How to Write a Market Report for your Real Estate Blog

Real Estate Broker/Owner with J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY License # 49FA1074963

Rye, NYWarning to consumers: this may be boring, as this post is written to my colleagues and not for the public. 

It's raining here in Westchester County, and Hurricane Irene has brought a rare thing: some time off. My phone has barely rung all weekend, and in between battening down the hatches for the storm, I have been able to take a breather from a schedule that has been frantic for the lion's share of August. I missed the hubbub about market reports on Active Rain, and since none other than Bob Stewart has praised me for my own market reports, I thought I would add my two cents to the dialog. 

First, market reports are a good thing for any real estate blogger who wants to be seen by their local public as a go-to person for information. They are also good for SEO, and another little fringe benefit is that they make you more knowledgeable about your market. They seldom get many clicks or comments and almost never appear on the feature dashboard, but that is not their purpose. Market reports build your business. I know this firsthand. So here is how I write a market report:

  • Be specific. Choose a clear area and time period, such as a school district, town or city, and make the report for a month, quarter, or week. And differentiate what property type you are covering, because in my area a 2-bedroom co-op apartment can cost $150,000 and a 2-bedroom house can be $400,000. They deserve separate coverage. 
  • With regard to charts and graphs, less is more. People glaze over after more than one graph. At least, I do. The good folks at Altos Research, as well as many MLS systems, can give you the means to do some excellent graphics, it just isn't necessary to post a statistical Sistine Chapel to make your point. 
  • Add some commentary. Don't just post data and leave people to interpret it. That's work, and I have enough of it on my own. What's the bottom line? What should we conclude? Are we up from last year or are we down? I always compare my time period to that of the prior year at the same time, and I let my readers know if volume is up or down, and how median price is faring as well. This makes the mundane report actually readable. 
  • Sell the area. Post a photo of downtown or a nice neighborhood. Talk about a listing you sold there recently, or how popular the place is for foodies, dog lovers or movie buffs. Great restaurants, parks and cultural attractions matter as much as median price. One village near me, Pleasantville, NY, has all of the above and a centrally located metro north train station right in the heart of the village, making it a great commuter community. Don't keep these facts a secret in market reports. 
  • Keep it simple. Facts, overall message, and a pretty photo are three calling cards of my own reports. Median price, number of sales, how we fared compared to last year and what the outlook is for buyers and sellers are the elements I use. You aren't figuring out the efficacy of bringing in a Home Depot to a boardroom of suits, you are telling a local owner if the time is right to sell or a buyer 30 minutes away if this is where they might see opportunity. 
  • Link to your prior posts on the area. This shows people all your commentary on the place, and if they are interested in the area they'll spend a good deal of time reading you. This is where tags are crucial.  
  • Wrap it up with a call to action. If you have an IDX solution, link to it. THIS IS THE POINT. 
  • Syndicate. Tweet it with the town hashmark (#Scarsdale), link to it on your Facebook business page, and submit it to other media. Email it to clients or prospects. 
A few other thoughts: Market reports on an area where you'd like to gain market share can help you do so without spending a dime, because you'll not only establish a body of content on the place, you'll know the market pretty damn well after writing regular reports. They also help sell your listings in an area where you have inventory, because people googling a locale will find you if you post consistently on the place. 
I understand the decision by the folks in Seattle wanting to give the community a point incentive for market reports. Hyper local has always been content they have encouraged (ever hear of localism? Raincamp?), and with 210,000+ members and being in the blog platform business, they want their customers to succeed. One thing I have discovered is that people seldom do what they probably should (I have 22 agents, only a handful who blog, and few of my direct competitors have taken it up, even after having lunch with me), so a point incentive makes plenty of sense. 
There. You just got the keys to the kingdom. Bust a move. 


Re-Blogged 11 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Praful Thakkar 08/28/2011 05:49 AM
  2. Bill Burchard 08/28/2011 07:25 AM
  3. Valeria Mola 08/28/2011 07:45 AM
  4. Michelle Carr Crowe,Altas Just Call...408-252-8900! 08/28/2011 08:42 AM
  5. Cheryl Ritchie 08/28/2011 02:17 PM
  6. Mary Macy 08/28/2011 04:34 PM
  7. Al Raymondi 08/29/2011 12:07 PM
  8. Dave Woodson 09/03/2011 02:35 PM
  9. John McCormack, CRS 12/01/2011 01:44 PM
  10. Charles Stallions 04/20/2013 01:45 PM
  11. Thomas J. Nelson, Realtor, ePRO, CRS, RCS-D 04/01/2016 09:19 AM
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Carrie Sampron
Home Smart Realty Group - Highlands Ranch, CO
ABR SFR & Kathy Sampron (303) 931-3629 Highlands R

Hey Phil: Great post, I appreciate the tips. Also Lenn, I haven't included a photo of a home in the community in the past but will in the future. You make a great point. Carrie

Aug 30, 2011 10:59 AM #163
Roberta Kayne
Dublin & Central Ohio Homes - Dublin, OH
CRS, ABR, SFR, RRS, Realtor, Re/Max Affiliates

Thanks for the great tips, Philip.  I like the idea of posting a photo of a home with the stats. 

Aug 30, 2011 12:48 PM #164
Gail Robinson
William Raveis Real Estate - Southport, CT
CRS, GRI, e-PRO Fairfield County, CT

Philip, I like the way you write your market reports.  They are very conversational.  I don't do enough market reports, so we'll see if this new contest gets me going.

