Deliver Clarity to Clients Amongst Shifting Market Concerns
8:12PM Aug 4, 2022
Hello and welcome to Decoding Real Estate, a podcast from Realtors Property Resource. I'm host Reggie Nicolay, joined by my co host, Genie Willett, and today we're going to talk about ways agents can be the voice for their local market delivering timely insights that earn the trust of today's consumer.
And what a time for it, there's been plenty of sensational headlines in the news surrounding the housing market. talks of inflation, possible recession and references to the housing market crash of 2008 are creating a lot of confusion for buyers and sellers.
It's so true. You know, the media narrative on housing during a changing market does little to instill confidence. It's really all about using those headlines is clickbait based on national and regional statistics at best. It seems like the real goal is often to pull people in and keep them watching or reading for more information. But if you take a step back and you look closely at the data, there is a very important story to tell... real estate is local. And it's always been that way. This is why agents need to understand their local data so they can cut through all that noise and deliver clarity.
That's right. This leads us right into our interview where I'll be asking the questions. Today we're going to focus on these market shifts, and specifically a feature RPR just launched to help agents communicate what's really happening in their local real estate market. And the best person to talk about these new RPR housing charts and graphs, is our very own Reggie Nicolay. Welcome to the other side of the table, Reggie.
Thank you for that, Genie. But you are right. I mean, the new market trends and RPR are honestly they're one of my favorite things to talk about these days. I'm so excited to explore how realtors can use this data mixed with their own local market expertise, to squash all that uncertainty. And then I think we're going to explore some helpful tips and tricks along the way.
Well, I'm excited. What are we waiting for? Let's get this interview started with Reggie Nicolay.
So there are many different narratives around the real estate industry right now. Some positive and some doom and gloom. But the reality is there are a lot of questions out there about what the future holds. So that brings me to my first question, Reggie. RPR recently introduced new charts and graphs within the neighborhood section. Can you give me the lowdown on what data points members have access to now
100% yes! These new data sets really do come at the perfect time. As you mentioned at RPR, introduced new charts and graphs in the neighborhoods section of RPR. And by the way, in RPR, neighborhoods can be pulled up for almost any geography. They can be for a city, they can be for ZIP code, or even a smaller, defined neighborhood. One of my favorite new charts has got to be on the Summary tab of the neighborhood section, and it's called the Market Trends. And this graphic will really help tell the underlying story of any market by answering the simple question, what type of market are we in? Is it a seller's market? Is it balanced market? Or is it a buyers market. And this is all done using the new market type indicator that looks kind of like a sliding scale with an arrow, and it points down literally to the market we're in. And then the graphic itself is updated by month supply of inventory, which is really the industry standard to determine market type. And then below the graphic members can see other helpful data points starting with months of inventory, and how much those inventory levels have changed over the last month. Typically, a seller's market has under five and a half months of inventory. And then a balanced market has about five and a half to six and a half months of supply of inventory. And then you move into a buyer's market when you're over that six and a half months of inventory. And also on that same graphic members can see the list of sold price ratio, which answers the question are home selling on average, over or under asking price. Then they can also see how long homes are staying on the market. They can see the percentage change month to month. And of course, what's the medium price point look like? And how is that adjusting monthly? Is it going up? Or is it going down?
What I find really fascinating here is you showed us at one point on our one of our team meetings, how to look at this data and see, you know, everyone is feeling very concerned with these huge spikes we've had over the last couple of years, and how to look at this data and maybe see that things aren't as dire as they seem. If the market is stabilizing how to really look at, you know, maybe things aren't as volatile as they were in the last couple years but that we're seeing it kind of back to where it was pre pandemic. Can you talk about like what chart you use to look at that data and how you actually just talk about that?
Yeah, I mean, so in In that particular case, I would go over to the housing tab, which has a whole nother set of charts. And there's one in particular that covers month's supply of inventory. And it's a line chart. So basically, you're going to see the last like, five or six years, trending out. And you can compare every month to previous time periods. And in my market, when you look closely, you actually realize that we've been in this type of inventory level multiple times over the last three or four years. And in our case, we're closely resembling the inventory of about 2017, 2018. Which, again, was still a good seller's market, everyone seemed to really, you know, think it was a great market for homes. So I think that in itself can provide a little context to what we're going through, and maybe make a buyer or seller more comfortable.
