If you’re an active real estate investor, you’re dealing with real estate agents now and then. Sure, the normal retail listed home isn’t usually going to be priced right for investors, but some may work for rental investing. However, even if you rarely buy or sell through a real estate agent, real estate is a relationship business. Good relationships with real estate agents can bring rewards.
In the high-tech real estate information business, there is even more opportunity to leverage relationships with the agents who embrace technology. First, it’s good to understand the value of their IDX, Internet Data Exchange, system and how the computerized Multiple Listing Service can benefit your business.
The Local MLS IDX System
The IDX is a system set up in local MLS, Multiple Listing Service, areas to facilitate the cooperation of the member real estate brokerages. They each sign an agreement that allows all signing members to advertise the listings of all members. This means that you can go to the website of any of these members and search all listings in the area. There are agreed-upon restrictions that limit some of the information that can be displayed in a website search, but we’ll get to that here as well.
There are usually also different third party vendor and customized displays of the listings paid for by brokers, so you can shop around to find the one that appeals to you, though all will show the same information, and none will display the info fields that are restricted from display. The good news is that these listings are updated at least daily, and often hourly. You’re getting the newest and best information for your local market area as it happens. There are also rules about accuracy and fines for violations, so you know you’re getting information that’s monitored for accuracy.
Often the restricted information is protected due to privacy laws, but also just to hold back info to get buyers and sellers to contact a broker. It is information that can be shared in reports if requested, which brings us to special automated reporting.
Special Alert Reports in Your Email
A big part of your due diligence to make profitable real estate deals involves watching the local market and property sales data. The new MLS online systems allow agents to create automated reports to pull information reports and deliver them via email. With just a few minutes’ effort one time, an agent can create an automated email alert report for you that can give you current information as it happens about:
- Areas where homes are selling and where they are not.
- Sold prices.
- How long homes are staying on the market before sale.
- New listings as they come on the market.
- Percentage between listed and sold prices.
- Price reductions.
The next time you sit down to do a CMA, Comparative Market Analysis, or in some other way place a value on a property, do it with information already in hand. You can file these email reports and have the most current market information just as the agents have it. This can include the information fields restricted from regular website search displays.
Build a relationship with a tech-savvy real estate agent and build out your information file as the market moves.
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