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Case Studies

Case Study: Rucker Properties

Marc Smookler

Company: Rucker Properties
Category: Commercial & Residential Real Estate
Based out of: Sacramento, California

• Understanding a new property’s trade area.
• Finding ideal tenant businesses.
• Filling a vacant restaurant space.

• Generate an IdealSpot report for the new site’s address.
• Access IdealSpot’s market void data to uncover promising business categories.
• Map out traffic volume to gauge local travel & dining patterns.


Chuck Rucker has operated a successful real estate business for over a decade. Sacramento-based Rucker Properties holds and brokers both commercial and residential properties, including retail sites, apartment buildings, single-family homes, and undeveloped land.

Recently Chuck was considering a new parcel with vacant commercial space. The site posed a familiar question: How would he fill the empty space? In other words, given the unique needs and characteristics of the surrounding area, what types of businesses would make ideal tenants?

Chuck already had a sense of the direction he might take. But he also wanted insight into the local economy to inform his decision – information like demographics, traffic and travel patterns, and spending habits. He was searching for a way to obtain this data in one place when he came across

IdealSpot’s platform allows users to evaluate locations in a quick self-service fashion. By creating an account and running a location report for his property’s address, Chuck accessed a host of data insights into the property’s trade area. These include not only industry-standard datasets like demographics and average household spending, but also IdealSpot’s unique demand and market void data.

IdealSpot maps out local demand for specific business categories using geolocated online activity data collected from search engines and social media platforms. In Chuck’s case, this data was capturing interest signals from thousands of commuters on adjacent major roadways – potential drive-by patrons of the property’s tenant businesses.

IdealSpot takes this demand data a step further by comparing it to the landscape of existing local businesses in order to identify business categories with the most available or underserved customers. This market gap insight suggests promising courses of action for landholders like Rucker Properties.

These datasets can be collected for a range of areas around a location. As Chuck commented: “I love being able to adjust the parameters of my search.” By specifying a mileage or drive-time radius, users can see information for smaller or larger trade areas as needed.

Chuck also made use of IdealSpot’s traffic heat maps – available via INRIX, the gold standard in US traffic data – to provide road volume data broken down by day of week to the quarter hour. Since Chuck’s property includes vacant restaurant space, directional time-of-day traffic volume can indicate the type of eatery he should market the space to – for example, a morning cafe, a lunch restaurant, or an evening diner.

How did IdealSpot’s insights help overall? Chuck answers: “The report gave me much of the information I needed and helped me understand what kind of tenants would be most successful for my buildings.” IdealSpot aggregates data that simply isn’t available on major CRE brokerage platforms. “I use CoStar/LoopNet, but they did not give me the information that IdealSpot provides. Plus IdealSpot was very easy to purchase… The report pricing is reasonable and the information is immediate.”

When asked whether he would recommend IdealSpot’s platform, Chuck answered yes – “…especially to someone considering a commercial property purchase.”

Curious about how IdealSpot can help point out the highest and best use of your CRE holdings? Visit for more information, or contact our team of specialists.


Marc Smookler
Marc Smookler has founded 6 companies—2 of which have been acquired and 3 of which are market leaders in their respective spaces—the leading brick-and-mortar retail analytics company (, a leading online retailer (, and a cutting-edge marketing services platform ( Marc’s companies have generated over $300M in lifetime revenues and sold over 150,000 products worldwide.

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