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Transplant, an interactive website, tells you where people are moving

(REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY) COVID-19 has been stated as the number 1 reason why people are moving; this interactive map gives you a picture of where and why people are moving.

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graph of popular states to move to

Location, location, location. That’s a lot of what it used to be about, right? Most people either liked their hometown and stayed there to work or moved away to attend college or work in another city.

Post college, many of us based our locations on work opportunities. You may have landed in one of the largest cities like Chicago, New York, or Los Angeles if you were working in Media, Entertainment, or Finance. The San Francisco/Bay Area also had a ton of appeal if you wanted beautiful weather and to work in Tech. Then in the mid-2000s to now, there were certain cities that young people wanted to flock to for the work and lifestyles: Austin, Denver, Portland, Seattle and Nashville to name a few.

Since March 2020, many employees and companies have been working remotely. While working remotely (or working from home) isn’t necessarily a new concept (many people have been doing it for years since smartphones and laptops became normal work gear), we just haven’t really seen it on this scale before.

A normal “telecommuting” of the past was maybe work from home one to two days a week and be in the office for a majority of team meetings outside of travel obligations. Many companies are reporting that their productivity has not suffered due to their entire workforce working from home (because let’s be real, most are not working from coffee shops right now) and many larger tech companies have informed their employees that they will work from home for the remainder of 2020, or even indefinitely like Twitter and Square.

So, if you’re no longer required to be in a physical location, does this open up the opportunity to move to a new city?

Check out this new interactive website, Transplant.to, that collects data from folks about what cities they are moving out of, where are they moving to, and why. Some fun stats (keep in mind it requires user-generated content so will not be 100% factual because not everyone is reporting):

“Number 1 reason for moving? COVID.

Average miles that people are moving: 831 miles

Most popular city to move to (and move from): NYC

If you are moving, it’s interesting to see the data they are collecting on people’s why:

  • Want to live with family
  • Family friendly
  • Laid off
  • Growing a family
  • Rent is too expensive
  • Closer to family
  • More housing options
  • Can work remotely
  • COVID

If you’re not moving, you can also submit data around where you’re located and what your reasons for staying put are:

  • Rent is cheap
  • Happy with where you are living
  • COVID

There is no option to say maybe you aren’t moving because you are a homeowner and have no interest in trying to sell right now and/or you don’t know if your employer will call you back to the office so it may seem a little early to pull that trigger to move away.

But that brings up the next question – will companies start letting their employees know that it is OK to relocate and keep their jobs since there are no current plans to return to a physical office? Or will many relocate because they lost their job so there’s not a compelling enough reason to stay in that particular location? If that is the case, can we expect lots more data on this site to show people moving around the country?

It will also be really interesting to see what cities people land in because that means those cities had some kind of appeal (work opportunities or other?). You could predict that some of these will include the more “up and coming” and smaller cities (like those listed in AFAR’s The Best Small Cities in the United States in 2020) such as Reno, Savannah, Naples, and Santa Fe. However, according to the data, it looks like people might also be moving back to where they have family.

There are some companies that have let their employees know and it seems intuitive that some people may want to leave cities where cost of living is high and they could make a nice life in another city. This doesn’t come without some criticism, though.

Facebook, for example, has received some flak for saying they would explore cutting employee salaries to match the cost of living to the new cities they move to. From the employee side, it makes a more appealing case to take your high salary to a city with a better cost of living than stay in your apartment or home where it’s expensive and you can’t even get out and enjoy the city right now.

From the employer side, they are questioning the higher salaries that were normally matched to be competitive and within the cost of living of a city. If their employees no longer need that incentive to say, move to the Bay Area, then they could save money on their bottom line (aka overhead) for human capital.

It almost seems like a pendulum mid-swing. Many people moved to their current location due to work opportunities, but if they are no longer tied to that location, would they consider moving back to be closer to family?

We shall see which way the pendulum swings as we move in to the Fall of 2020. It could definitely look a lot different by 2021, especially after another round of leases are up. Through all the change and challenges, it seems like COVID has made a lot of people reassess what is important in their lives.

Erin Wike is a Career Coach & Lecturer at The University of Texas at Austin and owner of Cafe Con Resume. Erin is fueled by dark roast coffee with cream AND sugar, her loving husband, daughter, and two rescue dogs. She is the Co-Founder of Small Business Friends ATX to help fellow entrepreneurs + hosts events for people to live a Life of Yes with Mac & Cheese Productions.

Real Estate Technology

Power up your daily checklists and task organization with Macro

(REAL ESTATE TECH NEWS) Got a lot of tasks and lists to organize? Macro lets you streamline your repetitive tasks and checklists with its “powerful checklists”.

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Front web page for Macro, super powered checklists, supercharges your team's processes.

If repetitive tasks and checklists are part of your daily workflows, there’s a new tool, which says it can “supercharge your team’s processes.” Macro is a product that lets you create checklists to document workflows, assign tasks to team members, and automate common actions.

Macro checklists are designed to let you complete various tasks in a single tab. Once you’re signed up, you can view and create all your checklists in the “Library” section. To create a new checklist, you simply select the “Create New” button on the top right.

In the Checklist Editor, you can configure your checklist to fit the process that best works for you. You can build a comprehensive workflow by adding a task-type menu, form, or file upload field.

Macro checklists let you use variables to set up custom fields that will be filled out by anyone who runs your checklist. This helps enable templated actions you can use over and over again. For instance, you can create a variable called “Name”. If you’re sending out a Welcome email for your subscription service, you can add the “Name” variable to it, and the name of the new subscribers will then automatically appear in the email.

