"I Don't Have Time For Research"...Really? Are You Sure About That?

Real Estate Agent with Realty One Group Mountain Desert AZDRE# SA582422000

Yesterday, I co-hosted a class on Downtown Growth Trends (poolside at a condo complex I have the exclusive on).  Tucson's Downtown is undergoing a huge surge of interest due to the new streetcar connecting it with the University of Arizona - between public & private investment, upwards of $900 Million has been spent in the past 3 years, rivitalizing & invigorating the area.  

For part of the class, I presented research compiled over the past 3 years, comparing the trends in residential real estate with other areas & the Tucson Metro itself to illustrate the growth, not only in interest, but in property values. A couple of agents came up to me afterwards to thank me for sharing the info - and saying something that made me think of Scooby Doo & his "HUH?" sound: "I don't have time for research."

  Scooby Doo HUH face - Kent Simpson


Later that evening, I posted a graph up on Facebook for one of the segements I analyzed - and another agent in my market said the same thing, "I don't have time for research."  Scooby Doo rides again!

How can a professional in any field dealing with market factors of a commodity not have "time" for researching the market? I guess doing a CMA or attempting to understand what is happening in the marketplace isn't seen by some agents as valuable knowledge.  Perhaps their focus is on being able to open doors at a moment's notice or knowing what celebrity sighting in town is trending at any particular notice. I feel bad for their clients - but have to admit the show must be pretty good, yet lacking in substance...kind of like seeing a movie with great special effects but no plot (I always find myself wondering why I paid full price for the ticket).  Different strokes and all that stuff. 

I HAVE TIME for research - in fact, I'm known for it. My clients appreciate the time it saves them wondering if a property is over or underpriced, an emerging area, rebounding neighborhood or one that has been flat.  Local officials & business leaders ask me about trendlines in different areas once in a while, as well as media sources. Maybe I'm not as "up" on what restaurant or video is this week's latest buzz...but a major part of my business is repeat clients and people referred by them or leaders in the community.  Taking time to understand the market is not a "business strategy" or "marketing angle" - it is my job, and a basis of credibility for my brand.

Below is a quick overview of the past year's performance of single family homes in the Downtown Tucson area compared with the base Tucson Metro - the trendline is obvious...think that might be valuable to a savvy buyer?

Single Family Home Values in Downtown Tucson 7/13-7/14

Metro Tucson Single Family Home Values 7/13-7/14


Over a 3-year period, one can see what an effect the revitalization that Downtown Tucson is undergoing has had on the single family home market in the area (not all value growth is because of that single factor, but it is a very significant part).

Downtown Tucson 3 Year Trends in Single Family Home Values

Metro Tucson 3 Year Trends in Single Family Home Values

If you'd like more detailed & specific information on a particular type of property or neighborhood - call or email me...I make time to do research!


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Comments (40)

Jason Boone
Duke Warner Realty - Bend, OR
Principal Broker, CRIS, RENE, SRS, PSA

Great post.  I invest a lot of time and energy into research and market trends.  I find the data to be exceptionally useful in providing a pragmatic, thorough approach to real estate sales.  It provides me the ability to offer insight and counsel to my clients on the basis of data and not simply perception.  Not only is this business my livelihood, but more often than not the magnitude of the client's purchase or sale is their's too.

Aug 21, 2014 12:51 AM
Sharon Paxson
Sharon Paxson, Realtor® EQTY Forbes Global Properties - Newport Beach, CA
Newport Beach Real Estate

HI Kent, love the photo! And it is surprising that Realtors do not do research as it is really part of the job so we can help explain and interpret the market for clients!

Aug 21, 2014 01:07 AM
Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Kent, some agents are just lazy and want everything handed to them.

Aug 21, 2014 02:36 AM
Greg Nino
RE/MAX Compass - Houston, TX
Houston, Texas

Nicely done my man. Great way to get the word out and to also display your awesomeness with usefull information.

Aug 21, 2014 02:39 AM
Sybil Campbell
Fernandina Beach, FL
Referral Agent Amelia Island Florida

Kent, that's a great blog about market research.  is there a program you use to help with the research and graphs?


Aug 21, 2014 02:53 AM
Sheldon Haywood
McGraw Realtors - Tulsa, OK
Your Realtor For Life!

Hi Kent, this is a great post. I have had two agents in the past say that "there are no comparables in the area." I went and found comparables and they seemed to be surprised I could find a few. I think every agent should know how to research the market. 

Aug 21, 2014 02:55 AM
Sandy Padula & Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West & Florida Realty Investments - , CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

Tuscon Kent: I agree with all my peers who have commented previously, and add that a successful agent knows the product he is selling. How can he possibly know the product without doing the research and identifying trends.

Aug 21, 2014 02:57 AM
Kevin Mackessy
Blue Olive Properties, LLC - Highlands Ranch, CO
Dedicated. Qualified. Local.

