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New to Stepwise? Looking to explore some filters you may not have in the past?
Our video tutorial is a great place to start! The video is approximately 30 minutes long and provides an in depth walk-through of the service.
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Currently, the Stepwise's search application delivers information for the city of Philadelphia. Stepwise's Premium Reports are available for both Philadelphia and Baltimore City.
Coming Soon: Baltimore County, Maryland, the District of Columbia, and more!
The main page has three primary sub-areas:
By default, the map will display all relevant properties within your geography of interest. Each property is visually represented as one point, and the color of each point represents the property’s estimated physical condition, scaling from yellow (low) to blue (high) where low is unsafe and high is like new construction.
This score is based on a number of data sets to arrive at the most likely current physical state of a property.
The points on the map visually represent the same addresses listed in the results table on the bottom half of the screen, therefore both will change as you apply different filters and search parameters. Note: for mobile users, only the map will appear.
For greater visual detail, you can use the +/- buttons in the top left corner of the map to zoom in (+) and to zoom out (-). Additionally, left clicking on an individual point will activate a pop-up to provide quick details at a glance, with the option to follow a link for more information.
Note: Because each geographic area Stepwise covers is unique, certain filters may or may not be available depending on data accessibility.
On the quest to identify your next successful redevelopment project, filters are your friend. If you’re using a desktop computer or laptop to access Stepwise, the filters menu will appear on the left hand side of the screen, and if you’re using a mobile device you can find the filters by selecting the menu icon (three horizontal dots in the upper right hand corner). Next, you can specify criteria of interest so your perfect match becomes easier to find. Once you’ve activated a filter (or filters), left click the big yellow filter button and the map and results table should update to reveal the results.
Depending how you want to approach your search, you have the option of one (or many) filters related to a property’s geography, physical condition, financial elements, owner accessibility, and more. We’ve included more detail, tips and best practices for each below:
For now, Stepwise’s search functionality only matches a specific address format, which is [Street Number] [Street Name] [Type of Street (abbreviated)]. Using a real life example, this looks like “1500-42 Market St”. That’s it. No city, state, or zip codes necessary.
Alternatively, you can start with more general parameters (e.g. only the name of a street), which will return all results which match the street name, then use the map pan and zoom functionality to manually further narrow down results.
Stepwise uses government records to obtain ownership information and as a result is subject to misspelling which sometimes occurs during data entry.
Geographic boundaries (e.g. neighborhood, zip code, census tract) represent one of the most straightforward and popular filters.
Example: To view all of the properties on Frankford Avenue, but only in the Fishtown neighborhood, you could enter “Frankford” in the address search field, then select Fishtown in the neighborhood filter drop down menu, and finally click the yellow Filter button to see the results!
See below for more context about each of the status filter options:
Properties with evidence of being vacant. This is based upon information from various city agencies indicating which properties are likely to be currently vacant and includes surface parking lots.
Upcoming Sheriff Sale
These are the addresses with upcoming auction dates for Mortgage or Tax Foreclosures.
These are properties owned by different city agencies that are listed in their inventory for possible disposition.
These are properties that, according to the owner on file at the Office of Property Assessment, are owned by a government agency.
These are properties that are owned by a bank or mortgage company or were recently sold at auction to a bank or mortgage company.
These are residential properties with active or recently active rental licenses on file.
These are properties that have been designated as historic on the local or national register.
Upcoming Zoning Hearing
These properties are those with upcoming hearings at the Zoning Board of Appeals.
Zoning & Land Use
You can filter by general zoning classifications - like properties that allow Residential, Commercial, or Industrial Use. Filtering by Residential, for example, will consequently include mixed-use properties that allow for both residential and additional uses. You can also filter by specific zoning classification if you wish.
This metric reflects the estimated physical condition of a property on a scale of 1 to 10 where 1 is close to falling down and 10 is brand new construction.
Pro Tip: If you are a neighborhood association, you may be interested in finding the Owner Occupied properties that are in below average condition and in need of a little help fixing them up. In this case, you could select your neighborhood, check off Owner Occupied, and enter a maximum physical condition of 4.
This metric is an estimation of how accessible the owner of the property might be.
Pro Tip: Depending on your acquisition or outreach strategy, you might be interested only in those that are estimated to be Very Accessible, or, as in the case of Conservatorship, you might only be interested in those where the owner is Extremely Difficult to get in touch with, potentially decreasing the risk of pursuing conservatorship.
For those on desktop, all results are first displayed in descending order by the Current Condition in the bottom section of the screen. If you’re using a mobile device to use Stepwise, you can find the results table by selecting the menu icon (three horizontal lines in the upper right hand corner).
