Quick Data Without Breaking the Bank: Why a K9 Resorts Franchisee Uses Smappen for Expansion

K9 Resorts is an award-winning luxury dog boarding and daycare franchise founded in 2005 with over 30 locations throughout the United States, including New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas, Florida, and Arizona. They offer cage-free boarding, daycare services with group play, and more.

Michael Dore runs MCD Associates LLC, a K9 Resorts multi-franchisee, currently operates two K9 Resorts locations in Texas and plans to grow to at least eight locations in that market and is looking to expand into other territories. As an operator, Michael’s day-to-day is all about taking care of the behind-the-scenes operations that keep the business growing.

His mission:

  • Identify and research sites for new locations.
  • Streamline operations for existing locations.
  • Set up the franchise for growth.
  • Manage human resources.

The challenge

As a franchisee with a growing business, Michael needed a way to research potential sites for new locations. Finding the perfect site involved multiple factors, including outdoor space for multiple dogs, proximity to habitual locations for his customers (like fast food joints and coffee shops), and demographics like high annual income. But while Michael’s commercial realtor provides sites, Michael likes to dig into the advanced data behind them himself to reduce the back and forth—which is why he went looking for a tool he could start using quickly with no learning curve.

We’re a smaller franchise group and we’re growing. We don’t have the funds to buy one of the huge location intelligence platforms and we don’t have the use for it since we don’t have a dedicated person to work on it. We need data where it’s quick and usable.”

The solution


While Michael gets a ton of support from his franchisor, he also likes to develop his own independent opinion in site selection. Since site research is just one of the many tasks he’s responsible for as an operator, meaning he likes to move quickly. That’s why Smappen is his location intelligence tool of choice.

My realtors or corporate may have some of the information I need, but I sometimes don’t want to wait for the time it takes them to give me my data. If I’m working on a project, I just want to work on it. Smappen is a tool where we can get quick information really easily.”


As Michael’s franchise grows, he’s looking for opportunities outside of Houston, both throughout Texas and in other states. As a Houston native working with a Houston realtor, he can get a ton of information about which neighborhoods he should set up shop in. But he needed a bit more help in other areas, and that’s why he turned to Smappen.

My realtor works with me in Houston, and he’s not going to work with me if I go to Boston, Chicago, or Denver. So I decided to test Smappen. I liked that it was a monthly membership, and you could just sign up and cancel whenever. I like Smappen and it’s been working well for us.”


Smappen has filled a slot as an end-to-end location research partner for Michael and his franchise by giving them access to demographics, point-of-interest data, and more. It’s not just affordability that’s made Smappen Michael’s tool of choice; it’s empowering him to jump in whenever he needs to and do some quick research with a simple UI and dynamic maps.

With Smappen, I just type in an address and I get demographics super quickly. I can look at households over a certain income, then start looking at radiuses to compare the demographics in a one-mile radius versus a five-mile radius.”

The results

  • Quickly filtering sites provided by realtors with location intelligence.
  • Diving deep into demographics research with selected sites.
  • Preventing cannibalization by mapping out catchment areas.
  • Getting a feel for locations without needing to drive by them.
  • Saving budget for use on other operations tasks.


“A lot of location intelligence tools are too cost-prohibitive, and you often have to pay upfront. There’s definitely a larger barrier to entry with some of that data. Smappen is low-cost, it works, and it gives me the information I need. And when I’ve talked to the Smappen team about features I needed, they were rolled out within a couple of weeks.” – Michael Dore, K9 Resorts Franchisee

Get connected with Smappen here