Wooing Amazon: Red Rover, Red Rover Send Amazon HQ2 Right Over

Cities and municipalities across the U.S. are scrambling to put together their portfolios. Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, is looking for a second headquarters. Those up for consideration will include metropolitan areas in North America with at least one million people, a stable business climate, urban or suburban locations with the potential to attract and retain strong technical talent, and communities that think big and creatively.

What will it take to win the affection of Amazon and bring billions of dollars to the local economy? While many would love to call their city a home for Amazon, some locations make more sense than others, especially when it comes to finding the right people for the 50 thousand jobs the behemoth merchandiser intends to create.

REALTORS® have a powerful tool in Realtors Property Resource® (RPR) to help companies like Amazon and others identify business opportunities. RPR specializes in attribute-based site selection by using data sets such as public records, traffic counts, business points of interest, demographic and psychographic insights, and consumer spending data. As the nation’s largest real estate data platform, offered exclusively to REALTORS®, RPR can easily identify where a client’s ideal consumer base lives through the library of data found within Esri, an RPR partner and leader in GIS software.

So the team at RPR set out to analyze the “people data” and insights in support of some of Amazon’s top contenders for the new headquarters. Let’s see how they stack up.

Chicago, IL

  • 21.3% (395,310) have Bachelor’s degrees
  • 14.8% (274,250) have Graduate degrees
  • 13.1% (170,622) have a background in Technology, Engineering or Information Sciences
  • Residents’ income is close to the U.S. average (average household income $74,367)
  • Residents spend a large portion of their wages on rent (average rent $1,340), clothes and the latest technology
  • Unemployment rate is slightly above 5%
  • Residents live close to their jobs and usually walk, bike, take the train, or grab a taxi to get around the city
  • Residents are highly mobile, well-educated, live alone or with a roommate
  • Residents prefer environmentally safe products

Additional Insights:
This is one of the fastest growing segments; the popularity of urban life continues to increase for those in their late twenties and thirties. This segment is willing to take risks and work long hours to get to the top of their profession. They become well informed before purchasing the newest technology. Computers and cell phones are an integral part of everyday life and are used interchangeably for news, entertainment, shopping and social media. Image is important to these consumers. They use the Internet to keep up with the latest styles and trends and shop around for good deals.

Austin, TX

  • 29.6% (171,900) have Bachelor’s degrees
  • 18% (104,554) have Graduate degrees
  • 14.4% (69,397) have a background in Technology, Engineering or Information Sciences
  • Average household income is 81,998
  • Average monthly rent $920
  • Labor force participation rate is exceptionally high at 75.4%
  • Unemployment is low at 3%
  • Almost 1 in 5 residents move each year
  • Close to half of all householders are under the age of 35, the majority living alone or in shared non-family dwellings
  • Median household income is still below the U.S. average
  • Austin ranks in the top 5 for renters, movers, college enrollment and labor-force participation rate
  • Residents are diverse, and favor densely populated neighborhoods

Additional insights:
Millennials comes of age: Well-educated young workers, some of whom are still completing their education, are employed in professional/technical occupations, as well as sales and office/administrative support roles. These residents are striving to get ahead and improve themselves. Smartphones are a way of life, and they use the Internet extensively.

Atlanta, Georgia

  • 27.9% (86,088) have Bachelor’s degrees
  • 20.9% (64,547) have Graduate degrees
  • 19% (41,119) have a background in Technology, Engineering or Information Sciences
  • Residents are predominantly single, well-educated professionals in business, finance, legal, computer and entertainment occupations
  • Average rent is $1,830
  • Average household income is $82,862
  • The unemployment rate is 5.5%
  • Residents are cosmopolitan and connected–technologically savvy consumers
  • Residents are active and health conscious, and care about the environment
  • Residents are affluent and partial to city living– and its amenities. Neighborhoods are densely populated
  • Many residents walk, bike or use public transportation to get to work; a number work from home

Additional insight:
Although single householders technically outnumber couples, this market includes a higher proportion of partner households. Residents are more interested in the stock market than the housing market.

Los Angeles, CA

  • 21.3% (558,688) have Bachelor’s degrees
  • 11.2% (293,280) have Graduate degrees
  • 13.5% (249,774) have a background in Technology, Engineering or Information Sciences
  • Average rent is $2,000
  • Average household income is $81,214
  • The unemployment rate is 5.5%

Additional insight:
Armed with the motto “you’re only young once,” residents live life to its full potential. These educated young singles aren’t ready to settle down; they do not own homes or vehicles and choose to spend their disposable income on upscale city living and entertainment. Dressed head to toe in the most current fashions, their weeknights and weekends are filled discovering local art and culture, dining out or exploring new hobbies. Their vacations are often spontaneous, packed with new experiences and chronicled on their Facebook pages.
Socially and environmentally conscious, they are willing to pay more for products that support their causes. Up-to-date on technology, they explore and exploit all the features of their smartphones. They are attentive to good health and nutrition. Commuting can take up to an hour; public transportation, walking and biking are popular; many own no vehicle. If they own a vehicle, to suit their urban lifestyle (and parking options), the cars they own are subcompact.

Are you a member of the National Association of Realtors®? Take advantage of RPR, your member benefit, today. Use RPR’s Trade Area Report to identify what type of opportunities will work best in a community based on economic indicators, demographic details, and Esri Tapestry Segmentation.

Visit narrpr.com

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