Diversity Explorer highlights regional demographic data
Kim Shindle
Jun 22, 2012
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A new feature on PAR’s website gives members a quick overview of the changing demographics in targeted markets throughout the Commonwealth.

The Diversity Explorer allows members to easily access U.S. Census information and apply that information to their businesses. The site features 39 markets targeted by the Census and 15 categories within each of those markets. A short webcast explaining how to use the site is available.

“PAR’s Diversity Committee is pleased to be able to make this information available so Realtors® can understand how their markets are changing and how they may need to adjust their business practices to meet the needs of these emerging markets,” said Tamer Gomaa, Diversity Committee chair. PAR was able to create the Diversity Explorer with the help of a NAR Diversity Grant.

Strategic Guidance Systems Director of Research Dan Ball, who compiled the data for the Diversity Explorer, said, “As you look at the information, you begin to realize early on that diversity is about so much more than ‘minorities.’ What struck me about the diversity throughout Pennsylvania was that it’s not just about racial and ethnic makeup, but about immigration, ancestry, language and so many other dimensions as well. Each region is so unique that these numbers can have a different impact on what a real estate business looks like in your community.”

As an example, Ball points to the population in Erie. He noticed an interesting trend, with a population of Bhutanese in the area. Following some online research, he learned that the Bhutanese population is increasing by the thousands every year and that their need for housing is growing. “Seeing this information would encourage me to investigate other sites to learn more about the people and their situation,” he said.

Information on the Diversity Explorer has been broken out to show specific countries of origin within the Asian and Hispanic/Latino communities. “Within the Asian market, for example, there may be more Vietnamese residents than Chinese residents in your area. It’s helpful to learn what’s acceptable in negotiating when working with a client from the different cultures,” Ball said. Resources like NAR’s course At Home With Diversity  or the book Kiss, Bow, or Shake Hands help to understand acceptable business and etiquette practices in different cultures.

For Realtors® interested in learning how to navigate the Census website to discover more information down to specific streets, Ball has created a Power Point with easy tips to gaining access to a multitude of information.