You can click through the various pages of results, jumping to the last page, first page, or pages in between.
You can view and sort results by Address, Neighborhood, Primary Owner Name, Zoning, Parcel Area, and Property Type as well.
If you are a Stepwise user who frequently searches the same set of criteria, saving your search will save you time and energy. To save a specific set of search criteria, follow the steps below:
If you’ve saved a search, you’ll find it listed within your My Account page:
As part of saving a search, Stepwise automatically signs you up to receive weekly email notifications regarding different trends, including the number of properties that meet your criteria that received permits or violations in the last week.
You can create Portfolios of specific addresses to track properties in your care or investment pipeline. You can then export a list to do things like additional analysis, or a mail merge.
Create a Portfolio
Navigate to the Advanced Search area. Enter your search criteria and identify properties you would like to track. Check off the checkboxes to the left of the addresses you wish to include in a Portfolio. Then Click "Add to Portfolio" and then "New Portfolio". Give your list a memorable and functional name and click Okay.
If you are using Portfolios to keep track of your acquisition pipeline, we suggest creating the following:
Primary information for multiple addresses can be quickly exported to a comma separated value (CSV) file for use in mail merges, analysis in Excel, as well as use in other applications like ArcGIS. Paying monthly subscribers get a number of records they can export each month included in their plan. They along with users on our Free plan can pay to export additional records as they are needed.
How much does exporting data cost?
A monthly allowance of exported records is provided to all paying customers and may vary depending on your subscription plan. Additional records can be exported for $0.25 a piece.
To view a record of exports performed by you or your teammates, visit the Account Settings page. This record includes the date of the export, who on the team executed the export, and how many records were exported.
Note: Exported files are for use by your organization only and are not for redistribution or resale as per Stepwise's Terms & Conditions.
To export data, follow the steps below:
For a full list of fields you can export, check out our data export help center article.
Administrators of the organization will receive an email when the organization uses 85% of the monthly export allowance and a second email when the monthly allowance has been used up entirely.
To purchase extra export allowance, you must be an Owner of the account. You can pay to increase your allowance from the Account Settings page or upon your limit being reached. Whatever discount offer you may have in effect is applied to the purchase of extra allowance.
Stepwise’s automated Market Reports are comprehensive analyses that provide additional in-depth information about a particular property of interest with statistics about the surrounding area.
Stepwise makes it possible to obtain reports quickly and easily by neighborhood, a ¼ mile radius, and even your own defined boundary! All charts, graphs, maps, and narrative are then tailored to the geography you’ve selected.
Our reports are available on-demand and interactive. You will then have access to the reports in your account for users across your organization as information is regularly updated and refreshed, however, they do expire after 30 days.
Want a detailed report for your investments? Stepwise is offering exclusive early adopter access only at this time. Drop us a note and we'll be right back in touch with you!
From the search application, click on the property you want to learn more about. This will take to you a basic view with information primarily exclusive to the address at hand. To then purchase the full report, click Purchase Full Report. If you have not already put in your payment information, you will be asked to do so before the report is made available to you.
You have the option to view either a basic property report or an interactive market reports.
What is included in the basic report?
The basic reports contain information about just the specific property. While the available data will vary from city to city, generally the basic reports will include information such as owner information, property assessment, violations, permits, and service requests issued for that particular property.
What is included in the market report?
Stepwise's Premium reports not only include information about the specific address, but boatloads of data and analysis for the area surrounding a property, including the following and more:
Information for the report depends on the geographic location of the address and the boundary of your choosing.
A few super important notes and disclaimers to keep in mind before diving into the details of the specific components available via the market reports:
Once you've decided to purchase the full report, you will be taken to a default view representing the quarter mile radius around the address. Towards the top of the page, you’ll find a dropdown menu right under the property address which allows you to specify the reference area for the report. The options include standard areas such as a ¼ mile radius or neighborhood boundary, as well as a fully custom draw your own boundary tool. Selecting a new geographic area will then reload the full report to reflect statistics for the new geographic bounds.
To draw your own boundary:
All of the content of the report will update to reflect the new boundary, with the exception of Comparable Properties which is agnostic of the defined area.
Recent Sales & Real Estate Taxes
Within this section of the report you’ll find information about the property owner, recent sales within the reference area, changes in the price per square foot over time, as well as the number of annual sales over time.
Comps & Current Estimated Value
Stepwise uses a proprietary algorithm to identify properties comparable to the subject address and estimate its current value based upon the last sale prices of the comps. To estimate the comps we factor in a mix of data points such as recent sales, nearby amenities, and more.
Within this section of the report you’ll find information about zoning and building permits within the reference area, a map of nearby major construction, and a chart detailing the number of major construction permits within the reference area over time.
