The Do's & Don'ts of Market Report Success

Services for Real Estate Pros with ProspectsPLUS!

Even folks who aren’t thinking of buying or selling a home in the near future enjoy reading well-written real estate market reports.

If you aren’t using market reports in your marketing efforts, you’re missing out on a prime opportunity to show your area expertise. However, it’s not enough to slap up an MLS graph and call it a market report.

If you’ve ever scratched your head over a medical report from a doc, radiologist or other medical professionals, you know how your market report recipients feel when poring over all the stats.

It’s up to you to put them into a form that’s easily understandable to the layperson. Then, it’s up to you to let them know what it means for them.

We’ve seen some brilliant market reports but, unfortunately, we’ve also seen some pretty bad ones. Let’s start with what ProspectsPLUS! says not to do when writing your report based 

1. Don’t assume consumers understand real estate jargon

“The pending ratio indicates the supply & demand of the market.”

While this statement might be true, the author (a company that actually creates reports for agents) assumes that the average reader understands what she means by “pending.”

Pending what? Most consumers don’t understand MLS terminology so each and every report should clearly spell out the meaning behind what you assume are widely-used terms.

So, rewritten, it might look like this:

When a seller accepts an offer on a home, the listing agent changes its status in the MLS from “Active” to “Pending,” meaning the home has an offer, but it hasn’t closed yet.

Then go on to explain what the pending ratio means – in clear, easy-to-understand English.

Another frequently used term is “absorption rate.” One Las Vegas brokerage offers an email of a menu of local reports, including a “Monthly Absorption Report.” Sounds more like a soil report than what’s going on in the housing market. We don’t imagine they get many requests for that one.

“Inventory” is another term that’s tossed around as if everyone understands what the agent is talking about.

Consider appending the use of “inventory,” at least on the first usage, with an explanatory term. “Inventory of available homes” or “Inventory of homes for sale,” will get the meaning across.

We love Long & Foster’s description in its market reports. While their graph is titled “Inventory,” the accompanying text simply says:

“Versus last December, the total number of homes available this month was lower by 298 units or 26%.”

Then, there are all the acronyms so frequently used by agents that may be a complete mystery to your report recipients. Like “DOM” and “Y-o-Y.”

2. Don’t assume they understand the statistics’ implications

Many real estate consumers don’t have a clue as to how different aspects of the economy impact the housing market and why the local economy accounts for many of the differences between the local and national market.

We like the way Mountain Oak Properties in Asheville, North Carolina handles this:

“Looking deeper into what is driving this steady improvement nationally and locally, you will find that the Asheville area job growth is outperforming the nation and NC.”

The report then goes into a deeper dive of the statistics presented in the report, what job growth has to do with the real estate market and what the consumer might expect in the future.

We all know that we can’t predict the market’s future performance based on current numbers, and you should explain that. But, as the “local expert,” you can take a stab at it.

3. Don’t Be Too General With Your Information

Get as specific as you can. Lucky you if your MLS provides neighborhood-specific statistics. These allow you to go hyper-local.

Determine your target market and focus your reports accordingly. If you’re trying to achieve more listings, mention the neighborhoods with the highest price appreciation. Do the opposite if you’re hoping to lure buyers.

4. Don’t Just Offer Stats and Dry Copy

Once you have your report written, it’s time to get it into an easy-on-the-eyes format. Ideally, you’ll hire a graphic designer and outsource this part of the project. You can find inexpensive designers online at sites such as or

Prefer to DIY? Consider customizing one of the thousands of templates at It’s an easy-to-use graphics site and most of what you’ll find there is free.

Sure, you can take that nifty graph from your MLS and paste it into your report, but, again, it’ll be meaningless to the average real estate consumer.

The name of the game with market reports is “Reader-Friendly.” And, since 65 percent of us are visual learners, this means using lots of colors and big, bold graphics.

Brilliant market reports can help set you apart from the lazy agents. Do them right, and you’ll be one more step ahead.

Source: Blog.ProspectsPLUS!

Need help targeting the perfect niche of buyers or sellers? Use our mailing list tool to create the ideal list (it’s easy) or call our support team for assistance at 866.405.3638!

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Comments (10)

Harry Norman, REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Associate Broker

Good afternoon 

Thank you for sharing your information with us 

Have a great day.


Nov 12, 2018 02:17 PM
Lisa Gray

You are welcome. Have a great day and holiday as well. :)

Nov 13, 2018 06:38 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Lisa, I write several market reports and just spent the last 3 hours preparing the next one.  I know the public is reading them, and they go to my web site to do more research after they do.  Great tips.

Nov 12, 2018 03:54 PM
Lisa Gray

Thank you for your feedback and support. Wishing you well in everything you do.

Nov 13, 2018 06:40 AM
Leif Price
Chirpy Home - Portland, OR
Blogger at Chirpy Home

Always put yourself in the shoes of your customer, they have little to no knowledge of the terms you use in your daily work. Great tips to come by.

Nov 12, 2018 06:41 PM
Lisa Gray

Thank you, Leif! I appreciate your feedback. Wishing you a lovely holiday season.



Nov 13, 2018 07:00 AM
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

Very good points that could save you a sale and a top offer.

Nov 12, 2018 08:14 PM
Lisa Gray

Thank you, Wiiliam. I appreciate your feedback :)

Nov 13, 2018 10:15 AM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Lisa Gray we also have Do's and Don't's on the lending side of the business.  They may sound like common sense, but it is amazing how little common sense there is sometimes

Nov 13, 2018 11:36 AM
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

It's not just giving the info to a potential client, it's making sure they can understand it!  There is a lot of jargon in any business--so helpful to take the time to explain it to customers.

Nov 13, 2018 07:53 PM
Lisa Gray

Thank you, Mary. I appreciate your additional comments.

Nov 14, 2018 10:40 AM
M.C. Dwyer
Melody Russell Team at eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Felton, CA
MC Dwyer-Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist

Congrats on your first featured post  Lisa Gray  !    It's an awesome boost for you.    Such a good reminder to explain everything in easy to understand language.     Just yesterday I was talking to the son of a real estate agent from out of state and quickly realized just how complex all the terminology can be, even if like him, someone has heard it before.

Nov 14, 2018 10:22 AM
Lisa Gray

Thank you, M.C. for your comment and congrats. So true and easy to forget when you're in the industry. :)

Nov 14, 2018 10:44 AM
Janice Zaltman
United Realty Group - Boca Raton, FL
Energy Efficient And Eco-Friendly Homes in Florida

Hi Lisa, You are so right. Have yet to see a market report that is written for the consumer. Showed one to my mom who said that she would never look at it.  It's important to target the information to your market. Not sure if it should be by neighborhood or county. From just a mile away, could be the diference between a buyer or seller market. 

Nov 14, 2018 05:40 PM
Lisa Gray
ProspectsPLUS! - Bradenton, FL
Making Marketing Work

Thank you, Janice, for your response. You make really good points :)

Nov 15, 2018 06:25 AM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Good morning Lisa.  There are some who love market reports and some who hate them.  And, then comes the art of interpreting them.  That's another few blog posts right there.

Nov 29, 2018 03:59 AM
Lisa Gray

So true, Gabe! Have a great day and a wonderful Holiday!

Nov 29, 2018 06:15 AM