The following blog post is a case study summary of a recently completed project here at RMS. The market potential model study and algorithm referenced in this post was designed and completed by George Kuhn, Director of Research Services at RMS. You can contact him on LinkedIn by clicking here. The project took a total of 8 to 10 weeks to complete.

Background: A local consortium of clients partnered with Research & Marketing Strategies, Inc. (RMS) to conduct a market study of residential property growth in the primary market area (PMA) of downtown Syracuse, NY. The main objective of the study was to determine how well penetrated the Syracuse market was and to determine what potential there is for residential growth.

Predicting Residential Potential

Downtown Syracuse

Approach: The market potential study was broken down into three core components: (1) demographic and trend analysis, (2) competitive assessment, and (3) a telephone and online survey. All three components were combined to build a market potential model which used data-driven assumptions to arrive at research conclusions for this report.

  • To complete the demographic analysis of the this market potential study, Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS) utilized which is an online software supported by data from the official United States Census. Statistics collected in the 2010 Census were then projected using sophisticated models and algorithms to arrive at 2014 estimates and five-year predictions for 2019. To determine a pool of residents that will most likely impact residential living in the Downtown Syracuse area, RMS needed to review two separate Census tracts. Market predictions from the data include basic demographics including population, age of residents, income, and other factors.
  • The mystery shopping component and competitive assessment of this market research study was the second of three crucial pieces to the foundation of the market potential model. A list of over 30 like-properties existing in the primary market area (PMA) was compiled by RMS. It is important to note this inventory only reviews what was deemed to be “like-units” to what developers would like explore adding to the residential market and the 30 properties (both rent and own) are not intended to be a fully representative of all of the offerings within the Downtown Syracuse market. A combination of phone calls, emails, and secondary research completed online was used to obtain critical data on current residential living options in the PMA. RMS professional staff posed as potential prospects and residents interested in living downtown to obtain three key pieces of information: (1) current price and rental ranges offered at the property, (2) current occupancy rates at the property, and (3) other influential amenities offered at the property that might influence the decision to choose it over a competitor.
  • The quantitative surveying component of this market research study was the third of three crucial pieces to the foundation of the market potential model. RMS employed a short survey of approximately 20 questions which lasted respondents a total of three to five minutes. The survey was constructed to better understand resident attitudes, needs, desires, preferences, and interest in residential living in the Downtown Syracuse market. A total of 613 completes were obtained for the quantitative survey. The survey was first sent to RMS’s proprietary Central New York ViewPoint panel which includes over 2,000 residents in the area that are willing to participate in important research studies. Due to the limited number of telephone records available for purchase, additional efforts were needed to reach the downtown market using an awareness campaign that included: (1) the creation of an official letter document endorsed by the clients supporting the need for feedback from residents, (2) social media sharing through personal networks, emails, and phone calls from the clients’ and RMS’s set of contacts, (3) paid boosts on Facebook for the survey which targeted residents within a 5 mile radius of Downtown Syracuse, and (4) targeted phone calls and emails from the RMS in-house call center and staff to large area employers encouraging the sharing of the survey letter and link with staff.


  • The Downtown Syracuse Market Potential Model combined a number of different assumptions, known data points, and variables in an attempt to arrive at answering the objective: How many more additional residential units could be added to the Downtown Syracuse market while still ensuring extremely high occupancy rates? A conservative number, an intermediate number, and a ceiling market potential number was provided to the clients based on the market research. The model provided market potential numbers for current (2014) through 2019 figures.

Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS) is a market research firm located in Central New York. RMS specializes in feasibility studies and using a unique combination of demographic trend data from the U.S. Census, competitive insight, and survey data to create a customized algorithm for predictive analytics. This includes such predictive analytics as estimating residential market potential in a city or region, estimating the number of stores or retail locations a specific area could support, estimating the number of long-term care units a market could support, or estimating how well a product or service would do if it was launched. For more information on predictive modeling projects contact Sandy Baker, Director of Business Development at RMS at 1-866-567-5422 or