Acting on a valid trend – the direction in which something is changing – goes to the heart of sound decision-making. In fact, trend-based knowledge can add a whole new dimension to making big decisions, like selling or buying a home in an unfamiliar part of the country.
Real Estate and Relocation Services generally rely on legacy data from trusted sources such as the U.S. Census Bureau, moving company surveys and Multiple Listing Services (MLS), to help real estate and relocation clients zero-in on the area, neighborhood and home of their choice. The Census Bureau provides a wealth of overarching facts about area income, schools, employment and more. Moving companies can tell you in aggregate where people moved to and from in a given period. MLSs nationwide, which report information on properties in virtually every city and town, can introduce buyers to potential residences that meet their specific requirements.
Third-party services provide cost-of-living comparisons (COLA reports) that develop geographic salary differentials, regarding transportation, income taxes, housing, and goods and services.
If a person is preparing to move, how can trending data work for them?
Alternative Data Offers Valuable Clues
Trend-based knowledge is an alternative data set that adds dynamic context to data from traditional sources that are generally based upon snapshots of things that have already taken place.
For example, Real Income powered by ADP® – a cloud-based online platform that uses anonymous, aggregated pay data of more than 30 million U.S. workers whose pay is processed by ADP – provides relocation companies and their clients with insights into what is coming next, down to the neighborhood-block level.
What if you knew early on that a lower-economically-developed area was bursting with potential to become an up-and-coming place to live and work? Or, what if a neighborhood that currently appears economically stable might have peaked and is getting ready to lose value? With the right clues in hand, buyers would be in a better position to make an offer – or take a pass – on a distant new residence.
Benefit From Trends Before They Materialize
Migration data reflecting anonymized, aggregated pay data at both employer and employee levels, can help provide answers to pivotal questions that may affect a prospective real estate move – and influence the “happiness” quotient of a relocation client.
An alternative data set would allow you to spot trends before they materialize by answering questions like:
- Is the migration of employees to and from a prospective relocation area resulting in a higher or lower median area income?
- What industries do these employees work in? Are they higher-paid professionals or healthcare workers with more moderate incomes?
- Do current buyers in the market prefer rentals, condominium ownership or standalone single-home residences?
- Is there an appetite for new construction?
- Are there sufficient residential units available to meet demand?
The fact is markets are changing all the time. They are part of an evolving economic landscape. As some areas lose their luster, others are gaining greater prosperity. Bottom line: alternative data sets – which augment existing legacy data – can help you and your clients shape more-informed decisions about where the next chapter in their lives is about to take place.
By: Lois Johnson
Lois Johnson has over 29 years of experience in both Real Estate and Relocation. Licensed in NJ and NC, she leads ADP’s Real Estate Brokerage Company and heads up their Domestic Mobility Program. She has lead a wide-range of initiatives including a start-up real estate office, Corporate Real Estate Affinity and Domestic Mobility Programs with the goal of providing a superior client experience while strategically aligning with Talent and the Businesses she supports to mobilize the right talent, to the right place at the right time.