Ultimate Owner Feature

We all know that an essential step in any development process is finding the site owner’s details to then contact them. We should all also know that this isn’t always as simple as it seems, especially if you have to go through several companies to get to the actual owner.

So what’s the answer? LandInsight’s new Ultimate Owner feature.

What is the Ultimate Owner feature?

It is a significant enhancement to our existing ownership search feature as it allows you to save time and quickly access valuable information about both the ultimate owner of a site, and all the child companies (subsidiaries) associated with it.

The ultimate owner and child companies are displayed in a simple yet intuitive way for you to then further assess the full nationwide portfolio of any given company.

How does the feature work?

Our engineers have developed an algorithm that enables us to derive and visualise company tree information from the data available on Companies House. As it currently stands, you would have to conduct a vast number of searches to get the information needed, collate the information into a spreadsheet plus speak with a number of different people to complement your information. Even then, you are not able to gain the same level of ownership understanding that you gain with LandInsight’s Ultimate Owner in seconds.

What does this mean for me?

If you find your time valuable and don’t like wasting it, Ultimate Owner changes everything.

The Ultimate Owner feature is your key to unlocking a full understanding of who exactly a company is and where their interests are. If you’re an agent thinking about, or already are, representing a company on one site you can quickly find their other sites and potentially represent them on those too. For developers, your value is through instant portfolio assessment. If you know a company is planning on divesting its interests, for example, finding out what else they own could quickly form into the discovery of several off-market opportunities from a motivated seller.

Keeping an eye out on your competition is of particular importance for anyone. Using this feature you can choose between a snapshot or a more in-depth view of where your competitors operate, what their plans are and quickly make more informed decisions about your next opportunity.

How do I access it?

We’re glad you asked. For everyone on the unlimited plan, the Ultimate Owner feature is available through the ownership layer on the right and then the search panel on the left.

For those who are not on the unlimited plan, don’t worry as we are currently offering free trials for Ultimate Owner and other powerful tools. Contact us and we will give you immediate access.

You can reach our team on 0203 086 7855 or you can email us at info@landinsight.io.

What’s New?

If you haven’t been watching closely, you may have missed the many updates that we’ve made to the product over the past month or so.

As the month comes to an end, we thought it would be good to shamelessly brag quickly rundown of some of what we’ve done.

Save Searches

We started with some tweaks to how you can save your searches to your Sites Area.

Ownership…

Planning…

Property…

We released this after some feedback from our users who wanted a closer examination of the sites that show up in the search results. We created a quick and easy way for you to do this.

Radius Tool

Then was the good old radius tool.

Many different users requested this for various different use cases. We have a lot of plans to make this even more powerful so please do keep letting us know your suggestions.

Sites Area

Now this one was major! Launching this has been one of the most exciting times for the company.

 

You can see all the tutorials here but get in touch if you would like a personal demonstration of this and the full product features.

Our product team worked closely with our existing users and our in-house experts to create something that fulfils essential workflow functions while having an intuitive interface. Overall, this section is all about streamlining your workflow and increasing efficiency so you can focus on the important things – building more houses!

Watch this space for more great things to come!

How was #RESI2017?

Brilliant, is the short answer.

It was great meeting everyone and being able to showcase the many updates to the LandInsight product. We launched our new sites area, which is a deal management section of our product, and our £/sq ft calculator, all presented at RESI.

You can see the tutorials for the deal management section, by clicking here. If you’d like a full product demonstration, get in touch.

On the Day

Our stand was constantly flowing with people requesting personal demonstrations, trials of our product and just to catch up with us.

There was even some traffic with people trying to beat the high score on our VR…

All in all, it was a great event and we’re excited about all the new relationships created as well as catching up with some old faces.

Congratulations are in order for Jim Atkinson who won on our VR at the end of the two-day conference.

Some After-thoughts

The talking points throughout the two days were about solving the housing crisis, of course, what the lessons were from the awful tragedy of Grenfell Tower, as well as some discussion on the technological disruptors of the industry.

The common theme we’re finding remains that there is still a general fear of big data and technology in the property industry while there are some new developments from the likes of Google and Amazon. As homelessness is something that we are constantly talking about, we’re impressed that Amazon is committed to lending a hand where they can by building a family shelter within its Seattle HQ.

We’ll keep talking about the much-needed encouragement for people to build more. A way that this can be done quickly is through innovation and that’s what LandInsight is all about. Take a look at our mention in the Business Insider, for just that.

While the team recovers from all that d̶r̶i̶n̶k̶i̶n̶g̶  networking, stay tuned for more exciting things to come…

 

Planning Feature Update

We realise it is time-consuming to access planning information if you’re relying on those clunky Council websites. This is why we created our planning map in early 2016.

Following user feedback, we have added a powerful new way to search, filter and be alerted on planning applications, helping you work smarter and faster.

