Commentary: How Local Real Estate Pros Can Prepare for ‘Zoom Boomtowns’

It may sound weird, but, in some cases, the pandemic has improved business in America. Many white-collar employees find working remotely more conducive to delivering high-quality work and achieving better overall happiness. With much of the workforce (and many employers) realizing that physical presence at work is unnecessary, families are able to move away from hectic commutes and small, expensive homes.

People can choose to relocate to cities that fit their lifestyle, whether that be dictated by cost of living, being close to family, or availability of extracurricular activities. In fact, migration from cities to suburban areas has become so common that it has been coined in the housing industry as cultivating “Zoom boomtowns.”

A boomtown undergoes sudden and rapid population growth when people migrate there to benefit from working in a localized industry like gold or oil; a Zoom town encounters an influx of citizens who seek the non-work life experiences that a town has to offer while continuing to work for a company that is located elsewhere.

Some emerging Zoom town locations include Austin, Texas; Charlotte, North Carolina; Denver; Nashville, Tennessee; Phoenix; Salt Lake City; Indianapolis; Seattle; Tampa, Florida; Sacramento, California; Columbus, Ohio; and Minneapolis, among many more. Seeking lower cost of living, less people, and more space with better amenities, families are often relocating to cities like these from hours, or even states, away. What is unique about these Zoom boomtown migrants is that they are unable to engage in traditional methods of viewing properties in person, giving real estate professionals an opportunity to explore new remote leasing strategies.


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