Helping Texans through relevant researchHelping Texans through relevant researchGary MalerMaler
2018-12-13T06:00:00ZCenter News

​​I have been reading a lot lately about disruption of companies and whole industries. One statistic stands out. About 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies that existed in 1955 are gone. They’ve gone bankrupt, merged, or still exist as shadows of their former selves and are no longer on the list.

The life expectancy of companies and industries continues to shrink. The pace of disruption is increasing. Innovation and future-proofing are the means to survive.

The Center is adapting in this environment as well. The legislature laid out our mission very clearly when they created us. That mission is still deeply relevant: “Conduct studies in all areas related directly or indirectly to real estate and/or urban and rural economics and disseminate results and findings.” In other words, conduct the research and get the information into the hands and minds of Texans (consumers, real estate professionals, homebuilders, commercial building contractors, attorneys, homebuyers, home sellers, policy-makers, and a host of other stakeholders).

Clarity about an organization’s mission is critical to sustained success. We’ve simplified the way we think about our mission: “Help Texans make better real estate decisions.”

Though our mission (the why of what we do) has not changed, our strategies and initiatives have and will continue to evolve. Here are some examples.

  • We now focus almost exclusively on forecasting—​looking forward and anticipating future business, economic, and real estate activity.

  • Our researchers once worked on projects in isolation. Today that is rare—​collaboration is the new normal. Drawing on the synergy of bright minds and expert observations of many enriches our results.

  • We now think of ourselves as explorers looking for new patterns in business and economic fundamentals that drive real estate activity and whole economies. The underlying fundamentals may have changed or at least the priorities of those drivers shifted. We don’t yet know, but we are on the hunt.

  • Finally, we are experimenting with the best ways to get our findings into your hands. We now think in terms of data visualization, geospatial analytics, and presenting data at the most usable and meaningful local level we possibly can.

We are using every media at our disposal to reach Texans. I’m sure the coming year will bring new, exciting contacts with our ever-expanding audiences. Stay tuned.


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