Research is a two-step process - the collection of information and the analysis of the acquired data. The analysis is performed from the macro to the micro. The review of the big picture involves looking at regional and local factors which will impact the project. This includes the economic situation of the region, the transportation corridors, employment centers and job formation, governmental attitudes, as well as school districts, shopping centers and other factors that impact demand for new development.
Then, the research focuses on the submarket including analysis of projected changes in the thoroughfare system, utility system, zoning, flood plains, soil data and topography. Past and future land absorption by zoning types is considered, based on historical trends. Current demand for lots, inventory of lots (both existing and planned) and continuing conversations with developers and builders for all types of real estate development form the basis of this analytical stage.
With this information in place, the firm then begins to look at where opportunities may be found. Many brokers and investors pick a tract of land and try to justify the acquisition. The Tomlin approach is to look at all of the properties in the area then pick the best opportunity – if it meets all identified criteria.
By looking at all the land in each of the best submarkets Tomlin can find the best tract and also be aware of when it will be ready to develop. The firm can also identify properties which may be competition for the target property. Only then does Tomlin consider the price and the investment potential of the land. If all the prior research is not favorable then the price is irrelevant.