Legendary retailers Sam Walton and Ray Kroc used to hunt for real estate at 30,000 feet; they used private planes to survey the country for prime spots in which to open new stores. Now a new website, ZoomProspector, attempts to provide business owners a similar bird’s-eye view of the commercial landscape from their desk chairs.
Using information from local governments and other sources, ZoomProspector allows companies to search for vacant land, office space, and retail sites according to an array of factors: demographics such as population size, education level, and household income as well as less typical metrics such as home values, patents issued per capita, proximity to airports and train stations, and the amount of venture capital recently invested in the area. A search for a particular city pulls up heat maps that highlight the parts of town with, say, the highest concentration of bachelor’s degrees or the highest average household incomes. [Inc. Annotation]