Continuous Information to Clients
This column is very honestly an interest-finder and I’m seeking some input from interested readers. It’s about supplying ongoing information to your clients and prospects. In theory, you have a following of existing and future clients who need to know the local market they are considering. You need to stay in contact and it would valuable for you to serve up information they value. My thought is a service that would supply you with a continuous feed of market metrics which you would pass on to your clients as a value-added service. Sound interesting? Read on.
Most often at my home, I get a communiqué from 3-4 agents that have the homes that recently sold or listed in the zip code in which I live. The value range varies widely and most of the data within the report leaves me to try to figure out what’s happening in the market. That is “so last century” in my mind and I know because I’m older and have been in the real estate information business for over 30 years. Here’s what I’m thinking about;
Prices within value ranges are called quartiles (1/4 of the market in this case) and there are other ways to divide markets as well. Quartiles divide the market into 4 value segments, Low, Lower-middle, higher-middle and high. In other words you divide the home sales taking 25% of the market sales (by value range) in each segment and analyzing it a number of ways:
- What are the trends within each value range (up, down, sideways)? Month-over-month, quarter-over-quarter, year-over-year?
- What is the cost per square foot average and by median?
- What is the land cost in the area?
- How are foreclosures or short sales trending in the area?
- How many transactions occurred in the area over a given period?
This approach takes analytics to a higher level and actually makes it mean something to your clients rather than giving them a bunch of comps they need to figure out on their own. Does that make sense to you? Would it represent a more meaningful approach to take to your clients? Would you do it if it were served up on a silver platter and all you had to do was forward the information to your client base? That last question is probably the most important because without it, the rest of the information is useless.
I’m not sure if this note will get a response. However, I can assure you that if you take a moment to provide me with constructive feedback (and even suggest other market metrics of interest to you) that it will be shared with some of the information companies I know. It might translate to more business for you and enhance your standing with clients but it would come with a commitment to push it on to clients on your part. It could cost you money but I believe the cost would be quite low. I believe that the price you’d pay, amortized over the number of clients you have would be pennies per client, if that makes a difference.
Michael Ela was formerly president of C&S Valuation Technologies, Inc and also president of DataQuick Information Systems, covering a 15-year period with over 28 years in the real estate information business. He helped architect the U.S.’s first national online property database. Co-founder Steve Morgan, with 19 years in the business, was senior vice president at both of these organizations before joining Home Smart Reports.
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