Why real estate should pay attention to Fedoras | Spatial Update #5

Lyden Foust
Jul 31, 2016 · 3 min read

The halfway mark of the Techstars program is in the books. If the second half goes as well as the first we are in for a wild ride these next six weeks. Most of the progress we have made in the past week has been under the hood with product, and under NDA with clients ;).

But for the record, I want to tell you how we learned banks need to pay more attention to fedora’s.

Fermentation, fedoras, and brisket

A fortune 500 banking company seeking to identify up and coming areas before they increase in value reached out to see if we could provide foresight with social indicators. Having “exhausted” traditional lag indicators like demographics and business data, they sought a new source to intelligently underwrite loans to the right areas.

This is something that we were seeing organically in the data early on. The thought of helping banks to underwrite loans to areas traditionally seen as “bad” by lagging data aligns with our mission to unlock progress in cities.

We are in the final stages of an MVP that allows us to illuminate areas with a high likelihood of increasing in value based on social patterns of other “emerging” areas. And the data is fascinating. Among a host of other factors, we learned that when you have fermentation, fedoras, and brisket happening in the same neighborhood… Get ready to see rents climb.

Location intelligence layer — answering hyperspecific questions

Presenting to one of the automotive companies here in Detroit I recently had an insight about the real value of our data. In reality, what we have built has very little to do with artsy or foodie areas, or even maps. What we have built is a layer of location intelligence that can answer hyper-specific and context relevant questions. Query the tool and it gives you the answer.

In this example there are four criteria: Time (Friday 5:00), event, family-friendly, and near an organic restaurant. On this day there is one option where all four criteria hold true, and so the suggestion would be; “Go to Aladdin at the New Amsterdam Theatre”.

What would have taken 10 hours of research. Just took one second.

Restarting the Motor City

A little bonus last week was getting to do an hour interview with Long Haul Films for an upcoming documentary, Restarting the Motor City. They were particularly interested in the facet of Spatial that captures the evolving emotional footprint of cities. It has been fascinating watching the Detroit data move, it paints a picture very different from other cities. What will be even more incredible is seeing what we learn from the rise of this city that can be applied to others.


We’re focused on changing how humans experience maps. Spatial is building a future that empowers people to know cities like a local anywhere on earth. To achieve this, we build interactive and dynamic social layers directly into maps through a human-driven, machine-assisted analysis.

Interested in enriching your application with real-time hyperlocal understanding? Come schedule a demo and we can chat.

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