If technology enables us to work from anywhere, doesn’t technology enable us to live anywhere? Already, second cities like Columbus, Ohio and Wilmington, Delaware are taking off as tech hub cities and there is every reason to think that other second cities will do the same.

Housing affordability, lower cost of living, job growth and now the “new normal” of tax realities make second cities ripe for population growth and migration.

Head’s up, agents and brokers. Housing markets in second cities like Columbus and Wilmington are taking off. Where there’s business, there’s housing and Columbus has more new businesses that grow to 50+ employees in their first 10 years than any other US metro, according to the Kaufmann Index of Entrepreneurship.

Columbus is blessed with its location. It has proximity to 9 or 10 of the largest GDP producers in the country…producers in places such as New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania…and as a result, Fortune 500 companies. This kind of proximity matters when it comes to attracting investment in new businesses.

Phil George, the co-founder of Mentorclip, a software company as “service” provider, is an example of a business owner choosing Columbus as his business home. George used to live in California but chose to start his company in Columbus to take advantage of its lower operational costs and its new business boon time. “I couldn’t have done what we’re doing in California…being in Columbus makes this business possible,” said George

Wilmington is blessed with its workforce. Two of Wilmington’s largest employers recently closed their doors, leaving highly trained workers without employment. ZipCode, a nonprofit coding boot camp, now retrains those workers…96% of ZipCode’s graduates have found jobs in local Wilmington companies.

Skyline view of Wilmington, North Carolina

According to Tariq Hook, ZipCode’s Director of Education, “…people have years of experience in highly analytical jobs and with a slight pivot in skill set can prove to be highly effective programmers.” These up-skilled workers remain in the area and essentially “pay it forward” by contributing to the city’s ongoing growth.

Portland, Oregon and Tulsa, Oklahoma (also called Techlahoma by some) have and continue to take advantage of business accelerator or incubator programs at their local educational institutions and the federal government’s TechHire initiative. Portland has become a leader in health technology by taking advantage of these programs and a top ten, hot housing market leader

Other second cities taking advantage of tech training programs which require months, not years, of training that partner with private sector companies for open, well paying ($+50,000) jobs include Greensboro, Charlotte, Salt Lake City, Indianapolis, Dallas, Cleveland, St. Louis, Providence, Grand Rapids, Detroit, New Orleans, Jacksonville, etc. to name just a few.

Agents and brokers, check out the Course Report https://www.coursereport.com and the Tech Hire Initiative http://www.opportunityatwork.org/techhire/ to learn in what cities these programs are operating. Reach out to these programs, workers, trainers, students and new hires. Some of these people will likely need homes in your market areas.