Planning Search

Sharpen your gaze on the market. The search you enter produces results based on exactly what you’re looking for.

Create Alerts

Track all planning applications, of relevance to you, submitted or changing in a defined area. Use the bell to create an alert for any updates in the selected area. You’re now able to create a boundary, allowing you to filter out the noise and focus on the area you’re interested in (you can also easily turn them off).

Search History

Easily switch between types of the data you see. Click back to a previous search and you can set up an alert or delete items from your search history.

Do I actually need this?

In short, yes.

The long answer is still yes but here’s why. Having access to the planning search & alerts feature has a number of benefits. This includes, but is not limited to, keep up to date with market changes, understand the council’s thinking about certain types of development, keep track of your competitors, assess local demand and quickly learn about areas you’re unfamiliar with.

Here’s an example: with planning application alerts, you can set it up to only receive notifications of, say, “20 units or more”, “rejected”, “Hackney” “Camden” “Leyton”. This would show you all planning applications for residentials schemes that include more than 20 units that don’t get approved in these areas. Why do you need this? You can try and spot an opportunity to potentially add value to the application. A seller might be more motivated to accept less from a future deal to move faster meaning you can do more with the site. If you have a particular area that interests you for development, by studying the reasons behind rejected applications you can gain an idea of what the market requires.

Equally, with approved applications, you can gain insight into the likely outcome of the project you’re planning. If you start comparing this with our sold prices, you get an idea of the liquidity of the market.

How can I get this?

If you’re on the starter plan, you’re missing out so reach out to us to upgrade. For pro plan users, you have access to planning applications but you won’t be able to conduct any of the filtered searches or set up the alerts. Again, reach out to us to upgrade. For unlimited plan users, well you have everything including this 😀

Not a customer? Join in on the fun. Give us a call on 0203 086 7855.

What Came Out Of The Planning System: Hack?

Last weekend we held our hackathon, in partnership with Future Cities Catapult. Our company has created a technology system that extracts planning applications from England-wide councils each day. Having access to this dataset creates a crystal ball into the future, as you know what is going to happen to a place. We have gone to great lengths to collect this data and for our own product – Land Insight – we only use a small portion of the potential value, so with the Planning System Hackathon, we hoped to engage others who could see the potential of the data to create a wider variety of services with them.

35 attendees trooped through the whole weekend so they could learn to use the data. We held workshops on business pitching, encouraged the meeting of people, team formation, and create new products and services. The climax of the weekend was a pitching competition in front of our panel of judges for a chance of winning £1,000.

The ideas and effort that came out of it were incredible – way beyond our expectations. I believe this is testament to the passion that people had to fix the problems that they are familiar with in how the planning system currently fails to deliver anywhere near its potential.

Some common themes emerged: fixing the problem of under-used places that could have community value in the short term, perhaps before a development took place, or while it is vacant. Another theme emerged in that engaging and collecting data from citizens should be at the heart of the planning system, which is not being performed well by the current methods of displaying planning applications. The ideas put forward tackled these issues in vastly different and creative ways.

A run down of the tools and teams produced

Winners

Joint 1st: Demand Vision

demand vision

 

Using planning applications to estimate the current and changing demand for products and services in locations so that businesses and service providers can make better informed commercial decisions before making large capital investments.  

 

Joint 1st: Plan Gage

Plan Gauge
Making it easier to see and interact with planning applications via providing better visual information about them, tools to stay alert to changes and simpler interfaces.

 

3rd: You Plan

You Plan

Unpacking the content of a planning application to make it more visual and clear what impact it will have on a wider area, eg. having a green light appear if it affects a listed building of local significance. This approach could be used to further encourage communities to engage, comment and provide data on local needs which can be collected and fed back into schemes that there is demand for, such as fixing potholes.

 

Other ideas generated

Co-creative Places

Co-Creative Places

Using short-term space for creative projects and collecting real-time local data about thoughts on it, to drive longer term use of the space.

Future Scope

Future Scope

Turning planning applications into more 3D visual experiences, to better engage people, overcome controversy and understand impact.

Activate Space

Activate Space

Combining data sources to locate underused spaces and match with service providers and short term users.

Big Data, Machine Learning & AI in Practise

We thought this would be an interesting interview as a lot has been said recently about Big Data, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, but our company is one of the few that are actually implementing these new and powerful technologies. The soon to be “Dr” Mason has come straight from his cognitive neuroscience PhD to extract the insight from our data.

 

What is neuroscience?

It’s a term coined in the 1970s and can mean lots of different things. I prefix myself with “cognitive” which means I’m interested in the algorithmic rather than the molecular or psychological level of the brain. As in, the story of how neurons work together to store memories and drive behaviour, rather than how they function at a very low level.

 

What are some examples of things you’ve worked on?

