Imagine, if you will, that residential real estate was more like commercial real estate and there were no information sharing MLS data exchanges. Your ability to provide accurate CMA's would be greatly impaired if you on had access to information from your own company.
This is the environment that I found myself in when I started a property management company earlier this year. I had to drive the neighborhoods and call signs , check out Craigslist , call up other management companies and pretend I was a renter or spend each Sunday with the paper and a box of markers like a grade school art project.
I believe I know how the first caveman felt when he stumbled across FIRE from a lightning strike. I found a site called "zilpy" that is now called www.finestexpert.com. This site provides Geo based rental comps and the last seen date . these are as accurate as anything I have found today and seem to serve the nation.
The site is primarily focused on real estate as an investment and has a ccomprehensive investment calculator that is pretty easy to use. The site uses some aalgorithm to provide values on both rent and sales data. It also introduces a universal grading system for investment property nationwide.
Like using a Ferrari as a floor matt rack when washing a pick up , I only use the rental data. When combined with the mapping tool this makes a very effecttive way to set initial rental ranges.
Now that I have told you my big secret , they will probably blow up and go to a paid business model , complete with seminars ,a flip chart and a secret handshake.
I am always looking for more data , so if you know of any good sources , let me know.