Yeah I just think that's so powerful to be able to alleviate some fears with this, you know, we're seeing these huge changes, but maybe not, maybe we're just sort of settling back down the huge changes were the last two years of this crazy market that we were in.
Yes, 100%. And I think that's the thing, going back to kind of what you're opening, you know, you talked about the crazy narrative that's going on...the doom and gloom, and that's the reality, we hear all these sound bites, but oftentimes, they're not even for our local area.
Really narrowing in on your market is what you have to do to see what the actual change looks like.
That's right. That's right. And I think that's the exciting part about all this data that we're talking about today is it is localized, so it's going to be for the market, you represent, you know, and you mentioned kind of the inventory, we talked about that chart, there's some other charts on that housing tab that are also extremely powerful. So over there, you're gonna see all of these charts that are broken up by key statuses. So things like new listings, active listings, new pending, listings, pending listings, sold listings. And then there's the chart we just mentioned, months supply of inventory, but all of those have those line charts. So you can pick a point and go back through time. But what's even cooler, if you will, is they're interactive. So they have different data points for every chart. Things like, you know, median list price, number of properties on-market or off-market, depending on the chart, median days in RPR, median price per square foot, and total dollar volume of the market. Now, if you click on one of those for that given status, it shows the underlying data that represents that number. And again, another chart, so every chart has like five or six different line charts within it. So it's really powerful when you're trying to make the story or the narrative of you know, what's going on.
So that's a lot of data and a lot of information. How are you seeing members actually use it?
Yeah, I mean, this is such a good question. And there's quite a bit of ways, but I think the number one is just commit it to memory, you know, understand what's going on so that when you're having those questions, whether it's in the supermarket at a listing presentation, or whatever, in a conversation, and that uncertainty comes up, you can quickly recite the true facts of the local market. You know, going back to our example on inventory, just mentioning the number of homes on the market. And where that really positioned us is such a confidence builder, right? And our homes actually going above or below list price still, where are we at? You know, it's amazing when you start pulling those numbers out in real time without having to go research them the confidence that you can give to a consumer. I think another obvious area would be taking that data and putting it into a presentation. So if you're going to go out to a listing presentation, you want to have current facts and stats. So put it in there, you know, you can use your favorite screen grab program and copy the right chart out and paste it into a slide. There's also a little printer feature at the top of the screen if you want to just print those charts out. So I think that's a great way. On the RPR blog we just launched a new article that talks about agents using this data in their videos. So you know what other great way to put a video together and talk about market updates. Maybe its monthly, I bet you're continually talking about the subtle changes and showing how it's moved. The article even gives a script if an agent was perplexed, you know, on, on how to how to word it.
And then as our local social media expert, do you have a specific recommendation on how they can incorporate it into their social media workflow?
It's a great question because these charts are not yet shareable right from the site, but it's not difficult to get them into social media. Matter of fact, I know we worked on a new blog post. There's a short link if anyone wants to get to it. It's rpr.me/social-market-updates. And this article is really going to give you a bunch of different templates that you can grab and use take you to Canva. And you can just simply plug-in the market numbers, add your branding, colors, photo, whatever it want, and put it on your social channels. Instagram, Facebook... and do this, again, like that video on a repeat basis so you're communicating these subtle changes as they're happening.
What a great way to place yourself as the local market expert, and start to talk about your specific area to alleviate people's fears, like you said, to repeatedly be showing the change in the market. But, you know, month to month, as opposed to this, you know, drastic changes... these national headlines.
You're right. And I'm glad you said national headlines because when I got into blogging back in, I think it was like 2004 or 2005, we realized very quickly that one of the quickest ways to get your own, really to get your own kind of search traffic and your own audiences to cover things that are hyperlocal. That was the term. And it was a little below the layer of what the media covers, right, because they cover bigger regions and national, but no one's talking about, at least not regularly, and maybe agents are but still you can always carve out a niche for yourself when you cover your local zip code or city.
