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By Michael Dent

PropertyData

OTHER FEATURES

How agents can use property market data

There are those in the technology sector that claim “data is the new oil”. I think they might be right, but not in the way they think. Data isn't much like the crude oil that gets sucked out of the ground and sold for $100 a barrel. Rather, data is more like the kind of oil you might put on your bicycle chain. Something that you can apply to an existing machine, like your business, to make it work more efficiently.

The availability of a wide range of up-to-date data on the property market has exploded in recent years, and accessing it is much more affordable than you might think.

Take for example the important process of valuing properties, either for sale or rent. Key to the valuation process is of course the ability to find relevant comparables, so being plugged in to the very latest local market comparable data at the click of a button can save valuable time in the valuation process.

Instant analysis of £/sqft prices achieved in the last 12 or 18 months in a tightly defined local area can help to support a realistic and defensible valuation of a property.

And it's not just about speed – being able to present valuations alongside independent, third-party data from an authoritative brand will reinforce the credibility of your valuation with your clients. A co-branded report with your own logo but also a trusted data provider looks professional and will impress your prospects.

But the usefulness of data goes a long way beyond market and pricing data. Let's look at a few other ways in which you could use data in your business every day:

  1. Potential buyers or tenants might be interested in seeing crime data and demographic trends for your area, showing local trends in the last few years.
  2. You can demonstrate to an investor that your area has strong rental yields, but also crucially has consistently high rental demand that will minimise their void periods.
  3. High resolution maps and up-to-date planning data could be used to point out to a family that several houses on the street have built substantial rear extensions, and thus a planning precedent has been set.
  4. Or, for the competitive agent, data can be used to keep a close eye on your competition. Up-to-date data will show you which agent has the most listings, by number or value, in the sales or rental markets in your local area at any given time.

In 2024 there is simply no substitute for being plugged into up-to-date market data.

Estate agency is always going to be a people-first business but having data as an additional weapon up your sleeve to make your point and look smart while doing it – it's a no-brainer.

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