Commercial Real Estate Pro’s Five Must Have RPR Tools

One might think that 27 years in the industry would make anyone an expert on virtually anything real estate related. Yet, for Carlos Fuentes (CCIM, CIPS, TRC), the learning never stops, especially in commercial real estate.

“I have to learn everything there is to know about a client’s operation if I’m going to find the right location,” he said. “Then I use stats, maps and reports to ensure the location is viable for that type of business. That’s where RPR never lets me down.”

Asked which of RPR tools and features he finds most helpful, Carlos replied, “All of them! RPR is an incredibly efficient and accurate resource that provides everything I need to know about a commercial or residential property. And I know it’s more accurate than any other resource available in today’s market.”

Here, in his own words, Carlos describes his favorite five RPR tools:

Best Business Report

What he likes:
“I use the Best Business Report all the time. The Esri data goes much deeper than what you’d expect. It breaks populations into segments like household income, male/female, married/single/divorced, etc., but the extra sections like how and where consumers in the area spend their money is invaluable. And the report itself is really impressive. My clients love the graphs that show which business types are over-and-under represented.

How he uses it:
“It’s one of my most powerful influencers. If I have a client that wants to open an ice cream shop, I can run the Best Business Report and show him there’s an abundance of similar shops in the area. But I won’t leave it at that. I might advise my client to open a Dunkin Donuts, or a bakery that serves cakes as well as yogurt smoothies or frozen yogurt—something that gives him a competitive edge. On the other hand, I can also use the report to lead clients into areas where there isn’t such tough competition.”

Carlos’ Tip for RPR Reports
“RPR’s commercial reports are lengthy, as they should be. I like that I can customize them to reflect my brand, add notes, etc. But a lot of people don’t realize that RPR intentionally leaves off the page numbers so that we can further customize the report by pulling out pages that aren’t helpful to particular circumstances. Every single report can be tailored to that client’s needs and interests, including adding our own pages.”


What he likes
“RPR maps are easy to use, intuitive, and have many, many layers of data. Seeing things visually provides greater insights that you don’t get from merely looking at the numbers.

How he uses it
“I use RPR’s maps to identify nearby Points of Interest (POIs). There are hundreds of them in many different categories—manufacturing, government offices, banks, retail, hospitals, restaurants … the list goes on. And hovering over an icon reveals data about that company like sales volume, number of employees, square footage, and year opened.

I can also create heat maps that show breakdowns of household income, age, married/divorced, etc., and depending on where you’re from, the flood zone maps can be really important.

One time I used RPR maps to identify all the churches in an area and then encouraged my client, a pizza shop owner, to send flyers with coupons to all of those churches. Another time I conducted a map search of all available properties within specific ZIPs for a client who was licensed to conduct business in those areas only.”

Crossover between commercial and residential

What he likes
“I work with a lot of international buyers and sellers. Most are looking for a business location first and possibly a residential property down the line. With RPR, I can easily jump between the two, finding the perfect site for their business and helping to identify areas they might be interested in for a home purchase.

How he uses it
RPR residential property searches are easy but still comprehensive. I’ll start by helping my client identify neighborhoods and schools they would prefer, and RPR has search tools for each of those … even reports for each. It shows the client that I have a broad range of resources at my disposal. Being a CCIM makes it easier.

Proximity to their business, home and school is really important so I’ll use RPR maps to identify properties, neighborhoods, and schools within a certain drive time as well.”

More and more reports

What he likes
“A big part of my business is working with franchise consultants. When I show them RPR reports, they are amazed. I’d bet my last dollar that many franchise sources do not have as complete information as RPR provides.”

How he uses it
“Simply, I use RPR’s commercial reports to build my business throughout the franchising industry. The Commercial Trade Area Report, Trade Area Analysis and Property Reports congregate data into one source like I’ve never seen before. It’s also completely accurate. All of these things help me to build trust among my clients. It’s proven.”

Anytime, anywhere access

What he likes:
RPR’s app is outstanding! I have an iPad with Internet and being able to sit in front of a property with a client and do searches or run reports right there is absolutely fantastic.”

How he uses it:
“I was referred to a client that had opened a Dollar Store franchise only three months earlier. The client was critical of the location, which had been suggested by the franchise consultant and a business broker. While at the site, I pulled up RPR reports on my phone and showed him how the location was more than adequate; only his marketing strategy needed direction. That small effort landed me a consulting agreement with the client to help him with marketing and possibly relocating within the same plaza.

About Carlos

Carlos A. Fuentes, Namaste Realty LLC, Lutz, FL, has been involved in commercial and international real estate for the last 27 years, having earned the CCIM (Commercial R.E. Specialist), CIPS (International R.E. Specialist) and TRC (Transnational Referral Certification) designations. His activities have included land acquisition and site development; and office, retail, industrial and second home resort properties in the Caribbean, Latin America and the United States.

Contract and financing negotiations, and market and investment analyses are all areas in which he has gained valuable experience. Carlos has published articles in several national and international magazines and been a presenter at both national and international seminars and panels. He is a member of the NAR Speaker Cadre, a Certified CIPS and TRC Instructor as well as a Federal Court Certified Interpreter (Eng/Span).

6 replies
  1. Chris Rosprim
    Chris Rosprim says:

    RPR is a must have and must tool for us commercial REALTORS. And…it is free and only for us REALTORS. I start every search for a new assignment with RPR and go from there with other tools in my toolbox. Very valuable, user easy friendly and invaluable with more improvements coming and in the works. Thanks NAR for bringing this tool to our use.


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