The trade group will be able to use “pre-move” data to inform reports on migration patterns and housing demand.

With “the great reshuffling” underway as people with increased flexibility to work from anywhere move to homes that better fit their needs, relocation trends can be hard to spot in real time.

To tackle that problem, the moving app Updater has partnered with the National Association of Realtors to provide the trade group with anonymous, aggregated relocation data, Updater told Inman in an exclusive Tuesday.

New York-based Updater helps homebuyers tackle moving-related tasks such as hiring a moving company, forwarding mail, changing utilities and connecting their TV and internet service. Real estate agents can pay $149 per year to offer a branded version of the app to their clients.

NAR’s venture capital firm Second Century Ventures has invested twice in Updater. In 2014, Updater closed an $8 million funding round in which SCV contributed $1.97 million, representing an 8.7 percent stake in the startup. Updater was one of seven companies in the inaugural 2013 class of REACH, NAR’s tech incubator. In February 2020, Updater secured an additional $20 million in equity funding, led by SCV.

Now, NAR and Updater have signed a deal to provide the trade group’s 1.48 million members with “unique and comprehensive real-time, pre-move data” that Updater obtains in part through partnerships with hundreds of real estate companies, including brokerage, mortgage, multifamily and more.

NAR will be able to use the data to inform its trend forecasting and reporting efforts and empower Realtors “with actionable insights they can’t get anywhere else,” Updater said in a press release.

“Real-time insight into relocation trends and forecasts will allow NAR’s Realtor members to leverage new, sophisticated tools to serve their clients,” said David Greenberg, Updater’s founder and CEO, in a statement.

“Moreover, NAR’s ability to access pre-move data for the first time will only further establish the organization as the housing-industry leader that consumers trust most. We look forward to continuing to deepen our long-standing relationship.”

Because the data comes from fully-verified movers, it doesn’t suffer from the timeliness and accuracy problems that can occur when tabulating mail forwarding forms, which are not real-time and exclude moves that are not designated as permanent, according to Updater.

“Updater also engages movers weeks prior to a move, meaning its data can be used to predict with greater accuracy where people are migrating in the U.S.,” the company said.

The specific data that Updater will provide NAR includes:

  • Proprietary pre-move timing data
  • Homeownership vs. rentals
  • Origin and destination home size
  • Origin and destination addresses
  • First-time homeownership identification

As part of the deal, NAR members will have access to both national and local moving data, including exclusive, Realtor-only content, the company said. NAR will also be able to use the data in its reports for consumers. NAR will publish the data, credited to Updater, on its economics blog and in an internal portal for members where the trade group will create a designated section detailing the coming month’s moving trends.

“We are very pleased to have access to data trends related to migration patterns across the country,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, in a statement.

“The information is much timelier than government data on population movements. Therefore, the use of Updater proprietary information will provide invaluable research about changes in residential location and of housing demand at the local level.”

Updater declined to comment on how much NAR will pay for the relocation data.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with a decline to comment from Updater on terms of the deal.

Email Andrea V. Brambila.

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