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Hanley Wood doubles down on data

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With its Metrostudy acquisition earlier this month, Hanley Wood at least doubled the size of its data-driven business intelligence unit. Hanley Wood Market Intelligence and Metrostudy will be combined into a single entity to be called Metrostudy, a Hanley Wood company, said Chris Veator, who joined Hanley Wood in August as president of Hanley Wood Market Intelligence and will now oversee the combined organization. Although financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, Veator said Metrostudy was larger in terms of revenue than Hanley Wood Market Intelligence. Both collect detailed local market home-building data, along with permit, deed and demographic information used to forecast new-home demand at a local level. “Metrostudy had geographic coverage in a number of markets Hanley Wood did not, including Texas and Florida, two of the largest and fastest-growing home-building markets,” Veator said. “Combined, we now have deep data coverage in 23 of the top 25 U.S. markets.” While Hanley Wood Market Intelligence has been monetized through subscriptions, “Metrostudy has a fundamentally different operating model,” Veator said. “They have 20 regional directors who are responsible for all the sales, all of the research and all of the customer engagement activities in their regions.” Among the services that Metrostudy has been providing are quarterly in-person briefing sessions by the regional directors within their markets. “Metrostudy has done a good job going beyond just selling access to a database; they've created something that is more like a membership model,” Veator said. “A lot of intelligence is shared during those networking sessions, and this model is becoming the foundation for the new company.” Hanley Wood also brings advantages to the newly combined entity, including its much deeper penetration with building product manufacturers. Its media sales team is now being trained and incentivized to discuss the company's data assets with advertisers. Veator said the acquisition of Metrostudy will help meet a critical need for data-based decision-making among manufacturers as they position themselves to take advantage of the recovering housing market. “It is increasingly important that builders and other industry participants make intelligent business and investment decisions at this time,” he said. “The combination of these two businesses under the Metrostudy brand will allow us to produce even better data and analytics to help our customers best decide where to invest capital and how to best mitigate risk.” Hanley Wood also has plans to expand Metrostudy into new customer segments this year. “There are numerous people connected to the housing ecosystem that need this data, from title companies and appraisers to local governments, utilities and retailers,” Veator said.
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