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 www.mlsni.com , 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 www.zillow.com 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 www.theyoufactor.com 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!
P.S. Subscribe and get informed when post #2 is live discussing How To Communicate this Knowledge!