Florida Realtors economist: Need to find an untapped source for new clients? Look past your own turf to the largest source of movers coming from a different county or state. If 10% of your new residents come from Any County, N.Y., spend some marketing dollars in Any County.

ORLANDO, Fla – Most movers tend to be from your own backyard. If your marketing efforts are already solid in your area, it may be worthwhile to expand your boundaries. Check out the proportion of movers moving from outside your county – there could be new doors to clients in a neighboring county or even in another state.

To spend marketing dollars wisely, consider where movers originate.

Excluding movers from abroad, about one-in-five Florida movers within the United States arrived with out-of-state license plates, according to the 2019 American Community Survey. A similar trend is observed using the 2019 permanent individual and family change-of-address (COA) filings from the United States Postal Service (USPS).

Permanent change-of-address filings can be a proxy for migration, but it isn’t a perfect measure. The USPS only tracks intra-country filings. Further, individuals represent one mover, but a family filing indicates an indeterminate number of movers. The 2020 American Community Survey results are not yet derived, but the latest change-of-address forms have been tallied and can provide insight into more timely migration patterns.

Florida’s top states for permanent residential COA filings in 2020 are New York, Georgia, California, New Jersey and Texas. These states were the five largest in 2019 as well. Bit before blasting the Big Apple with your contact information, take a look if New Yorkers should be your prime target.

Florida map with circle graphs showing relocations

New York is king in Central and South Florida, but Georgia movers are prominent in the northern part of the state. Alabama and Texas stake a claim in the Panhandle. Not to be forgotten, some Midwestern states (Michigan and Ohio) squeak into a number one spot. Along with Indiana, Illinois and Pennsylvania, the states near the Great Lakes are silent contributors in the second, third and fourth place for many counties.

With knowledge of the top origin state for your area, the volume of filings will factor into your marketing equation. Is there enough movement to warrant further analysis of how to target these out-of-state buyers? Another perspective to consider is the proportion of filings. Even with a large dot, Miami-Dade’s movement from New York are only 2% of its filings.

To see a more complete picture of migration outside your county, use the Census Flows Mapper. The latest data represent 2014-2018 but the tool provides the most robust information on migration patterns. A good marketing strategy should consider both the volume and proportion of movers, as well as advertising saturation from competitors.

Lest overlooking a larger target, the remaining four-in-five Floridians moved from somewhere in the Sunshine State. These moves could be intra- or intercounty, and the majority of filings for most Florida counties tend to be within the county itself. But in many cases, movement from an adjacent county is worth exploring.

The following table presents which Florida county contributed the most permanent residential COA filings in 2020. Many counties show a sizable portion of moves (up to one quarter or more!) outside the county itself but just next door. For instance, 23% of Clay county movement was from neighboring Duval county.

Chart showing moves between Florida counties

Even small percentages, like Broward’s 11% from Miami-Dade, may be a significant pool of connections (over 17,000 filings).

Real estate is ripe with opportunity – so reach out and grab it! However, a word of caution: the permanent change-of-address filings data reveal migration trends, but it doesn’t guarantee the person moving is a buyer. On the other hand, renters unfamiliar with your area could benefit from Realtor® services too. If appropriate, apply the knowledge of the best out-of-county and state networks to widen your scope.

Erica Plemmons is a Florida Realtors economist and Director of Housing Statistics

© 2021 Florida Realtors®

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Author: kerrys