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Mining for Gold in Realtors Property Resource®

November 04 2014

gold barsIn real estate, time is money. How effectively you spend your time and accomplish tasks will determine how much business you are able to manage.

I have always lived by, and practiced, the theory that if I can find a more efficient way to do a regular process, then I intend to adopt that practice into my business. This is the center-point of much of my coaching and business development business.

If something is not the highest and best use of your precious time, then why in the world wouldn't you find a more effective and efficient way to do that task--or even outsource it?

This isn't about outsourcing, or business practices; it is more about a tool which most every REALTOR® has access to, or could have access to, and is already included in your REALTOR® membership dues.

Many REALTORS® pay for programs to help them create nice looking market analysis reports, which require they search and find the comparables to use in their MLS. Luckily, they don't need to pay for additional tools, or even look very far. The single solution has been here for a few years, and the CMA capabilities are just the tip of the iceberg of what the power behind Realtors Property Resource truly are.

A certain percentage, let's say the "middle 60%" of agents in an office, are stuck. They are striving to grow their business and looking for methods and systems to help them springboard to the top 20% of the office. Those are the agents I primarily focus on, and this is a trick I use to help them find new listings, and grow their business.

RPR is a LOT more than a simple tool to help us determine values. It is a powerful system with even more powerful resources that produces what are known as RVMs for properties. The Realtor Valuation Model is far more accurateThe Realtor Valuation Model is far more accurate than any other valuation model out there, especially a "Zestimate." The next time you have to answer the "But Zillow says my house is worth..." statement, bring an RPR report and your point is proven.

Ready for the secret sauce?

After you have taken a training course on the basic use of RPRtraining course on the basic use of RPR, you are ready to see the true power and potential of this amazing tool. There are a lot of agents doing incredibly inventive and innovative things; this is just one of the potential ways to find new business. Gang, this is where the gold is.

RPR gets information from your local MLS and/or Board of REALTORS, as well as a variety of other sources, all compiled into one place: mortgage information, distressed data, school zones, FEMA flood zones, neighborhood statistics and so much more. All of it is incredibly accurate, too. You can farm potentially distressed properties, share valuations around new listings and even build your own community website offering data and reports in neighborhoods for potential clients. People love data, and with this kind of data, you can own a market very quickly.

How to find the gold with minimal digging

Most agents have a predetermined geographic farm. If you do not, you should. Spreading yourself too thin isn't a very efficient use of business time. As with most of my tips and tricks over the years, it all comes back to using the new data-based tools and technology to focus on your geo-farm and translate it to a digi-farm.

By using the powerful RPR search, and choosing a property within your farm, you can search for distressed properties. Once you find them, creating a Property Report to bring consumers and show them where the general value stands is a great way to give some people hope and get your foot in the door. I always suggest when you do this that you include the houses 3-5 deep on each side and 5 across the street as to not seem to be directly targeting that specific property.

Here is how you mine for gold on RPR.

1. Go to the RPR HomepageRPR Homepage and select a property that you either recently listed, searched or ran a valuation on. If you have not done that, then pick a property, even your own home and find the RPR information on that property.

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2. Select the property and you will be taken to the main page for the specific home. Notice there may be an RVM or AVM; MLS data is required for a calculation of an RVM (RPR's proprietary Realtors Valuation Model). Where MLS data is not available, or the data does not meet RPR's rigorous standards for calculating an RVM, an AVM will be displayed. Select the star in the upper right section of the property information page to save it as a favorite for future reference.

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3. Note the map on the right side. It's a small map and the subject property is displayed in Yellow. Under the map is the option for a "Bigger" version of the map. That's is where you will start mining. Select the "Bigger" option.

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4. You will now have a larger map; depending on population density you might have a lot of properties displayed, or you might not. I zoom out as much as I can without losing the displayed "house" icons for surrounding properties. For most, it is only a single additional zoom-out. You are looking for house icons that are Red.

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5. After you have zoomed to the max, you can usually find a red house icon; rarely will there be none at all. This indicates a "distressed property," If you don't see any, you can click/hold/drag the map and it will redraw when you stop.

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Be certain to review the individual property report and check the data against your MLS to make certain it has not listed and that the RPR feed is current before you do approach a homeowner.

6. Once you have located a property, click on the house icon.

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I select the "Star" to favorite it, then click on "Details" to open the property data for that specific home.

7. This is where the magic begins. After clicking on "Details" you will be brought to the RPR Page for that property.

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8. Toward the middle of the page, underneath the map, you will notice the MLS History drop-down. That's your first clue to the property history. Open that drop down and look at what you have there.

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You will want to verify that, and RPR has that all set up and so easy for you to look at.

9. There are a few ways to review this, but the most comprehensive is by going to the top of the page and selecting the "History" tab.

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10. Scroll down to the Prior Transactions History. You can then review if the individual bought it in 2008 or tried to sell it. If someone attempted to sell in the period of 2006-2012 without success, they are a great candidate for the "Look what your home is worth! Ready to try to sell it again and do it successfully?" campaign. If not, we need to look at the specific distressed information.

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11. After bringing up the History tab, scroll down to the "Distressed Information" section.

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In this case, we note that the property has had an equity draw and been refinanced by subprime lenders. The current lender and prior lender are listed.

12. Now you can create your RPR Valuation report. Follow the normal instructions for creating a Comparative Market Analysis, adjusting comparables and then select the report you wish to use.

Once I have done this and identified a likely property, I also run reports for the surrounding properties. I make sure to bind them nicely and prepare a cover letter. Next, we want to deliver these to the properties. Monday evenings are a great option, as it is the night that has statistically proven more people will be home.

Time for a Classic – Door Knocking.

I then recommend the classic door knock approach. Be sure to take another agent with you, or have a family member accompany you for safety. Make sure you are nicely dressed, but not too much so. I suggest wearing a name badge and explaining that you are bringing complimentary property valuation reports to a few select homes on their block to help people get a better sense of value. Make sure they know there is no obligation and it's a courtesy.

Be sure to keep it brief, not "salesy," and move on quickly. Leave them with a business card and a link to a community resource website you've created for them to get more information.

I would suggest a handwritten note to follow up four days after. These first steps have helped many REALTORS® secure new listing opportunities through the power of RPR. It's just one of the many amazing ways to use RPR to build your real estate business and go from the middle 60% to the top 20% of your market.