“Exactly how much data do you have?” a high-ranking economic development official asked Dayton REALTORS® CEO Andrew Sims at a recent meeting. Andrew replied, “I am the data!”
Andrew, a visionary who believes market data is key to feeding the housing industry, embodies a growing trend among industry executives. He is reinventing the role his organization plays in the real estate sphere by serving as a catalyst for renewal in underserved communities.
“As a whole, our industry sits and waits too much instead of going out and creating their success,” said Andrew. “At Dayton REALTORS®, we personify the change we want to see in our community. Improved streets and schools, more parks and community centers, good paying jobs, and low crime all contribute to housing. When local governments and Associations join together to improve our communities, real estate agents will reap the benefits.”
And Andrew’s “foot in the door?” Economic, market, neighborhood and demographic data.
“We are actually inserting ourselves into conversations where few REALTOR® Associations have gone before,” he said. “By having tools in which we could say to mayors, city managers, planners and others, ‘We’re the only people who have this depth of data. If you truly want to grow this community, you need to be engaged with us.”
Andrew’s work has earned him and his team a seat at the table in a number of city projects. Working with CityWide, a non-profit organization that develops programs and services to address Dayton’s need for economic growth and viable, attractive neighborhoods, the Association is identifying tipping-point neighborhoods by looking at RPR data such as the history of solds, new listings and other market activity.
Dayton REALTORS® also teamed up with the Montgomery County Land Bank to analyze slow-moving neighborhoods. And in collaboration with the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission, the team created a data visualization project wherein they utilize RPR data to create models for focusing in on dollar investments and public works projects.
“REALTORS® are realizing the power in the data they offer, and we are using it to insert ourselves into housing and community development decisions,” said Andrew. “The RPR data we’ve offered has led several of our partners to engage us in Smart Growth and other grant opportunities through NAR and land use studies. This is all about serving our members, the entire REALTOR® brand, and bringing dollars and growth back to the Dayton region.”