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The Latest Trends in Market Analytics

Perhaps the most significant disruption in real estate market analytics has been the launch of Zillow's Zestimate. The Zestimate is an automated valuation model that uses mathematical algorithms to speculate what a home's value might be. In the banking industry, these mathematical algorithms are called AVMs, or Automated Valuation Models.

As consumers gained access to the Zillow Zestimate, it sent the industry into a tailspin. "The Zestimate is too high," or "The Zestimate is too low," shouted the crowd of industry pundits, REALTORS®, and consumers alike.

The tailspin was created by opening up the dark box of real estate data that had previously only been available to real estate professionals. On a property by property basis, real estate agents would carefully sift through dozens or hundreds of properties on the market, under contract, or recently sold in the process of establishing a market value for a home. This remains true today, and the real estate professional who painstakingly performs this analysis continues to be the authority in helping sellers price homes or supporting buyers with successful offers.

So the battle is on. Real estate agents have a strong challenger in Zillow, who aims to become the source of real estate information on property values. The good news is that software vendors in the real estate industry continue to raise the bar for REALTORS® by delivering a wide array of products that not only enable the agent to gain astute insights into market data, but analyze and report on that market data with exceptional professionalism. Used correctly, the agent can continue to maintain their position as the most trusted source of what is happening in the real estate market. The challenge is adoption.

We have seen an enormous effort expended by the National Association of REALTORS® to maintain the advantage of the REALTOR by the development of the RVM®, or REALTOR Valuation Model. It is like an AVM, but only available to members of NAR. The RVM is created by NAR though their subsidiary, Realtors Property Resource®. This is certainly nothing new, but it is a significant trend in the industry because of its enormous evolution. The product has gotten really advanced in the data available, its ease of use, and certainly the quality of its reports. Frankly, RE Technology believes that RPR is among the most advanced mobile tools available to real estate professionals today.

Another enormous development in the real estate industry has been in tax systems. CoreLogic has shifted their development of REALIST® from a standalone solution and opted to focus on Matrix 360, a fully integrated MLS and tax system in one.

Alongside this trend, we have seen CRS Data completely rebuild their tax interface and become one of the newest tax systems in real estate. These systems, along with the marketing focused tax system Remine, have splintered the strategic direction of off-market data accessed by real estate professionals. Of course, data quality as measured by accuracy (typos), depth (number of fields), and timeliness (speed of update from the recorder's office) varies by county. No matter how good the software or reports are, the underlying data is the most important resource.

Agents and brokers continue to tie market data into their CRM and leverage market reports in lead generation forms for "What's my home worth?" In this regard, we have seen a lot of activity by leading CRM providers like Inside Real Estate, Contactually, Top Producer's Market Snapshot, Boston Logic, Booj, Real Estate Webmasters, Gabriels, and so many others. It is the most powerful drip marketing report with soaring open rates, some hitting as high as 40 percent because consumers are starving for this information and expect it from their agents.

Want to learn more about how to make market analytics work for your business? Download our FREE Success Guide to Marketing Analytics today!