Monday, December 28th, 2020

For a long time, real estate investment was driven solely by speculation, educated guesses, and gut feeling. As a result, many investors kept making the same mistakes over and over again.

We all know what they used to say about buying or renting a home: location, location, location. Your neighborhood matters a lot when it comes to how satisfied you are in your house or apartment, and it can be a real dealbreaker (or deal-maker) when you’re on the search.

And while it’s hard to really know a place until you live there, taking the time to research a neighborhood before you move can help ensure that you don’t accidentally end up with a big case of buyer’s or renter’s remorse later on. But where can we find ways to do so in this pandemic era we are living in nowadays coupled with digital transformation?

While the digital scoring tools like Walk Score serve as a good proxy for urban design features related to walkability for neighborhoods with high walk scores and in high-income areas, they do not serve as an accurate, reliable measure of walkability for neighborhoods with low walk score and in lower-income areas.

“ It’s an entirely different thing to use Walk Score as a metric by which to make planning, private investment, public funding or policy decisions; given these findings, that’s irresponsible at best and potentially discriminating at worst.”

Then, we have the option of walking the neighborhood and talking to people who are there if we get a chance. However, given the pandemic and COVID-19 restrictions, these activities have been limited and there needs to be an innovative way to listen to the neighborhood.

Hence, resorting to online statistical tools can be a good alternative. One can start with tools like CityProtect, AreaVibes, or Neighborhood Scout, all of which aggregate crime data for certain localities. Meanwhile, a site like Family Watchdog will allow you to see if there are any registered sex offenders in the area. However, these sites aggregate static data from government portals or surveys and become more unreliable as we are missing real-time data that can be detrimental to a neighborhood. What about a recent local neighborhood crime that is being talked about and commented on online? What about local shops that are trying to promote their goods and services on social media? Our neighborhood is talking but are we actually listening?

This is where BoomSight can be leveraged! We use social media data to define neighborhoods to provide a meaningful contextual layer to them. We use three measurements namely demographic density, activity concentration, and connectivity to show positive trends about a specific topic from criminal activity to local sports conversations. Our source of data is from the most popular social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and our data is aggregated at a postal code and city level.

Social media data provides an uncut, unscripted, and real-time depiction of a neighborhood that we traditionally would not be able to find online. At a cheaper cost than these aggregate polling websites that give listings, we offer a convenient way for families, real-estate brokers, or agencies to empower themselves to make their next decision. This is how BoomSight is using AI and Machine Learning for making it a business advantage for families and business professionals.

When neighborhood watch goes digital, we should adopt and go social. BoomSight allows such a space!

If you would like to check us out for free, you can subscribe now at Boomsight.