Get a bunch of real estate agents together (in any setting...online, over drinks, in the boardroom, by the water cooler, in a parking lot...whatever), mention the phrase "data integrity" and without fail, heads will start nodding, hands will go over hearts & a faraway stare (supposed to mimic that of faithful reverence) will signify tacit agreement of the grave importance of the subject.
Arguments over various platforms & their "lack of good data" start up every single day on Facebook & in bullpens, with agents & brokers swearing that "controlling the data" is something sacrosanct & Holy to all things real estate.
Guess what? NO data is completely accurate - even when we all raise our right hands & take an oath to preserve the integrity of the MLS for the good of the order, humanity & little children who might someday want to practice real estate. Why? Because the data is only as good as what input is received.
Recently, I had a property on the market that was challenging to comp - not because it was so unique, but because of the simple fact that not many 4-plexes have sold in the past year. Duplexes, triplexes, 5-plexes sure - but for some quirk of the market, very few 4's had sold in the area. No big deal, right? Wrong. The appraiser for the buyer was sure of the value, but didn't have enough solid data to use as proof of the value, and let me know that there were several that were Pending, but he couldn't use them until they closed.
I started calling agents of the pending properties to see if the scheduled closing dates might be soon - that way the appraiser could just wait a couple days & have the data they needed. Success! One property closed that very afternoon! A 2nd potential comp - took me 6 hours to get a reply from the listing agent - had closed nearly 3 months ago, but had never closed it out in MLS! Needing the comp, I got the records from the county showing the sale & amount paid for, sent it to the appraiser & that was the last piece of proof he needed to support the value! By the way - this is the 3rd time this year I've run across properties closed long ago that remain "Under Contract" in the MLS.
So, folks - the moral of the story is: Umm...Could You Please Close Your Listing? (The Data Is Important!) We can talk all day about what source of data is better than another & whether Platform A is better than Platform B...but when it all comes down to it, WE ARE RESPONSIBLE. It isn't that hard - it is part of the job.