If labor is a resource and population density an asset, Provo would benefit simply from growing. But how do we do that intelligently? This is a particularly important question as Provo currently undergoes rebranding efforts.
This map — which is all about real estate — offers some insights. Though it doesn’t specifically feature Provo, it allows users to click on the largest 100 metros in the country and find out how people are responding to that city’s real estate. (On my computer, the map only worked with Firefox.)
For example, you can either see which U.S. cities have the most number of people looking for real estate in Salt Lake City, or you can see which cities Salt Lake City residents are looking to move to.
This is actually an incredibly valuable tool because it allows us to see and predict the way people are responding to cities. So, for example, the map shows that people in SLC are mostly looking for real estate in Ogden, St. George and Provo. But of those three cities, Ogden is the most popular.
That’s a significant revelation, as it supports the idea that Provo is struggling with its reputation and in its efforts to win workers from other parts of the state. It’s worth noting that no matter what metro you click on, the majority of inbound and outbound real estate searches are regional, meaning people are looking to move only short distances. That means the people we should be trying the hardest to bring to Provo are actually those from other parts of Utah.
In addition, as the second largest metro area in Utah, Provo logically should be larger on the SLC outbound map than Ogden. But it isn’t and that’s proof that we need highly proactive measures to improve.
Finally, by clicking on SLC on the inbound map we can see which parts of the country are sending people to Utah. It didn’t surprise me to see that the biggest circles on this map were Denver and L.A., followed by Phoenix and Orange County. But having that information should allow Provo to market itself with more precision and connect with those consumers in a more meaningful way.