I was interested in the hippocampus, which is a kind of internal map and GPS for the brain. In particular I wanted to know whether the system was able to do complex spatial calculations, a bit like the navigate tool in Google Maps. To test this I programmed a robotic ball to chase a rat around a room, while I recorded from the rat’s brain (yes, really!).

 

That puts a funny picture in my mind!  What got you interested in the brain?

I studied maths and physics as an undergrad but had always had an interest in the brain, which I remember from back when I was 15 listening to the Reith lectures, by Ramachandran. He talked about how people had different parts of the brain hard wired differently than others, so they can see colours when they hear orchestras play, or they can spot anomalies in patterns by combining information that didn’t deserve to be there. I thought it was fascinating about how the brain could do that and give people a super power.

 

How can neuroscience help you in the technology sector?

In neuroscience I encountered lots of messy multidimensional data and I had to come up with ways to display it. If you display data in the right way people can find patterns, so I’m very well placed to be taking in large datasets and making them easily available to people who can make decisions on that data. Its co-incidental that I worked on projects with a spatial element.

 

Can computers find patterns in datasets that are not seen by humans?

It’s not fair to say they can’t because they probably could, but there tends to be a question  first and you end up finding results that you didn’t expect. For example, if you ask ‘how long does it take an area, on average, to approve a planning application?’ we might randomly find a spatial pattern, like coastal towns approve planning applications more quickly. Then digging deeper there might be a population bias in there, such as an age or wealth demographic.

 

And this is good information as it can affect investment decisions.

Absolutely. And there can be a tonne of patterns and the more information you can possibly make available the more questions you can ask and the more interesting the answers will be.

 

What are the technology advances that are going to enable the insight from this data to emerge?

Well, at the moment I’m applying a deep learning algorithm to large amounts of text.  The output of the algorithm is a syntax tree – the kind of thing that an English language researcher might draw. Using this, the computer is able to “understand” the content of the text and pull out useful bits of information, which can be stored in a database for humans to explore.  Ultimately the plan is to feed this database back into a machine learning algorithm to find patterns, and insights, hidden within the data on a larger scale.

 

How can this be applied to Land Insight?

Once you’ve built all this data which is useful for people making decisions you can begin to automate the insights people want from it. So if you are looking to find a development site and you have all this information about a plot of land, in principle you could teach the machine to find the kind of sites people are looking for to provide them with more leads. In the meanwhile, we’re use it to scale up improving accuracy and display data more easily for people.

 

Are we really in the next industrial revolution?

I think over the next few decades we’ll see a number of industries automated. If cars can be automated in the next few years then public transport, taxi drivers, infrastructure will see a significant percentage of people are out of a job. And the same could be true for basic construction or building. Why have a man put cement on bricks and then bricks on bricks if a robot could do it? Of course every industry has its own quirks which will need human input but the bottom line is if a person can do it a machine can do it, it’s just a question of how much time do you want to spend building that machine.

 

So AI is coming?

Oh yes. By the time we have full AI it will no longer be a surprise. Over time we will get used to hearing ever more news stories of machines supposedly passing the Turing test (the ability for a robot to trick a human into thinking it’s also a human) – it’s just a question of how intelligent the robot has to pretend to be. In fact, I watched a robotics competition last year where the robots had to demonstrate how they would help in an emergency scenario (like the nuclear disaster in Fukushima)  – the first time you see a robot get out of a golf buggy you are like “oh my god, that robot was sitting in a golf buggy, and now it’s standing up outside it”, but after watching another couple of robots do it you are no longer impressed or surprised. In the space of a few minutes you completely change your view of what a robot can and should be doing. Over the next years, we’ll just adjust what we expect: “ of course you can speak to your phone and have it give you a good answer or have it give you a medical diagnostic. Of course you can have your house built for you by robots”.

 

But will a robot ever say “no, I don’t want to do that, I want to do this instead!”?

I have no idea. There’s no reason why robots have to replicate our version of cognition. But it might be that certain aspects of our cognition are important and that gives them their own will. It might just say “no, I don’t like you, I’m just gonna go and sit in the corner and read the paper”

 

What appealed to you about Land Insight?

I looked at a lot of different startups in the last few months and most of them didn’t seem like they were doing anything exciting but Land Insight is solving a real problem, and to an extent has already part solved it.

Being able to solve a real world problem by making data easier to access and easier to explore really appealed to me and is a highly valuable service to developers and the wider population.

 

And what are your ambitions outside of work?

I have been learning Russian so have been organising with some of our freelancers to do practise sessions after work.

 

Come on, don’t forget your weightlifting ambitions

Haha, I haven’t done anything for a couple of weeks. I’m up to 120 kgs now though.

Planning System Hack on 2nd December

On 2-4 December, Land Insight is hosting a new innovation event ‘Planning System Hack’.

