Be diligent with your data reports, or don’t do them at all
There are plenty of things in real estate that if you are not going to do them right, then you are better of not doing them at all. I will put Brokerage created data reports at the top of that list.
Properly compiled, analyzed and presented data reports are an incredible resource. Clients absolutely love them, Agents use them as effective promo/marketing pieces and it certainly signifies your Brokerage as an absolute market authority. We have been doing elaborate reports since we opened and it has been a big win for us.
Why it has worked so well for us is simple - we spend a ridiculous amount of time on them. The numbers are compiled, filtered, added to, compiled again, filtered again and then one more time through for safe measure. All disparities are resolved before we get to the analysis portion. There is no point analyzing numbers that aren’t right. Sure, it takes a ton of time, but we know the numbers are as good as we can get them at the end of this multi-day process.
Too often we see Agents and Brokerages throw some basic-level stats out on social media that are either generally useless or factually incorrect. If trying to look intelligent and on top of the market is the plan, you might just be doing the very opposite with these surface-level reports.
Here are a few ideas to help you get better results from your reports and represent like the data champ you are;
Put the right people on the job
This is easily the most important part of the equation. Just because an admin staff is looking for something fun to do doesn’t mean you should task them with this. Data collection from multiple sources requires focus, comprehension of the desired outcome and the finest eye for detail. Collection definitely requires a certain personality type. Look after that person, take everything else off of their plate, buy them pizza and keep their focus singular in task until the data is collected properly.
Don’t just run the numbers, scrub them too
With advanced mls software and government resources it is easy to run some numbers these days. But can you trust all of it? No, you can not.
When real estate boards cross over there are often double or triple entries for one singular property. Cancel and re-listing is still only one listing and statistics like ‘days on market’ can be falsely influenced by crafty manipulation of the system by agents. You gotta filter that stuff out and that requires patience to sort through it all.
Here is a perfect example;
A property is listed for 90 days and then removed from the market and re-listed by the Agent to return it to the top of the hot sheet as a ‘new listing’. It then sells firm in 7 days. Most people would run the numbers on that as 7 days on market, when in fact it is 97. You would be mistakenly informing your faithful clients that the market is ‘scorching hot with singular days on market’, when in fact reality is quite the opposite.
If MLS data goes in wrong, it comes out wrong too.
Analyze it, you are the expert remember?
In my mind, presenting data is useless without some interpretation. Very few of your clients will have the ability to read and decipher exactly what the numbers mean. There is context involved here. While it doesn’t need to be too verbose, in order to make sense to a bigger crowd some explanation of the numbers should be there.
Look at the proper figures
Is ‘average sale price’ from one month to the next really an indication of market conditions? Rarely, so don’t be afraid to go a little deeper
Statistics like ‘sales to new listing ratio’ (a replenishment rate in the market) are often much better indicators. And while I mention it - it’s a ratio people not a percentage. Sorry, but that just drives me crazy.
A rule of any statistical analysis is to ensure your sample sizes are large enough. This should never get overlooked and should most certainly come with a disclaimer when sample sizes are small and not statistically reliable enough.
Put your reports in the right place
It is always important to understand your audience. Realtors are likely the worst profession in history for talking attempting to talk to everyone and successfully reaching no one.
Let’s be clear here, data reports are definitely not for everyone. All those loyal Instagram followers and your data report consumers may not be the same crowd. In fact, you may risk annoying the wrong crowd with messaging they simply have no interest in. Be smart about your release, not everybody cares about how good you are with a calculator. We typically see the LinkedIn and Twitter crowd react more positively on social channels, however I highly advise targeted email campaigns to the right crowd. Don’t just go into your database and hit send, segment out a list and put it in front of them.
Having a lovely section in your website to house your current and archived reports works beautifully. If you are tracking your website as you should be, you will be shocked with the number of visits to these pages and past reports.
Be prepared to talk about it
If you are the self-declared reigning royalty of data, you better be ready to have some meaningful conversation about it. Realtors, clients and even data experts may take some shots at your figures. However, go forward with confidence my friend - you know the numbers are right (see point 1 above).
I have been questioned numerous times about why our numbers are sometimes drastically different from competitor ‘reports’. My answer is always the same - because we spend hours getting the numbers as accurate as possible and they don’t.
To sum it all up, these reports can be a game changer for your brand if done right - so do them right. There are enough reasons in our industry for the public to make claim that we aren’t professional enough, don’t add to that list with your data reports please.
Learn to embrace your inner nerd, all of it. The results will be there.