Small Business Spotlight: Pandemic uncertainty fuels suburban housing shortage

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WCBS 880 (NEW YORK) -- The housing market has flipped upside down.

As people grow accustomed to new living habits, their housing needs have changed.

Alison Bernstein, founder of The Suburban Jungle Group, owns proprietary software that helps families develop a “home search strategy,” focusing on the neighborhood rather than the housing transaction.

"I think this whole pandemic and the way that we live and the way that we look at life has really shown that thinking about, objectively, all of your options is transforming the way you purchase real estate," Bernstein said on the WCBS Small Business Spotlight, sponsored by Dime Community Bank.

She started the company in 2004 shortly after having her first child when she was considering moving out of the city to New York's suburbs to raise her family.

In her home search, she realized there are three bedroom homes everywhere, but only one neighborhood that best suits each family.

"You want to understand, specifically, the community before you get into the home purchase," said Bernstein.

Her employees are trained to be objective advisors to find the right community fit for each family depending on their lifestyle. For example, The Suburban Jungle Group would recommend a town on Long Island with Little League teams for a family with a young boy who’s interested in baseball. They partner with local agents to make the home purchase.

People are resetting their priorities and Bernstein believes they're catching onto the flexibility of remote work, which has enabled The Suburban Jungle Group to grow, attract and retain talent, and expand nationally. They recently op