Join us for a weekend of problem solving using planning applications. Come along to meet people, explore solutions that use planning applications that have a real impact or just because you are interested in the way that data is changing the built environment professions. The event is run in partnership with Future Cities Catapult and is a not-for-profit event.

Our Partners:

Supported by:

                

 Future Propery Tech    Geomob London   Design Buildings Wiki

REGISTER NOW

Why?

Planning applications are far too hard to access but the data they contain is a treasure trove of information that dictates how and why an area will develop. There is no better crystal ball in to the future than planning applications. They help understand how your house price will change, what you will see outside your front door, how air quality will change in an area, whether you be able to get to work faster, if a new school is coming to an area, how the socio-economics of a place will change and far more beyond these simple examples.

We have gone to great lengths to extract the data from the source, aggregate it, clean it, standardise it, map it and make it availabe from one single, easy-to-use location: our API.

We use the data to help property developers understand the history of a potential development opportunity and it’s surroundings. This lets our users understand council precdents, what use a site is designated for, whether there are risks attached to the site, if there are any stalled or failed sites they can bid on, and so they can see comparable projects which indicate what you might be able to achieve on it. But there is far more potential from the data.

Our company alone cannot extract all of this value from this data, so we are holding a hackathon to encourage innovative solutions to be made.

 

Who is the event for?

This event is for problem solvers whether they work in the built environment professions, are keen to meet people with an interest in improving the planning system, or if they just want access to a brand new dataset with over 10 million records containing multiple uses across many sectors.

If you have ever thought that planning applications can help you or your work, this event is for you! If you ever wanted to have first mover advantage on a brand new dataset, this is for you! If you want to help tackle social and environmental problems, this event is definately for you!

 

 

Register now

Geotech could be as big as Fintech

data is coming from everywhere and unlocking new devices

Alongside some of the other companies that sit with us in the Ordnance Survey sponsored Geovation Centre in London, I recently talked about Land Insight to The Guardian newspaper.

As much as smart phones give access to the world of data online, they also “haemorrhage data” about the world around which they travel. This data adds new layers to the physical world allowing better mapping, measuring of behaviour flows, integration and control of more devices and the quantification of, well, everything. On this nervous system of data the “internet of things” will grow and a greater understanding of the way the world works will evolve (in theory).

There are big bets being made on this web of connected devices – just look at Softbank’s $32billion acquisition of ARM, or IBMs recent swath of investments – but whatever the future holds, “geotech” is emerging and the opportunity for it presents is enormous – “.. as big as fintech” says Alex Wrottesly, head of the Geovation Hub.

Land Insight is leading the way in using geographically accurate data to help find and assess land with development potential that is otherwise too time consuming and difficult to locate.

Here is a link to full article

Planning Applications – fast, mapped, linked to official docs

Before Land Insight, planning applications were time consuming to get at. Held in clunky council websites, you were left having to navigate to the right place then search a slow system. What a waste of time!

There was no way to collect the ones you wanted, so you could see them together on a map. Cross-referencing them against the data you really want to see? Nah.

Yet contained within planning applications are nuggets of gold for those who want to develop a piece of land. Uses include: seeing the designated use of a site, visualising where development is happening, understanding local planning precedents, finding stalled applications and rejected ones with room for improvement. There are many ways they can provide new business opportunities to opportunistic developers.

So we fixed the planning application problem.

We enable cross-boundary, fast, easy access to planning applications back to 1997, mapped and linked to their full official documents.

See for yourself:

We have got huge improvements coming to this part of our product soon. HUGE. I can’t wait to tell you about it. It’s important.

Sign up to be kept in touch.

Use Land Insight for free

“freeeeeeeedoooooooommmmm”

 

In Land Insight HQ we obsess about making the land market more efficient and effective by creating tools to make it easier to find land with development potential.

In our latest drive to push down the barriers to finding good development opportunities, we have created a system that lets you access more of our product, at a cheaper price.

With our referrals program, not only do we reward you for bringing more of your network on to Land Insight, but we reward you for trying. Here’s how it works:

  1. For each new person you invite to Land Insight who signs up for a free trial, you will receive 100 Ownership Credits. Simple. If they don’t become a paying user: it’s no big deal, the act of them having a free trial is enough to give you the credits.
  2. If the person you invited does become a paying customer, we give you a free month use of the product. This is added as account credit at the equivalent value to the month they signed up for.
  3. We give them -25% off the first month as a bonus.

That’s it, other than one quick word of warning: once someone is on the platform, you cannot invite them again, so make sure you invite your network before someone else does.

Here’s how to do it:

  • If you don’t already have an account, make one here
  • Log in to your accounts page on Land Insight ( HERE ) > and go the referrals link (or just click HERE )
  • Fill in the name, address and email of your friend and hit “refer”.
  • Sit back and wait for your credit to arrive. It couldn’t be more easy.

Here’s a link to the full Referral FAQs