Is housing in Southeast Minnesota affordable if you’re working a minimum wage job? And what should city planners do to sustain and build developments that ensure the community continues to meet the needs of its residents?
That is what Karen Becker, CEO of Southeast Minnesota Realtors, set out to learn as she worked her way into the region’s annual housing summit, one, she remarks, that didn’t invite real estate professionals to attend.
“It’s ironic that our elected officials would meet to discuss the future of housing in our area and not consult the very folks that hold all of the data they need to make informed decisions,” said Karen. “Realtors® are the technology information holders of today.”
To earn her seat at the table, Karen presented congressional staffers with RPR’s Local Area Economic Report which offers consumer tapestry data, demographic and lifestyle information, and economic trends for congressional district boundaries or for an entire state.
Karen views the report as a conversation starter and long-term relationship builder. “While at the housing summit, I handed the report to staff and mentioned that I’d be happy to provide them the information on an ongoing basis,” she said. “They immediately asked if I could run more reports, this time for different areas.”
“RPR’s Economic Area Report gave us a voice among members of congress and community planners who now see our Association, and Realtors® in general, as information providers who can help shape conversations about the future of our communities.”
Karen said the report has become a mainstay among her government affairs director who takes it everywhere he goes. “For areas large and small, the report’s population segmentations, best business data, and demographics are invaluable assets when it comes to planning for growth.”
To pack even more punch, RPR recently announced users now have the option to include NAR’s quarterly Congressional District Reports into the Economic Area Report. The enhancement allows users the option to provide meaningful data in one persuasive, all-inclusive report, and from within RPR.
NAR’s Congressional District Report contains real estate and mortgage data to provide information about the status of home ownership, trends in the real estate market, and the economic conditions that underlie the demand for housing. The tool provides a clearer picture of the size, scope, and composition of the real estate market potentially affected by legislative and regulatory changes being considered by the government.
Economic Area Reports are available to Association or MLS staffers who are granted access on behalf of the association, including branding provided during the Dashboard registration process. Realtor® volunteer leadership can also be authorized, such as presidents, president-elects, or chairpersons.