Transforming LAND-Sourcing Through Technology

Hugh Gibbs is one of the co-founders of a planning and property due diligence platform, Searchland. Central to the land sourcing functionality of Searchland is the ability to allow small and medium sized housebuilders to integrate technology into the way their businesses operate. Hugh has worked in both public and private sector planning roles and applies strong data analytics and visualisations to all his work.

Just a few short years ago, I discussed the evolving landscape of land sourcing, highlighting how emerging platforms like Searchland, were empowering housebuilders and developers to utilise data to enhance their workflows.

These tools weren’t just about finding off-market gems; they were centred around creating sustainable, repeatable processes to help developers free up time and scale activity.

Initially, there was scepticism. Many in the construction industry were a little reluctant to move away from tried-and-tested manual methods, uncertain about the promises of new technology.

But the tide has turned.

Now, we’re not just seeing acceptance of technology; we’re witnessing adoption on an even greater scale.

The changing dynamics of development and land acquisition

Today, it’s not only property developers who are reaping the benefits of digital tools.

The renewables sector, driven by the approach of net zero policy, is rapidly embracing these technologies to locate sites suitable for wind farms and solar arrays too.

The beauty of this tech lies in its versatility – whether it’s analysing the distance to existing energy infrastructure for a renewable energy project or finding the perfect spot for a new housing development, it’s all driven by the same thing. Data.

For us that’s meant getting to understand the fundamental needs of our new users, locating the datasets they require, and presenting it in a way that enhances their site sourcing process.

Innovating land sourcing in the property sector

While businesses from emerging markets begin to enjoy the benefits of land-sourcing technology, early adopters of land-sourcing technology from the housebuilding sector face new challenges.

In the dynamic and often unpredictable world of construction, where economic fluctuations and policy shifts are constant, maintaining a steady pipeline of viable projects is more crucial than ever.

Our solution? Strategic integration.

Understanding the importance of staying ahead in such a fast-paced industry, we’ve integrated on-market data from Rightmove, the UK’s number one property website for properties for sale and to rent.

This groundbreaking integration of live sales and rental data is a game-changer, offering users a comprehensive view of market activity, enabling them to see real-time sales comparables at a glance and anticipate future trends with more accuracy than ever before.

Simplifying engagement with landowners

Remember the old days of property development? When engaging with landowners felt like a never-ending game of cat and mouse?
As developers, we’ve all been there – drafting countless letters, making endless phone calls, and knocking on doors, often with little to show for our efforts.

We’ve revolutionised that with our direct-to-vendor letter system, turning cumbersome communication into meaningful, trackable connections – and completing the site-sourcing cycle under one roof.

This isn’t just a technical upgrade; it’s a complete shift in how users interact with landowners, allowing them to focus on what’s most important – bringing new development projects to life efficiently and effectively.

Embracing a data-driven future

Searchland is more than a technological solution; we believe it is a key driver in solving the economic and societal problems we face – by unlocking the construction projects we so desperately need.

As the UK faces a pressing housing crisis and time ticks toward sustainability deadlines, embracing data-driven land-sourcing solutions like Searchland is no longer a luxury, but a vital ingredient in the development process.

As we look to the future, we’re excited about the possibilities. We’re not just developing technology; we’re shaping the future of property development. Join us on this journey to a smarter, more efficient, and more sustainable world of land sourcing.