Generated with the help of real estate data providers such as Australian Property Monitors, Residex, RP Data and PDS Live, statistics about many aspect of a property listing from land size and zoning to last sale data and price, postcode demographics and other comparable listings are available at the click of a mouse.
Moreover the statistics supplied by data providers can enhance an agent’s ability to sell properties by providing reliable property information that can help underline your position as a local market expert.
Michael McNamara, General Manager, APM, says data providers can help agents get more listings by supplying the information they need. I like to use the analogy of fishing. We help agents find the fish, use the right equipment to lure the fish and the tools to land the fish.
But before agents can land a big fish, they need to find the right data. If agents have a provider that monitors every advertisement and stays up to date on sales, it’s very easy for them to see what is on the market. Then they can develop marketing materials around this. You can see which agents have expired listings and who is selling privately. These are hot leads for real estate agents, says Michael McNamara.
The next step is to ensure agents have the best data to give them credibility and also to help them keep a finger on the pulse. This also ensures that agents are better placed to put themselves out as a [property] expert. Vendors appreciate agents who know what has been sold and when, rather than those agents who wait three months for government statistics to be released.
Using statistics is not only good practive butis also a requirement under the Trade Practices Act
Providers such as APM have a reputation for up to date data about sales, which allows agents to build credibility through local knowledge. We also help agents land business. We concentrate on creating appraisal reports that are customised and with the best array of statistics on a property that an agent is pitching for. The tools we can create are easy to use listing kits, which we call Appraisor. It provides data such as recent sales, sales statistics and also perhaps commentary on a local area. Our tool does this. Where an agent is building local credibility, hot spotting or using the best presentation tools to land a listing, a good reliable data provider is essential for agents these days.
Using statistics is not only good practice, but according to the Real Estate Institute of Australia’s Price Ranges for Properties’ guidelines, is also a requirement under the Trade Practices Act. A real estate agent must only express an opinion about the estimated market price of freehold or leasehold property based on reasonable grounds.
Industry statistics are also a great way to corroborate agent’s opinions on the value of a property. Raine & Horne CEO Angus Raine supports the use of industry statistics in order to support agent’s price estimates.
Statistics form part of the due diligence process that real estate agents follow when they obtain market opinion of the selling price of a property. An integral ingredient agents use when forming this opinion is recent sales.
A change to the Act in New South Wales was made about four years ago. Now when an agent gives an estimate to a potential vendor they want to be able to substantiate that price. The way they do that is by giving the potential vendor a copy of recent sales, usually three. They must also write this price down on the agency agreement form and keep a record of how they come to this price, explains Mr Raine.
Statistics for part of the due diligence process agents follow when they obtain market opinion Angus Raine, CEO Raine & Horne
Agents can also use statistics to formulate a market appraisal for prospective buyers. These statistics help when writing comments on the suburb, making price range estimates based on the data provider’s market snapshot of the area and median selling prices for the past year, informing buyers of zoning, distance to town centres ” eg: Sydney CBD, price history of the individual property, and the selling history or other houses in the same street or suburb as the property in question.
But of all of the statistics available, Sean Green, Business Manager, rhcompass, Raine & Horne’s business operating system, says the most important statistics are land area and dimensions, recent comparable sales and number of bedrooms.
This information, however, doesn’t come for free. Depending on what information you seek as well as the quantity you require, the prices charged by data providers vary.
As Sean Green explains, Real estate specific providers such as RP Data, Residex, and APM charge between $185 and $600 depending on how many council areas they pull data from. They provide a service which gives a fairly comprehensive list of statistics about a home as well as comparable properties sold in recent times.
The service providers also supply for a fee (for instance the Residex Report costs $90) a report to the general public giving them access to these details.
However as good as the statistics currently available today are, consumers still need agent input. Martin Schoeddert from Hawkesbury and North Shore based agency Iris Property (www.irisproperty.com. au) says, Agent input is crucial. The ability to judge statistics is great but you also can’t beat the day-to-day frontline knowledge when forming a marketing opinion. Statistics, which can be a little outdated, will not give a true or accurate indication of a property’s value. An experienced real estate agent who is local to the market will have the ability to give a far more accurate assessment of a particular property’s worth. Schoeddert says picking trends and evaluating buyer reaction to issues such as interest rate rise and elections is part of smart agent’s job.
Real estate agents should also be equipped to provide a best selection of recent sales. This selection will usually include properties they have an intimate knowledge. Agents will also have a good understanding of the state of the local market and future returns. They should also be able to provide tips on what to do with a property to maximise its price, adds Angus Raine.
Many real estate agents also swear by the fact each suburb has unique submarkets, which can fetch higher prices than others. This might be a certain street or collection of streets, while one side of a railway line may be more attractive to buyers than the other. There are always pockets within a marketplace that are more desirable to buyers than others which may be close by and these pockets may demand say 10 to 15% more than other areas. Agents, through their experience, know where these areas are and will adjust their opinion of price accordingly, explains Sean Green.
The ability to judge statistics is great but you also can’t beat the day“to”day frontline knowledge
Martin Schoeddert, Iris Property.