- February 28, 2024
In a bid to expand its reach geographically and to provide additional services to compete against the much larger MetroStudy, Tampa-based real estate research firm Landmark Reports has teamed up with a Georgia company.
The six-year-old firm’s merger with Marietta, Ga.-based Smart Real Estate Data is expected to result in a combined company with a broader depth of research.
“We decided to join forces with them, in part, because they’ve built some beautiful software that’s really going to turbocharge the offerings we can provide,” says Chris Worley, Landmark’s president and co-founder.
“We think they do a much better job of analyzing data that’s collected and in generating a more streamlined report than anything else that’s out there.”
The newly combined company hopes to expand into markets like Naples, Orlando, Sarasota and Jacksonville, and add to its offerings in the Tampa Bay area. By the end of this summer, Landmark Reports expects to provide mapping software, research and analytics in 20 of Florida’s 67 counties.
Its research will be updated monthly, Worley says.
Smart Real Estate Data’s leaders says the combination represents a natural progression.
“Geographically, it just made sense for us to move into Florida, and especially into Tampa and Orlando, because they’re among the top-growing markets in the country,” says Mitchell Palm, who took over the company four years ago with his college roommate and IBM Corp. veteran Ryan Rains.
“Landmark was an excellent springboard to get into these markets, because Chris and Jeff (Cairnes, Landmark’s CEO and its other co-founder) already have a good handle on Florida,” says Rains. “Moving into Florida without partnering with Landmark would have taken us a long time, given how large the territories are.”
Since its formation in 1996 in Atlanta’s suburbs, Smart Real Estate has expanded into both North Carolina and South Carolina.
Rains and Palm met Landmark Report’s founders late in 2019 and found that they share similar philosophies regarding focused data collection and delivery.
“Our joint focus is on efficiency and accuracy,” Palm says. “Unlike some of our competitors, for instance, we don’t buy third-party data that’s sold to our clients. And our business systems are so similar, so meshing them together was fairly seamless.”
To prepare for the expansion, Palm and Rains invested more than $100,000 to develop a new website and capabilities in 2019.
Worley says the partnership was necessary because regional home builders, among others, demanded a greater geographic coverage of the state than Landmark Reports on its own could provide.
“We were losing opportunities and were in danger of losing clients because we didn’t have a large enough coverage area for some of the builders who operate statewide,” he says.
Palm, Rains and Worley says they hope to interest residential builders, as well and commercial real estate brokers, bankers and others to buy Smart Real Estate’s expanded data.
“We’re always found Landmark’s reports to be beneficial,” says Ryan Sampson, principal at Eshenbaugh Land Co., a Tampa commercial real estate brokerage firm that specializes in residential, agricultural and commercial land sales.
“They always have good market intelligence,” Sampson adds. “We’ve been extremely happy with them. A lot of folks sell data but not very many have Landmark’s local commitment, their touch or their flavor when it comes to providing data in a certain way.”
In addition to new construction and permit data, for instance, Landmark Reports and Smart Real Estate plan to offer clients price per square foot data for new construction projects, information on properties sold over the past year and other unique material.
Moving forward, the company intends to continue its expansion throughout Florida and the balance of the Southeastern U.S.
“We’ll be focused on organic growth going forward, at least for the foreseeable future,” Palm says. “We’d like to have the entire Southeast covered by the end of the 2021, and while that’s an ambitious goal, we think we have the platforms in place to make that happen.”
If that were to occur, Smart Real Estate would be the second-largest construction- and permit-related real estate data provider in the nation, Rains and Palm say.
For now, however, Worley says the two firms are focused on offering accurate and updated material on a timely basis.
“We think we can offer folks a better way, given all the data that’s out there,” he says.