Data detailing the kinds of properties for sale in your neighborhood and their selling prices can be valuable to realtors, homeowners, house hunters, and real estate investors.
With the help of some real estate analytics tools, savvy agents and smart buyers can transform this data into real-time visualizations, suggesting list prices for homes going on the market, how much a house in a particular neighborhood is worth, which communities might most attract real estate investment, and more.
The data comes from the Multiple Listing System (MLS), a national database of properties on the market or under contract to sell. The MLS database includes information on properties in foreclosure or short sale, the size and type of properties for sale, average and median property prices, and even amount of time listed, for example.
With the MLS data as a starting point,Brian Block, a managing broker and realtor at RE/MAX Allegiance, in McLean, Va., who has an analytics background, said he always crunches the numbers to provide clients with as much data as possible.
“I’ve always used this kind of data in my marketing,” Block said in a recent phone conversation.
Using an analytics tool called RealEstate Business Intelligence, Block can transform local community real estate data into graphs showing marketing activity, median sales price, average number of days on the market, and more, for any of the local communities where he sells property.
“I think clients are really impressed when I come in and start pulling graphs off my iPad,” he said.
Using this analytics tool, Block can even generate heat maps of various regions showing local real estate activity, including areas with heavy foreclosures or where properties have remained on the market for more than 60 days.
He can drill down to individual ZIP codes, school districts, and even subdivisions for a look at real estate conditions on the local level. What’s great is that the tool allows him to introduce a reality check into conversations with clients who read real estate prices quoted in The Washington Post, the largest local metropolitan newspaper, and get an inflated view of local land value, Block said.
Despite availability, surprisingly few real estate agents use robust analytics tools, Block said. He estimated only between 5 percent and 10 percent of his competitors do so, for example.
Have you bought or sold a home lately and, if so, did your agent use analytics in the process? Let us know in the comment section below.