Stats guru launches happy news website
Like many people in the real estate industry, Leon d’Ancona is tired of all the negative stories about real estate in the media, particularly in the United States. The president of IMS Incorporated, a real estate market intelligence service based in Toronto, d’Ancona decided that instead of just complaining about negative stories, he would do something about it – so recently he launched happyREnews.com.
“The doom and gloom in media stories about residential real estate ignore positive, healthy activity in many cities across America,” says d’Ancona. “There is no doubt that the U.S. real estate market has taken a huge hit recently. As the effects of the sub-prime mortgage meltdown reverberate across the continent, many homeowners are feeling the pain of losing their homes.”
But d’Ancona says, “The problem with glass-half-empty stories is that they have an undue psychological impact on markets that is not borne out by all the facts. We know, because it’s our business to know, that there are hundreds of cities and thousands of neighbourhoods in the United States right now where the market is very healthy, thank you.”
When the new website launched, it featured 2,319 markets in the United States where homes are selling well, and that only included communities with more than 300 home sales a year.
“For example, I think people will be encouraged to see that homes in Loganville, Ga. sold 38.5 per cent faster than they did last month. That’s a huge shift,” says d’Ancona. “We also know that sales of homes in Avondale, Arizona increased by 64 per cent from the previous month.”
The website also showcases the capabilities of d’Ancona’s services, which he has been providing to real estate brokers and agents throughout the United States and Canada for more than 20 years. In most North American markets, d’Ancona can provide in-depth analysis of market trends and patterns. He can tell you what types of houses are selling best, and how that compares to the market of four or 10 years ago.
He can tell you which real estate companies have the most market share in a city or on an individual street or postal code area. He can tell you which offices have the most productive agents. He can tell you which sales rep sold the most bungalows on a specific street last year.
He can tell you all this, but if you are not a real estate professional, he won’t. His services are only offered to real estate sales reps and brokers. And some information is offered to brokers only.
“We are very careful about that,” d’Ancona says. Although his information is in demand from many outside sources, ranging from real estate product suppliers to dentists who want recent sales lists, in his years in the business, d’Ancona has built the trust of the real estate industry by being particular about his client list. He also won’t tell you who his clients are.
The IMS product called REality is an online program that real estate professionals can use to check out real estate trends and statistics in their markets, in order to plan their marketing and farming systems. Some tools for brokers help assess the competition in their area, and identifies the “movers and shakers” in that community.
d’Ancona says the old cliché that “10 per cent of the sales reps do 90 per cent of the business” isn’t quite right. “It’s more like 33/66,” he says.
Sales reps can use the information to determine which parts of the neighbourhood are best suited for their marketing materials. “Seventy per cent of all sales take place on 30 per cent of the streets,” says d’Ancona, so new agents could target a high-turnover street with their marketing materials.
Another valuable tool is a “pricing it right” module – a chart that shows the average days on the market and the sales price. In most cases it will show clearly that “the longer it sits, the less you get,” says d’Ancona, so it’s important to show vendors that they must price the home correctly at the beginning of the process. It’s also a helpful tool to use when suggesting a price reduction.
d’Acona says that IMS will update the good news website once a month “to focus on the many bright spots in the real estate industry.”
He says: “Now everybody will be able to see beyond the gloom and doom and get the facts, which are much more encouraging,
For more information, visit www.happyREnews.com or www.realestatestatistics.com.