Always have to stay in touch with your local markets and your communities.  If it means just bunkering down and doing those CMA's, do it.  

Aug 21, 2014 03:07 AM
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

It pays to know your market.  Research is the only way to do it!  People are paying for your knowledge and guidance.  Keep it up!

Aug 21, 2014 04:08 AM
Kent Simpson
Realty One Group Mountain Desert - Tucson, AZ
Real Estate Is About People

Joan - "Familiar" yes - but knowing the market is what differentiates pros from dabblers!

Laura - obvious that there are those who don't care enough to do the essentials, huh?

Gerard - you & I both know the value, don't we?

Jeff - a CMA without research is playing "Pin-The-Tail-On-The-Donkey" in a dark room.

Pamela - glitter kills...just ask a kindergarten janitor LOL

Inna - effort is regarded as a disease to be avoided by many

Maria - ammunition...and a basic framework to do more than just open doors & fill out forms

Nina - Geeks Unite!

Dorie - no kudos needed (but thanks though) ;-)

Chris - Amen Sista!

Andrew - without knowledge, a hobby is just a hobby

Wayne & Jean Marie - one without the other is meaningless

Richie - Thanks

Corinne - my thoughts too!

Molly - if they're part of my team, I'll coach them.

Gene - unfortunately, some folks (in all fields) are born without The Curiosity Gene...no pun intended

Jason - you've got the advisory part of the professional equation down!

Sharon - I did that face just for you!

Gary - I see the same thing in many fields

Greg - thanks, amigo

Sybil - I use several different programs for different purposes & methods of illustration. The one used for the graphs in this post is Clarus MarketMetrics

Sheldon - funny thing...the condo complex mentioned in the first paragraph - no comps. Had to really dig to get pricing figures for the seller, showed the research & got the exclusive for 53 units.

Norman - thanks!

Kevin - You're singing my tune

Aug 21, 2014 04:22 AM
Kent Simpson
Realty One Group Mountain Desert - Tucson, AZ
Real Estate Is About People

Karen - you're in tune, too!

Aug 21, 2014 04:23 AM
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

Research is critical for any presentation or our knowledge in general. I know my clients and prospects always appreciate it. The trick is in the delivery - not everyone enjoys charts or numbers; sometimes info needs to be conveyed almost anecdotally. 

Aug 21, 2014 10:45 AM
Martha Brown
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc., Annapolis MD 21403 - Annapolis, MD
Your Homes Around Annapolis Agent

Yep it amazes me around here too. Have to know your area inside and out if you are going to truly serve your client

Aug 21, 2014 12:14 PM
Bill Reddington
Re/max By The Sea - Destin, FL
Destin Florida Real Estate

Pretty easy to push buttons in this world today. Research is just part of the job to understand the market.

Aug 21, 2014 02:36 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

All research is is paying attention on a detailed level and on  an every day basis and most people it seems unfortunately refuse to do it. Right on, Bill Reddington 

Aug 21, 2014 04:48 PM
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

I'm sure they're the same agents that will use all your hard work going into the research and cut 'n paste on to their websites.  

Aug 22, 2014 03:28 AM
Robin Rogers
Robin Rogers, Silverbridge Realty, San Antonio, Texas - San Antonio, TX
CRS, TRC, MRP - Real Estate Investment Adviser

I love doing research! I have been accused (and thanked) for doing a lot of research and giving my clients tons of information.

Aug 22, 2014 05:55 AM
Claude Labbe
RLAH / @properties - Washington, DC
Realty for Your Busy Life


Exactly.  I love data.  Someone was telling me today that I've made her re-think realtors because I'm not all out ga-ga-ra-ra-ooh-ooh.  I'm more intense and really know the science of data and the finesse of contracts.  It sure seems you do too.  Scooby Doo, him not so much.

One of your statements is how data is important for buyers; and while I agree, I'll also submit data is equally important for sellers and for appraisers.

I smile when I find people others in our line of work who don't understand spreadsheets; I guess they must focus on marketing and opening doors.

Aug 22, 2014 01:58 PM
Kent Simpson
Realty One Group Mountain Desert - Tucson, AZ
Real Estate Is About People

Olga - you're right about the delivery method - folks digest info in various ways.

Martha Bill - the basics are the basics, aren't they?

Laurapaying attention on a detailed level - words to live by!

Carla - so they copy & paste - when I catch 'em I nail 'em, but spending my time ferreting out those folks is a waste of energy.

Robin - there's a lot worse that I've been accused of! LOL

Claude - I think you're underestimating Scooby, but agree with what you're saying ;-)

Aug 26, 2014 05:06 AM
Chris Webb
Nova Home Loans - Tucson, AZ
Tucson's Social Media Expert

Kent, agents often confuse being in business for themselves and simply working for themselves. Many agents are simply poor manager and also poor business owners. 

Nov 14, 2014 02:33 AM