So with this shifting market, I know many agents are feeling pressure to obviously rev up their marketing. The social media graphics with market updates is awesome. But do you have any other tips for realtors looking to leverage RPR to find and attract prospects
100%, I would probably point to just you know, still geographical farming, taking your farm area and communicating to them regularly. And this is another area where I think RPR really has some major strengths. A lot of folks don't know that they can go in and use RPR search and find homeowners that really match that criteria. You know, let's say you have a neighborhood near your home, and maybe it's got a few 100 homes there. You can go ahead and pull up that neighborhood on the RPR maps, you can use it drawing tool to go ahead and isolate it. But then you can even use search filters to zero in on particular homeowners. So you know, maybe you're looking for homeowners that have lived there for over 15 years, you know, they have equity likely in their property. And maybe you're even want to put another filter on top of that you're looking for homeowners that are actually absentee, they're not living on that site. You can do all that. And then you can export those contacts right into a CSV file a comma separated values file that opens in Excel, and you can send that to your printer, or whoever it is that's executing those postcards. Or better yet, import it into your contact manager, and then start to categorize these contacts over time adding details, as you maybe have conversations with them offline or, you know, any opportunity you can.
So definitely we're gonna need a list of all the resources we're talking about for everyone to reference after this, because I think these are awesome. What kind of things can agents do to attract web leads?
Well, this is always a little tricky, but I honestly I think these days, it's all about providing items of value. So you know, you've got to have something that they want. And I don't think it's though as difficult as many think. A lot of times, let's just pick a particular segment. So if someone's getting ready to purchase, or even sell a lot of times before they even make that decision, they start looking at activity on the market, they want to know what's moving, you know, it's almost like that no nosy neighbor syndrome, but you start wanting to go who's selling? Who's buying? And what's it going for? Because then you can reflect on your own experience. And that's where I think our RPRs market activity report is just perfect. Because this is one report that you can run for any geography, you can customize it. And then it's going to show you what the market movement looks like. So what homes are going on the market, what homes are selling, what's going pending, what homes are having an open house. These reports have your cover page on there with your photo, your logo. And they identify the geography. They are in PDF format. And so my recommendation would be to create a page on your website that almost works like a landing page, and with a really simple to find URL, and then go ahead and put a form there where anybody can request that. And every week, update that market activity report. And then when you're marketing yourself, whether it's through your newsletters or through social media, or even conversations, continually talk about it. Even Google ads, actually Google Ads work really well. If you come in and you make a catchy Google ad to get web traffic on certain searches just pointing to your landing page. What ends up happening is you'll be surprised people will fill it out and you will get more contact information because you're providing an item of value. And the one thing I'd say here too, is we have a feature in RPR, called custom pages. These custom pages allow you to add your own marketing into the RPR reports, taken moment, and update the report with either testimonials, you know, from clients you've with, or some other valuable information that can augment this report. But that ties it back to you personally, I think you'll find this is a really successful model.
Okay, so that leads me right into a different type of landing page. You've advocated for agents to create neighbourhood landing pages on their websites as well. So why is that a good idea? And how would an agent go about doing this?
It is great. And yes, I do. I love this too, because it's, it's a pivot different than what we just talked about. Because what we were just talking about was kind of this lead capture form, essentially, you're creating your website.
Using market activity, right?
