Proactive Step #1 of - 10 Things for Struggling Realtors to do Right Now!

Education & Training with @properties

Proactive Step #1 - Know your Numbers Cold

Thanks to everyone for all of your comments on the initial post "10 Easy Things for Struggling Realtors to do Right Now".  Due to a number of questions and requests I would like to take this opportunity to go through exactly what I have taught my agents to do to know their numbers cold.

Part of this is not only knowing YOUR numbers, but also know the numbers that the PUBLIC may be quoting or using.  This allows you to not only know WHY they may be coming up with these numbers, but be prepared for some of the questions they might have with regards to them. 

Remember:  Your are their #1 source of factual information.

Places to get this information:

  • Your local MLS - We are spoiled here in Chicago where you can actually log in and pull market reports for specific time periods.  If your local MLS does not offer these numbers, check with your local association and see if they have reports compiled.  Often times our associations have this information already tabulated.  Regardless, this is where you can get the information that is TRUE, FACTUAL, and although it might take a little work... is what your clients want!
  • Terradatum Agent Metrics - This is by far one of the absolutely coolest computer programs around.  Agent Metrics (click here to see if it is available in your area) allows you to search particular MLS areas, Zipcodes, Counties and Cities... as well as search criteria including beds, baths, and price points.  This program allows you to see trends regarding DOM, Ave. Sales Price, # unites, Absorption, etc.  We are lucky here being part of MRED (formerly MLSNI) that our association has purchased user rights for ALL real estate agents.  (To access this in Illinois, go to , login using your Connect MLS login and password, click the SERVICES tab, and select Agent Metrics - for help contact MRED directly) 
  • S&P Case Schiller Report - CAUTION!  If you live in an area that does a large amount of either new construction or Attached homes (condos and townhomes), this information will be skewed!  (Read my post entitled "Read the Fine Print"  This report gives good information for areas that are prominently resale, single family homes on a REGIONAL basis.  Where I believe that you need to break this down into a more "Focused" area (sub neighborhoods) this will give you a good idea as to your region as a whole, and also WHAT YOUR CLIENTS AND CONTACTS ARE READING.  For a good read on this and how it is misleading, check out Bernice Ross's post here entitled, "Put a Gag in Chicken Little".
  • OFHEA - Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight -   This governmet entity was established as an independent entity within the Department of Housing and Urban Development.  Their information has often been used througout the industry in conjunction with findings from NAR and Reaology.  Their reports can be found here and by clicking on the tab at the top of the page that reads "House Price Index"  REMEMBER! - most of these reports serve as an aggregate of information for your area and don't always compare apples to apples (i.e. 2bd/2bth to similar)
  • TRULIA & Zillow -  The only reason I will include these two is so that you see what your general public is actually reading.  Do a search on Trulia in your area, then on the top tabs click on Stats&Trends. Under this heading, if you select Charts/Data you will be provided with information that looks like this page.  AGAIN CAUTION - This is not information that I would use, but this is information that your clients.  Take a look at this chart here that spells out where a majority of the online consumers are going and where they're getting their information.  While you're at it, make sure you go over to and find out what their range of accuracy is, or Zestimate, for your marketplace.

With that being said, the only TRUE way for you to know your numbers, is to do exactly what agents used to do when I first started coaching... STUDY THE MLS!!!  It is soooo important for you to not only know your numbers, but know them APPLES TO APPLES.  If you are working an area with condos, you need to know condo numbers for similar beds, baths for them to be usuable.  When you do a CMA you do that right???? 

A great way to make this information usable and presentable is to work with your company (or by yourself if you have LOTS of time) and develop a market report.  We at @properties, created a market report this year entitled the @Report viewable here.    We have gotten some fabulous press here in Chicago for breaking our information not only locally, but intimately. 

To view a video of our co-owner Thad Wong speaking about the report and to read other insight into check out my blog  or click on this link.  You can also read a post I was quoted in from ILHM (The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing) that talks about what to do, what not to do, and what to be cautious with by clicking here.

Knowledge is power... and power in this matter can help you price effectively, negotiate with strength, and truly become the advisor your clients are trusting you to be.  Good Luck!

Matt Dollinger


P.S.  Subscribe and get informed when post #2 is live discussing How To Communicate this Knowledge!


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Robert Machado
HomePointe Property Management, CRMC - Sacramento, CA
CPM MPM - Property Manager and Property Management

Being the expert puts a person ahead of most of the competition.  Good advice.

Jun 18, 2008 05:34 PM #1
Matt Dollinger
@properties - Chicago, IL

Thanks Robert. As I said, it not only puts you ahead of the competition, but also allows you to become the trusted advisor that we often speak about to our clients.

Matt Dollinger

Jun 18, 2008 05:40 PM #2
Bob & Carolin Benjamin
Benjamin Realty LLC - Gold Canyon, AZ
East Phoenix Arizona Homes

Good post and good advice. People do want the numbers. All the best.

Jun 18, 2008 05:46 PM #3
Tina Farinas
Fusion Real Estate Network, Inc. - Roseville, CA

Thanks for this post.  As always, I find many valuable information here in the Rain.  I hope you don't mind me bookmarking this.

Jun 18, 2008 06:08 PM #4
David Gibbons - Seattle, WA

Great post, Matthew! "Knowledge is power."

Jun 19, 2008 02:05 AM #5
Clint Miller
Real Estate Pipeline, Inc. - Missoula, MT

According to RISmedia, the one thing that agents should do right now is "spend 100% of thier time getting thier product in front of the consumer".  Going back to the basics is a great start.

Jun 19, 2008 02:09 AM #6
Bo Hussung
Bell Title /Triserv LLC - Nashvle, TN

John Burns Real Estate Consulting is another great source for real estate data

Great post!

Jun 19, 2008 02:17 AM #7
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Matt:  This is EXCELLENT information for ALL agents!  Great statistic sites and this would be wonderful for planning your 2009 year--see if your money is invested in the source that is bringing in the lion's share of the buyer market.  I'm flagging for a feature!

Debe in Charlotte

Jun 19, 2008 08:35 AM #8
Matt Dollinger
@properties - Chicago, IL

Debe, John, David, Bob, Tina, and Clint,


Thanks so much for your kind words, and ESPECIALLY for the Flag Debe!  I think that this is such important information and stuff that every real estate agent needs to know and be armed with to address the public eye.  I'll keep on writing if you keep on reading!


Matt Dollinger


Jun 19, 2008 11:07 AM #9
Ellie McIntire
Ellicott City Clarksville Howard County Maryland Real Estate - Ellicott City, MD
Luxury service in Howard County & Catonsville

Wow, that's a lot of great info to digest. So you did your own market reports? How often do you update them?

Jun 19, 2008 01:24 PM #10
Steve Scheer
Realty Oasis - Metro Brokers - Highlands Ranch, CO
Highlands Ranch Real Estate - Denver Real Estate

Matt - I agree that it is imporant to know the zestimates so you are prepared with what the folks across the table are about to say & why.  

Jun 20, 2008 01:14 AM #11
Matt Dollinger
@properties - Chicago, IL


Yes we have chosen to do our own market reports in the city of Chicago due to the lack of true and relevant data.  It wasn't actually that hard pulling the data together, the analyzing and insight was the tough part.  You can read more about the report, how we did it, what we used, and what things we learned from doing it (i.e. what NOT  to do) here at a post I wrote for the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing. 



Jun 23, 2008 01:05 AM #12
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