Within this section of the report you’ll find estimates for the condition of each property within the reference area on a scale from 1 (unsafe) to 10 (brand new construction), information about whether the property is a lot or a structure, a list detailing any recent violations issued by the city relevant to the property, as well as a map of tax delinquent properties within the reference area.
Within this section of the report you’ll find information about the proportion of properties by base zoning classification, a map of the property stock within the reference area, a map of vacant properties within the reference area, as well as a list of nearby large vacant properties.
Note: Stepwise’s definition of vacancy includes existing surface parking lots and considers these lots as undeveloped land.
Rental & Business Licenses
Within this section of the report you’ll find a map of likely rental properties within the reference area, identified via data sets like ownership and business licenses.
Within this section of the report you’ll find information about demographics within the reference area, such as age and income.
Within this section of the report you’ll find information about recent major crimes within the reference area, as well as a chart of violent crime incidents within the reference area year-over-year.
From the time you purchase a market report, the end product will be available to you as well as members of your organization’s account for 30 days. To find a record of those you've purchase, visit your account profile page
Should you want to print a physical copy of the report, you can generate a pdf by clicking the Print PDF button on the top right of the report or select File > Print from your browser.
To view more information about your account, or to make changes (e.g. add a new team member), left click the menu icon in the upper right hand corner and select the MY ACCOUNT option. This link will transport you to the Account Details homepage, which includes a mix of quick access to important resources such as saved searches and lists, as well as administrative tools to manage teams, permissions, and subscription details.
Saved searches appear on the right hand side of the account details homepage. If you have previously saved a search, you’ll find it listed here.
To view all of the lists you have previously created, left click the LISTS link from the options on the left hand side of the page.
To view your account profile, left click the ACCOUNT PROFILE on the left hand side of the page. You’ll find personal account details - including name, email, and date of sign up here. Most importantly, you can also reset your password from this page.
To view details for the organization under which you have a Stepwise account, left click the ORGANIZATION link on the left hand side of the page. See more information below regarding how to use this page to manage teams and permissions for your organization:
Teams & Permissions
Stepwise accounts provide the opportunity to invite an unlimited amount users to join your organization’s account, as well as assign each member of your team to a permissions group which allows or prohibits certain usage of the application. These include:
|Permissions Group||Manage Payment||Manage Team||Search||Export|
Note: While you can view all team members via the Organization link on the My Account page, only members with the requisite permissions can manage or make changes to the account.
Add a Team Member
If you are the Owner or Manager of your account, you have the ability to change the permissions of an active user. Only Owners can designate additional account Owners, while Managers can modify the status of other team members to designate fellow Managers or restrict a user to Member only.
Deactivate/Reactivate a Member
To deactivate a team member's account, visit your My Account page then left click the ORGANIZATION link on the left hand side of the page. Within the Team Members (second) section, scroll down until you locate the user you wish to deactivate and left click the Active toggle next to their name to switch it off. Even though this user will no longer actively be a member of your team, any activity while they were actively a part of your organization will be preserved.
To Reactivate a member's account, left click the Active toggle next to their name. Once active, the toggle should change from grey to blue.
All reactivated users will be automatically reactivated as basic Members. You can then change their permissions should you want to increase their access and permissions to while using the account.
To view details about your current subscription plan, including a history of exports, left click the SUBSCRIPTIONS link on the left hand side of the MY ACCOUNT page. If you are an administrator of your organization's account, you can also make modifications to your plan from here.
Over the course of a year, different organizations experience different needs. Maybe you'd like to add more users who will consequently be utilizing the service more. Maybe you have passed the peak of your acquisition season and will not be utilizing the service as frequently as you were during the height.
We've got you covered!
To modify your plan, you must be an Owner of your subscription. Go to the My Account page and click the Modify Plan button on the left hand side or go to the Pricing section of the homepage. Select the plan you wish to change to. Confirming the dialogue will immediately initiate the transaction. Your monthly export allowance will immediately change to that of the new plan and your billing cycle will change to start on the current date. Any unused export allowance from your current billing period will be added as an extra bundle to your account and will carry over month to month.
Note: If you are not an Owner of your organization's account, you will not be able to change your organization's plan.
Canceling Your Plan
To cancel your plan, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are the Owner of an account with more than one user, canceling your plan will result in the cancellation of all other member accounts unless administration of the account is otherwise transferred to another member.
If you are a Member but not an Owner of an account, you will not be able to cancel your organization's account.
To view your organization's total remaining monthly export allowance, left click the SUBSCRIPTION link on the left hand side of the MY ACCOUNT page.