Once you’ve used data and analytics to compare local property markets and identify the area for your next development, you’ll need to turn your attention to sourcing land or property suitable for your intended use.

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The perfect piece of land for your project could well be out there, waiting for you to make an offer. But how do you identify it?

Technology-enhanced off-market land sourcing was pioneered in the UK by the company Land Tech with their excellent software LandInsight. Over a decade ago, ex-town planner Jonny Briton teamed up with software developer Andrew Moist to build a piece of software to make finding and assessing sites easier.

Since then, other companies have emerged with their own take on the same process. At PropertyData, our goal has always been to democratise the data that the big guys use, and make data-driven decision making available to all property investment and development companies an a fraction of the cost.

For the last five years we’ve been delivering tools to help SME property investors and developers research local property markets, source on-market opportunities that match particular strategies, and carry out due diligence on potential purchases.

This month we’re fulfilling one of our most popular subscriber requests by launching an off-market property sourcing workflow on PropertyData for the first time.

The ‘beta’ version of this tool, which I am happy to announce exclusively in Property Week, allows our subscribers to define a search radius and view properties by 30 different usage categories that we have created, which cover residential, commercial and governmental and community uses.

Search results are presented in both map and table formats, and you can easily exclude properties with development restrictions such as those within National Parks, the Green Belt, and Area of Outstanding National Beauty or a Conservation Area.

You can further refine your search by filtering properties by planning use class, min/max plot size, ownership type, internal area, energy score, or current estimated value.

Our software produces a downloadable list of properties with all the data including full postal address and Land Registry title numbers. This would typically be used to run a ‘letter-writing’ campaign whereby first contact is made with the owners of the land in order to express interest in purchasing the property.

Although response and ‘conversion’ rate for this tactic can be low, when the number of property owners contacted is large enough, it’s a proven method of acquiring property off-market.

We’re delighted to have launched this new off-market land sourcing workflow in response to strong subscriber demand for it over the years, and over time we expect to further develop the features and filtering options available.

Our aim for PropertyData remains to make it the ultimate affordable tool to help SME property investors and developers make better-informed decisions when investing and developing residential property in the UK.