By: Emily Line, Vice President, Commercial Services, Realtors Property Resource®
Demographics and Psychographics
In todays’ business landscape, it’s key to understand basic people characteristics, no matter the geography, and crucial to have a greater perspective on attitudes, lifestyles, and behaviors to ensure economic viability. As a result, demographics and psychographic information are now integral to a commercial practitioner’s workflow. Clients expect detailed analysis to determine site selection and commercial practitioners are accustomed to accommodating them by studying market stats such as age, income, and education in an effort to gain clarity on potential purchasing powers or employment capabilities.
More than ever corporate culture and employee happiness, productivity, and retention are at the forefront of many business discussions. REALTORS® can provide indispensable expertise to clients by researching a market for existing amenities, entertainment opportunities, and community interests. RPR® demographics provide a detailed understanding of who buys the client’s product or service, and its psychographics further explain why they are buying.
Your Data At Work
RPR®’s demographic and psychographic stats are forecasting further migration to the suburbs – and with good reason. Millennials are driving Urban Suburban growth across the U.S. Suburban communities nationwide have risen to the challenge of providing the live-work-play lifestyle required by this demographic. “Downtowns” created from five-story, mixed-use developments are the hallmark of suburban communities looking to attract young, educated residents aging into parenthood.
Since it’s a hot topic of conversation, let’s take a look at a few of Amazon’s remaining suitors and evaluate the “people stats.” U.S. Census Bureau data combined with RPR® drive time and distance measures reveal Americans are still driving to work, with the average commute time being 26.4 minutes each way. So it’s reasonable to assume that a portion of the 50,000 people who will work at Amazon HQ2 will commute from outside of an urban downtown. Thus, when it comes to evaluating Amazon’s options, solely examining the urban core of each city on the HQ2 “Top 20” list doesn’t offer a complete picture of a metro area.
In the Midwest, data gleaned from RPR® reveals why three suburbs of cities stand out as communities to which Amazon should pay close attention. Let’s take a look at these populous areas where many employees might inevitably live.
Dublin is Columbus’ most populous suburb, with a population of just under 45,000 and a picturesque downtown that feels surprisingly urban despite the well-kept landscaping only found in a suburb. Average household income for Dublin residents is $151,135 and a staggering 79 percent hold college degrees. These are career professionals who have prospered through the Great Recession. To maintain their upscale suburban lifestyles, these goal-oriented couples often commute far and work long hours. However, their schedules are fine-tuned to meet the needs of their school-age children. They are financially savvy: investing wisely and benefiting from interest and dividend income.
Fishers is the fastest-growing suburb of Indianapolis, with a population of close to 91,000. Money recognized Fishers as “The Best Place to Live in America” in 2017, which isn’t surprising considering the revitalized downtown and brand new IKEA store. With a median age of 34.5, the population skews younger than its Midwestern suburban counterparts. Fishers has also made a name for itself in the technology sector, as the first city-funded IoT lab in the US will open this spring. Young professionals with families who have opted to trade-up to the newest housing make up the dominant population segment – one that is well-educated with a running start on prosperity and a higher proportion of mortgages
Naperville is the most prominent Chicago suburb and a large percentage of Naperville residents work in the professional, scientific, and technical fields. Recent investment in entertainment gives its 144,600 residents exciting local options, though downtown Chicago is only a 45-minute train ride away. Average household income is $140,250, and, like Dublin, the dominant population segment is career professionals with upscale suburban lifestyles. In addition to traditional suburban homeowners, though, many prefer to live in condos, townhomes, or apartments as they change jobs often within Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math fields.
Regardless of where Amazon decides to place its HQ2 location, any company debating a new site should examine the surrounding suburbs. With RPR®, REALTORS® can be the data expert who conducts the study before these companies spend thousands of dollars for this depth and detail – giving you the edge over your competition.