After your checklist is ready, you can hit save and start adding automation to your checklist by defining a trigger and its action. For example, you can pre-define which tasks are assigned to a certain team member. So, when a checklist is run, it will automatically be assigned to that person. You can even specify dependencies for each task. If Task A and Task B need to be completed before Task C can begin, they will remain inactive until the dependent tasks are marked as complete.

When your checklist is polished and ready, you can invite people to view or edit it. And, after you start running your first checklist, you can use Macro’s built-in reporting to keep track of your progress and view metrics in the Tracking section. From there, you can see what tasks are completed and which ones are pending. If needed, you can also set deadlines for each checklist and reminders for each task.

Macro also offers templates for common use cases, such as employee and customer onboarding, podcast workflow, and new candidate on-site process. Right now, it is still in public beta so it’s free to use. On the company’s website, it says Macro “will always offer a free version.” However, what features the “free plan” will include aren’t clear, but enterprise plans will be announced soon.

Overall, Macro is easy to use, and it packs a lot of punch in a neat little tool. If you’d like to give it a test drive, you can sign up on the company’s website.

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Real Estate Technology

What you need to know about no-code vs low-code (and what it means)

(REAL ESTATE MARKETING) The no-code movement is putting more power in the hands of folks with zero programming skills. So what makes it different from low-coding, and what choice is right for your business goals?

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An overhead look at a person working on a no-code website on a laptop on a desk.

It is tricky to grasp the distinction between no-code and low-code. The two terms are often lumped together, but considering the disrupting influence these ideas have had in the tech world, the modern marketing professional ought to understand the difference if they want to explore this movement for themselves.

Both styles of programming are about expediting the app creation process, and enable the creation of surprisingly sophisticated code for your business without requiring any coding expertise.

Rather than focus on what these two styles are, they are more clearly distinguished by who they are for.

Jason Bloomberg of Forbes put it succinctly: “In the No-Code corner are the ‘citizen developers’ – business users who can build functional but generally limited apps without having to write a line of code. The Low-Code corner, in contrast, centers on professional developers, streamlining and simplifying their work – delivering enterprise-class applications with little or no hand-coding.”

Low-code refers to more complex tools that rely on the user having some understanding of programming to utilize. Stripe, a payment software, is an example of a low-code program, and seamlessly integrates with third party tools. Excel could even be considered low-code, considering how certain actions can be easily automated with some coding and math knowledge. But getting the most out of these programs is a challenge for programming outsiders and newcomers.

Enter no-code – much like Google Translate can help you communicate in a foreign language, the no-code movement is bridging the gap for innovators who have ideas but little to no coding experience.

As the name suggests, no-coders don’t have to learn a language in order to get started building automated processes. With tools like Zapier, creating a program relies on a simple graphic interface rather than written lines of text (which means no typing!)

That simplicity comes with tradeoffs, though. No-code expedites the process of writing more basic apps, and its offerings are fairly industry-specific.

(And just to add another layer of confusion, there are also “hybrids” like that sit somewhere in the middle between no- and low-code.)

You aren’t going to instantly turn into an expert hacker or anything, but if you want to build simple functions, like automated sequences based on incoming emails, no-code is a perfect choice.

All this to say, there are plentiful options in the codeless world for curious people of all skill levels. Yet ironically professional developers may stand to benefit the most from the no-code movement. Having these tools be widely available means potential clients are also able to explore, on their own, how their ideas translate to the app environment.

Or, as creator of MakerPad, Ben Tossell, puts it: “[No-code means that developers] won’t be wasting their time on projects that don’t work. People should have more conviction around the thing they’re trying to build before they speak to the developer.”

The potential for this technology still has yet to be fully unlocked but as it matures and becomes more well known, it’s sure to keep changing the tech game. If you’ve ever been curious about the power of code but are hesitant to spend months studying a programming language, there has never been a better time to dive in.

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Real Estate Technology

Could your office benefit from an open floor plan?

(TECHNOLOGY NEWS) Science proves that open floor plans are more conducive to office productivity, but will it work for everyone?

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open office

If you walk into a tech startup, nine times out of ten you’ll find an open seating / bull-pen style seating. Whereas traditional work environments are divided up into departments with individual offices and cubicles, open offices have floor plans that put all employees in the same room. Studies have shown that cubicles don’t increase productivity. As a matter of fact, people are more productive when they are sitting close together, but can see each other.

Pros of openness

Some of the advantages of an open office floor plan are obvious. These kinds of offices are economical because you can fit more people and more desks in less space, and because it is more efficient to heat, cool, and light one large room than several small rooms.

Open office plans also facilitate communication between managers and their employees, and between departments.

Rather than taking the stairs or hiking down the hall to collaborate with another person, you can simply holler across the room.

Cons of openness

Unfortunately, all of that hollering can sometimes be pretty distracting. A University of Sydney study found that half of workers in open offices say that the most frustrating part of their workplace is the “lack of sound privacy.”

Open offices are not only noisy, but are also less secure, since everyone can overhear one another.

Employees may get peeved if they can’t concentrate because of all the noise around them, or can’t make a phone call without being overheard.

Dr. Who inspired solution

A startup called Framery Acoustics offers a solution.

They create soundproof phone booths and meeting pods designed to complement open office floor plans.

One of the founders, who previously worked in an open office, complained that his boss talked too loudly on his cellphone. His boss replied, “Well, get me a phone booth.” Thus, Framery Acoustics was born.

Simple solutions

Framery Acoustics is just one company that offers a product suited to appease open office dissenters. Framery Acoustics isn’t ready to give up on openness and neither should you. So, when it comes time to return to your office (if you haven’t already), look for ways to make your office more flexible. Whether it is by providing a quiet capsule for private meetings and phone calls or just having a designated section for meeting, the solution is out there.

Compromising allows you to reap the benefits of an open office plan, while still ensuring that you and your officemates have privacy and quiet when it is needed.

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