Aug 30, 2011 04:18 PM #165
Phil Hillerman
Crye-Leike Realtors® - Rogers, AR
Crye-Leike Realtors®

Hi Philiip, Thanks for the information.  You are right most of us know what to do, but just don't get it done.  I am going to put your information to work.  I am hanging a copy of this post on the wall next to my computer where I will see it every day. Have a great day and thanks again.

Aug 31, 2011 03:51 AM #166
Marsha Cash
RE/MAX Advantage - Stockbridge, GA

A photo seems like such a simple idea... one I haven't been using!

Aug 31, 2011 06:37 AM #167
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

As someone whose eyes glaze over when looking at a page full of numbers, I really appreciate your suggestion to add commentary and pictures. BTW, thanks for including the video. I haven't danced to that one in a very long time.

Aug 31, 2011 12:23 PM #168
Ed Silva
RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Philip, I missed the controversy, and I missed this when you posted it. Then I put out another of the market reports I do monthly and maybe because of the furor, I get a feature, third time for a market report. I don't use graphs, and I break it up into sections, residential actives, with a mid value photo of an active listing, sold residentials for the month, again with a mid value photo; and for some towns, condos, again with a mid value active.  I don't get a lot of comments, but I do get a lot of clicks and views, and those are consumers

Aug 31, 2011 03:42 PM #169
Cathy Criado
Criado Realty - San Antonio, TX
Making Real Estate Profitable

Evidentally I missed this terrific blog!  I consider myself a pretty good presenter so I am so glad that I happened to follow your format.  I'll read back through it again to see if mine need any adjusting.  BTW, I'm such a visual person that I NEED photos to keep my interest, as I am sure most media savvy folks are.  I also happen to have a backround in statistics so I completely agree with you about the graphs.  Some do it well, others well, I think, what's the point?  If I wasn't a Realtor I'd have no idea what it all means. Bottom line it, folks surf to find homes and communties, not stats.  Hope not to offend any :)


Aug 31, 2011 05:30 PM #170
Peter Preston-Thomas
Real Ottawa - Kanata, ON

I like your comment about having an overall message.  People don't usually absorb more than one idea at a time.  And you also don't want them asking, "Why am I reading this?"  It should be a clear message.

Sep 01, 2011 02:04 AM #171
Dale Shin
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Los Angeles, CA
Broker Associate

Thanks for the tips.  Often times I want some kind of commentary on the data I just viewed to help me summarize.  It's a good idea to do it for our customers.

Sep 05, 2011 06:36 AM #172
Mike Reyman
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach Realtors - Media, PA
Delaware County Real Estate

Thanks for leading the pack.  I always learn something from your blogs.  I appreciate the video as well.

Sep 05, 2011 07:34 AM #173
Diane M. Phillips Realtor 443-286-4365
Frankly Real Estate Inc. - Manchester, MD
Specializing in Carroll Co., MD

J. Philip ~ Thank you for sharing the keys to the kingdom! I sincerely appreciate the tips and information.

Sep 13, 2011 06:46 AM #174
Mike Miller

thanks for the great info...especially like the bust a move diddy....always reminds me of Uncle Buck  cruising through the party looking for bug....

Sep 21, 2011 12:49 PM #175
Robin Rogers
Robin Rogers, Silverbridge Realty, San Antonio, Texas - San Antonio, TX
CRS, TRC, MRP - Real Estate Investment Adviser

You know it; you got it, Phil!



Nov 30, 2011 01:40 PM #176
William James Walton Sr.
WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briotti Group - Waterbury, CT
Greater Waterbury Real Estate

I had to read the date that you posted this, Philip. Now I know why I missed it. I was busy burying my Grams.

Good pointers. Thanks for sharing (btw, I am not making a drive-by comment here). Now I know what to do differently. Here's to more eyes looking at my reports...

Feb 29, 2012 06:58 AM #177
Wayne B. Pruner
Oregon First - Tigard, OR
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI

This is right on target and the music video is still playing!

Sep 27, 2012 12:54 AM #178
Les & Sarah Oswald
Realty One Group - Eastvale, CA
Broker, Realtor and Investor

Hello Philip - Thanks for sharing the keys to the kingdom of blogging. I have to concur that Localism market report are very essential to our business. The information that we post not only helps our future clients but it makes us the local experts of the real estate market.

Nov 29, 2012 02:58 AM #179
Cheryl Ritchie
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Huntingtown, MD
Southern Maryland 301-980-7566
This looks like a great reblog! I want to ramp up my market reports this year so appreciate tips!
Apr 22, 2013 12:31 PM #180
Sussie Sutton
UTR Texas Realtors - Pearland, TX
UTR TEXAS Realtors - Rep for buyers and sellers.

Phillip! I didn't know you had that in you! I was lurking around to see how I could better my market reports and came up on this post! But the music and the dawg!  LOL!

May 25, 2013 07:23 AM #181
Keller Williams Select Realtors-Buy a home in Washington DC. Sell a home in Washington DC - Bowie, MD
I don't make promises.I deliver results.SOLD HOMES

J I really liked this post. I liked the idea of posting a photo as well as posting recent sold listings in that area. Thanks for sharing what has been working for you. Great post.

Oct 09, 2013 08:38 AM #182
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