Active Rain February 29, 2012

Why Your Market Report Stinks

After a discussion of market reports in a real estate discussion group geared at forwarding the industry, I am prompted to revisit what makes a market report good or bad in terms of consumer response. 

First, if what you produce gets no consumer response, you need to change what you write. If what you do works, keep it. 

Consumers basically want to know three things from a market report, and the more simply and elegant it is presented, the better. They want to know

  • If the local market is up or down. 
  • What prices are these days. 
  • An example of what is available or recently sold. 
To the above points, you should add your thoughts. Commentary, as well as an example of a home, are crucial.  
Peekskill Real EstateMarket reports with too many graphics and charts-especially in the absence of thought out commentary- lose most people. One chart or graph might be useful, but only if you interpret it intelligently. Otherwise you have peacock plumage that makes most consumers eyes glaze over,  is useless to search engines and doesn’t even make you a better source of knowledge. I’ll explain. 
When I do a market report, I simply write what the median sale price is for that period in the locale, the number of closed sales, the number of homes under contract the amount of available inventory, and my thoughts on the meaning of the data. A light month that has lots of pending sales is no big thing. A heavy month with few pending sales means we blew all of our ammunition. There are hundreds of variations. But after writing market reports for a locale I have the trends and data down cold.
No software chart generator implants knowledge in your brain the way producing commentary does. Explaining the data, prices results and trends positions you as the go- to authority for a marketplace. It has gotten to the point where if I am speaking with a consumer in Peekskill, for example, about what I see, I can tell them what I think, why I think it, and what that means for them without hesitation. That makes an impact. 
Moreover, charts are a yawner for search engines. If you do a search for “Ossining Real Estate” on Google, there are 5 images on page 1 from my blog. 4 of them are houses. One is a chart. Nobody clicks on the chart. They click on the houses. Consumers want to see homes. So I post images of homes I have either listed or sold. That makes the numbers come alive. Homes resonate with consumers. Graphs alone don’t. Google spiders respond to words. MLS or software generated graphics don’t make sthe same splash with Google or consumers. 
It isn’t rocket science. The basics, 5-10 sentences on the meaning of the basic data, an example of a home for sale or sold by you, and then your home search close by as a call to explore further. It works. Fewer peacock feathers, more thought from you.