Using market activity, that's right! And it's a really simple to create report for any geography. But now what you're talking about, it's really about creating pages dedicated to the different neighborhoods you market to in your town. Okay, so let's just say you have a geography that is your farm area. This would make an ideal landing page on your blog, because you want to get any search traffic for people that are looking about it, right. And so imagine if you went to RPR, and you start to look through the different data, for example, the data that's in the neighborhood section, I mean, on the neighborhood tabs outside of what we talked about with market trends and housing, we actually have People, Economy, and Quality of Life tabs. Those have such rich data about those three different areas. Now, what I would recommend is that you almost think of it like a mad lib. You look at the data on those pages, and you make some unique content for your neighborhood section where you actually start to talk about it. You know, and you use these data points, though, in your content to make it hyperlocal, like we talked about earlier, right. So you can do this many different ways. I mean, you could even be providing your market updates on that page. And it'd be really easy. I mean, imagine if you were to write something like, think of this, like a mad libs, as I'm saying, you know:
Total housing inventory for [insert the name of your area] at the end of July was 42 properties, an increase of 18.4% from June, and that's an 81% rise from the previous year. Unsold inventory sits at 1.16 months supply at the current sales pace, which is up from one month supply in June, and 1.13 months supply in July of 2021.
You know, you can kind of work off it like that. And so that can go on multiple pages, and you're just inputting those different data points. What's fantastic about this is Google looks at unique content. And when it sees that this page doesn't have content that on other pages, it's going to find matches in search, and you're gonna get presented high up in the results This this just organic search engine optimization.
If someone's searching for Sherman Oaks homes, it'll pop up higher up on the queue, because of the unique information that they're putting out.
You're using those exact words that they're searching for. And it's really a longtail search, which is where there's less competition for the type of search that you're competing for.
That's really fascinating. So to wrap this up, is there anything else that's coming soon for the members? Can you give us a sneak peek as to what's coming down the pipeline?
You bet. Let me think about this. Well, it's got to be mobile, I think that's probably one of the more exciting things to outside of market trends. So just so the listeners know, I mean, RPR has had a mobile app for a long time now. It's really trusted industry. Everybody loves it. But we came to a crossroads at RPR, where we had to redevelop it. And it was mainly because of the technology that we were building it on, was not going to be available any longer. And so that's been now rebuilt, and we're about ready to release it. You know, it's it's just neat when you get to go through and update something like the mobile app, even though it's feature for feature really about the same. It's cleaner, it's tighter, and I gotta say, I think members are gonna love it. There's definitely though a few things that are going to really stand out.
So updated mobile app, what's the biggest thing users are going to notice? And is there going to be a steep learning curve, if you're already an avid mobile user?
First, I would say no, I think the user patterns are are identical. One thing I just want to say right away is if you're using the RPR mobile app on your tablet, that support will be going away. That doesn't mean you can't use the mobile app version, although it's not going to be optimized for your tablet. So I would actually recommend you use the website. The website that was introduced this last year that complete redesign, it has mobile breakpoints, so it looks just perfect on your mobile on your tablet device. So you're also going to get all that rich functionality that you have on the website. So that's just kind of getting one thing out of the way. But all in all, users will love the new search filters because it gets more in parity with the website. So when they want to come in, and let's say they want to dig into distressed properties, now you can toggle to simply pre foreclosures or whatever status you're looking for. Maybe you want to look at, you know, owner type or time held on the property, there's all these search filters are right there just to tap away. I think that's a big one that's been requested from members for quite some time.
And I know one of your favorite ones is the buyer tour report.
Yes. Now, we've had buyer tour for a while. But this new version is much improved. So first of all, one of the reasons we live by our tour, I think is because you it allows you to put multiple properties on one report, and then take that out with your buyers. And they can, you know, see a vertical comparison of each of the properties, but they also get a one sheet on each home. Now, the cool thing about this latest version is just much easier to find and add the properties to the report. So if you happen to be using RPR in conjunction with your MLS, maybe you already found the properties in your MLS, and you have those street addresses, just simply typing the street addresses right into the tool. And they all add to the report. Otherwise, you can use the map and you can manually add them from there too. But I do think members will love this one.
Awesome. Well, I'm very excited. Do we have a timeline on that?
It's right around the corner. I mean, we're looking at right now the end of August or early September just based on trying to figure out a couple last minute things, but it's perfectly time for probably when you're getting your latest iPhone.
Fantastic. Yes. All right. So there's a lot to look forward to here and a lot of it already available. So we'll make sure that there is a huge list of resources for anyone wanting to delve deep into these market trends and RPR and thanks, Reggie.