Exploring Site Selection with Mark Smookler, CEO of Ideal Spot

In The Real Estate Innovators Podcast by Ryan Cox

Marc Smookler is the founder of Ideal Spot the premier retail site selection platform.

Marc has founded has founded 6 companies–4 of which are current market leaders in their respective spaces: the premier retail site selection platform, a leading online retailer, a leading unified communications provider, and a cutting-edge marketing service platform. Marc is also a mentor for Austin’s tech incubator/fund(s) Capital Factory and Techstars, and invests and serves as an advisor for a number of companies in the B2C spaces.

Purchase intent is more important than identity.
– Marc Smookler, CEO of Ideal Spot

What’s the Big Idea?

Exploring a “Zillow for commercial real estate” was not a new idea and the team explored different concepts to help with site location. Ideal Spot, helps retailers, commercial real estate service providers & landlords find and evaluate their ideal locations by mapping retail demand through search and social platforms. When and where are people signaling that they want or need a retailer’s product or service. Ideal Spot “captures” this signaled interest and intent and maps it against current
competitors in market to find the gaps or opportunities.

The state of retail site location

Retailers are good at picking the 1st location with intimate knowledge of the market. Expanding to sites two, three and beyond pose challenges for retailers expanding out of their core market. In the past retailers worked with consultants, service providers or brokers to assist with expansion of retail locations. Retailers used models to identify similar neighborhoods demographics to try and predict success.

The sheer number of options and convenience that consumers have access to has created gaps in the old models of identifying the ideal location for retailers.

Purchase intent is more important than identity.

Retail transition & the customer experience

Convenience and a return to the quality of the shopping experience are driving the retail transition. Retailers are leveraging the quality of the shopping experience and the use of data to grow.

Ideal Spot and the customer experience

Over 13,000 registered users leveraging Ideal Spot’s technology across a broad range of retailers and service providers to identify need and demand. Banks and lenders leverage Ideal Spot to manage risk. Developers and owners identify key tenants.

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