4 Places to Find Local Market Data (Where Your Competitors Aren’t Looking)

As with any industry, a big part of a real estate agent’s success means keeping up with market trends and conditions and knowing the ins and outs of your community. But, outside of the data and statistics that you (and every other agent) can gain from your local MLS, where can you find valuable information to set you apart from the pack? 

Knowing that you’re only as good as the information you have and share, it’s important that you know where to look for trusted and reliable market data. Here are a few sources of market data that you may have not considered.

#1. The Bureau of Labor Statistics

The Bureau of Labor Statistics is a great place to find out more about the median or average income in your local area, as well as how strong your local labor force is and more. This information can be very valuable when advising your seller clients whether it’s a good time to sell — or not. You may also learn of new companies that are coming into your market, which could be a good source for new buyer leads. 

Pro Tip: The BLS puts out local area unemployment statistics that you can sort on an interactive map linked here. You can use this map to drill down to your local market-level statistics. 

#2. Builder Associations

Local builder associations can provide pertinent information on how many new builds were started in your local market recently, or what the building growth is year-over-year. This can be helpful in determining the overall strength of your market. 

You can also use this resource to find out which finishes and features are popular with home buyers in your area. This can be great information to guide your seller clients in updating their house before listing.

Pro Tip: The National Association of Home Builders website is a great resource for monitoring national trends, as well as their Housing Market Index, which takes the pulse of the single-family housing market. 

#3. The Board of Education 

Information gathered from the local boards of education can help you become somewhat of an expert on local school zones, school ratings, and more. The Washington Post reports that good schools are one of the top deciding factors for home buyers with children, so being able to confidently give your clients through local school zoning information can give you a competitive advantage in the local market. 

It should be noted that the Fair Housing Act prevents agents from “influencing a buyer’s choice of communities based upon the buyer’s race, color, religion, gender, disability, familial status, or national origin.” It is best to point your clients to resources on schooling rather than giving your personal opinion, but having these tools ready for buyers can set you apart!

Pro Tip: Create a section of your website that’s dedicated to school resources and tools for your prospective buyer clients. GreatSchools.org and your local school board websites are a great place to start. 

#4. Utility Companies

Another question that is often asked by prospective home buyers is about typical utility bills. And, while individuals’ billing will vary greatly depending on personal levels of usage, local utility companies can be a great place to turn to get information on average bills or local connection information. 

Pro Tip: Some utility companies will provide you with an average bill estimate (based on past historic data) if you just call them and give them the address. UtilityScore.com is another great resource for estimating. 

Finding Resources that Make You Stand Out 

As you can see, local market data isn’t always just sales numbers. Rather, you can use these unexpected sources — and more — to help build and foster a better understanding of your community. To find out about more unexpected sources of local market data, sign up for our AgentEDU course Learning Your Real Estate Market today.

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AgentEDU® is a platform where agents at every level can come to watch 10-minute video courses for the many situations that successful agents must master. From essential to advanced level and everything in between, AgentEDU® courses help agents become top producers with increased earnings and a plan for continued growth. For a 7-day free trial sign up here.

 AgentEDU® is an Agent Publishing brand. For nearly two decades, Agent Publishing has been committed to providing residential real estate professionals with the information and training required to build successful and meaningful careers in their local markets. Agent Publishing’s influence extends to every career stage and reaches agents across print, digital, events and online learning. 

Don’t Let the Market Keep You Up at Night

The real estate market is one that needs a level-headed approach. There are a lot of outside forces that make predictions about the market’s performance for the next quarter, year or decade.

However, as we saw in the previous quarter, while economists warned about rocketing interest rates, remarks from the Federal Reserve seemed to calm those worries. In any case, you as an agent ought to be adaptable to the market, both if and when it cycles.

This blog will explain how to avoid the relentless stress and nerves that come from various market predictions. You’ll see what the real estate professionals at Baird & Warner predict for the future market, as well as their tips on drowning out the noise and being an agent who can adapt with the market.

What’s Around the Corner

Baird & Warner President and CEO Steve Baird stated in a video exclusive to Chicago Agent magazine that 2019 will be a good year for the market. He used rising wages, low unemployment and the economy to bolster his prediction.

Baird & Warner President of Residential Sales Laura Ellis made similar positive predictions for 2019. Ellis mentioned, “When I look into my crystal ball, I’m very optimistic for 2019. With unemployment low, with rising wages and the market coming into more of a balance, they both saw the coming of a “very favorable environment.” The situation gives perspective homebuyers an advantage; higher wages and a good economy may place them on good footing.

Although Baird notes that 2019 will face a bit more headwind than the previous year, he blames this on interest rates; as they went up roughly half a percent in the last year. However, he mentions that slow incremental increases to the rates won’t affect the market as much.

It’s When, Not If

Both Ellis and Baird noted that the will market shift, albeit in a slow manner. One thing that every agent needs to be able to do is adapt to inevitable market changes. Ellis explained that change is on the horizon and real estate offices and agents will need to be prepared to adapt. “Even when the market cycles – it’s not an if, it’s a when. We just have to be paying attention and we need to be able to shift how we’re doing business, how we’re dealing with those changes,” Ellis stated in the video.

A recent whiff of a possible shift is evident in the fact that the Illinois Association of Realtors reported home sales in January were down 22.9 percent year-over-year, however, they also noted the continuing list price increases, as well as a three percent increase in inventory over last year. The association mentions the rough weather and government shutdown as possible factors, but others still worry if this will be a continuing trend.

Food for Thought

With factors like rising wages and low unemployment, there is little to worry about regarding the near future. Nonetheless, both Ellis and Baird note that market cycles are inevitable and factors like interest rates could play a role in the future. They state that agents and real estate brokers must pay attention to the indicators and be ready to adapt to the market.

Wage growth, unemployment levels, list prices, inventory levels, interest rates and other indicators are key factors in being prepared. Failing to be prepared can cause confusion and unease; both for you, as an agent, or for your brokerage. It’s better to be ready.

To learn more about becoming an expert on your market and understanding market indicators, start your seven-day free trial of AgentEDU and gain access to our “Learning Your Real Estate Market” course.

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AgentEDU® is a platform where agents at every level can come to watch 10-minute video courses for the many situations that successful agents must master. From essential to advanced level and everything in between, AgentEDU® courses help agents become top producers with increased earnings and a plan for continued growth. For a 7-day free trial sign up here.

AgentEDU® is an Agent Publishing brand. For nearly two decades, Agent Publishing has been committed to providing residential real estate professionals with the information and training required to build successful and meaningful careers in their local markets. Agent Publishing’s influence extends to every career stage and reaches agents across print, digital, events and online learning.