Friday, April 19, 2013

Is Your Home Where The Jobs Are?

Here is still another instance of why Market Research for real estate agents and companies needs to be more comps and local home sales statistical comparisons.

Earlier this week, an urban research report showed some data which could be of use to realty agents in the suburbs surrounding Kansas City. So far, not one of them, that I know of, has jumped on this yet.

A report from the Brookings Institute shows that over the past six years, Kansas City is going against the national trend and showing more employment moving to its suburban areas instead of downtown or the "core area" of a large city. The percent share of jobs in Kansas City's "core" for the year 2010 was 6% lower than the national average among the 100 large cities studied for this research.

If you are looking to sell a home in a K.C. suburb, or are an agent representing a seller in that area, you should be all over this information. A chart from this report shows that, as of 2010, there were roughly 200,000 more jobs located "10 to 35 miles from the city's core area" than there were "3 to 10 miles from the city's core area".

Where there are jobs, there will be people with reasons to move into the area. Agents looking to sell homes should be aware of where the jobs are, whether a specific large company is hiring, new businesses are opening, and/or commerical buildings are being built. It's not just Kansas City, as every market sees the occasional news story about a business expanding or entering a market, or perhaps moving from downtown to a suburb or vice versa.

Yet, I don't see this research reflected in property listings. An advertisement for a home could just as easily say "Next to XYZ Electronics, Benson School District. 3 bed 2 bath, attached garage, yard". Even that one sentence paints the picture of "Family could live near the job, reduce commute time, send the kids to a decent school, and not have parking issues".

In this instance, that information could be far more important to a potential buyer, who may only look at the advertisement for the property for a few quick seconds. If the ad instead starts with the usual "3 bed 2 bath, new carpet, large kitchen......", someone now working at 'XYZ Electronics' might not even see the most important benefit and continue through the endless list of homes which may or may not reach his/her critieria.

This is how knowing where the jobs are (or are going) is important toward finding the hot button for a potential buyer. It doesn't matter how many or how few homes in that area sold a year ago. The potential buyer needs reasons to consider a specific home today. Those reasons often require some market research. And employment is only one avenue.

Start finding out about employment trends near your home. Follow the business news for information about commercial development, and business relocation.

Why should a potential buyer look at your area instead of downtown? Or look at downtown instead of the suburbs? Unless you give them reasons, your home will be "just another" listing.

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