the report in a manner that will improve their judgment. The business geographer brings objectivity, professionalism, and both broad and specialized experience with similar projects. How should a business geographer be chosen? First, the prospective client should decide what project(s) the analyst is to evaluate. The type of projects a business geographer might be engaged to work on include; . . . Determining the highest and best-use for a given site Selecting the location and evaluating the viability at that location for a specific type of development Constructing an expansion strategy and location strategy for individual outlets of a new or existing chain of retail stores. . . . The client should decide whether outside expertise should be sought or whether the real estate market analyst functions should instead be performed in house.
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