If you ask a realtor to describe what they do, you will most likely hear something along the lines of…
- ‘We turn dreams into reality’
- ‘We help buyers and sellers transact properties’
- ‘We bring people together to find solutions’
- ‘We market real estate’
And while any combination of these may be true, they don’t quite get to the core of being a Realtor, in our opinion. We feel that the single most important thing we do is help our clients value property — accurately.
If you do your job as an agent well, you’ll have an incredible impact on your clients financially. How you choose to market your listings matters… equally as much as understanding Fair Housing, construction permits and zoning matters. But if you allow your buying clients to overpay or your selling clients to undersell, you have failed.
If we can successfully explain why properties are valued the way they are, then our clients will make a confident and informed decision. And an informed decision means profiting now — and in the future. Since the bubble of 2008, the Bay region has seen a significant change in market fundamentals, so we make it a priority at Bay Properties to help our clients understand the inputs that drive market values.
Algorithms and Data Are Everywhere
Nowhere has the impact of the internet on real estate been more dramatic than with online valuations. Zillow and Trulia, along with a host of other sites, offer free estimates of value for housing.
How do they arrive at these guesses? Algorithms — that’s how. These sites employ long and complex algorithms that combine hundreds of variables and constantly changing inputs.
There is an algorithm for everything you see (and don’t see) on the internet, and each one becomes more precise and influential every day. There are over 200 different factors that Google considers when ranking a page. Zillow claims to recalculate over a million of its Zestimates every day. IBM claims that it can determine how likely it is a student will drop out out of college depending on how far from campus they live. Really?
But when the inputs are highly variable and subjective, the ability to value property accurately decreases quickly.
And no where is the data more subjective than along the Bay and rivers of Eastern Virginia.
The public tends to discount the fact that agents have algorithms, too, and guess what? The agent algorithm does a far better job when the underlying data is wide ranging.
Do you expect Zillow to value a stunning sunset? Or access to deep water? Or the impact of history on a property? Agents do it all.
Inside every good agent’s head is a unique and specific algorithm, and some of the best in the business can be incredibly accurate. A good agent knows what’s important and how to translate data into useful information for their clients. All of this is used to help their client make the best decision. They may not physically be able to take 200 different factors into account, but a good realtor can single out which data is both accurate and applicable.
- Do you think Trulia knows the difference in value between the Rappahannock River or the Piankatank River? A good agent does.
- Does Zillow know about the new grocery store being developed nearby? A good local agent will.
- Does Movoto know how much value to attach to a sandy beach? A good agent absolutely knows.
- Can Zillow tell you how another agent negotiates? You get the point…
You want to know about our algorithm? And what makes it better than Zillow’s or any other computer-based model?
Here’s ours: YOUR Best Decision = YOUR NEEDS + As Much Math as Required + Current Market Conditions + Water access + What is Available + Time of Year + Architect + Dock + Other Agent + Chesapeake Bay + Development + Inspections + Lender + Builder + Trends + Whatever Else Needs to Go Into the Analysis
Our algorithm is better for you because it is tailored to your needs — if your needs change, our algorithm changes too.
Each algorithm is uniquely written for each client. That means YOUR best decision is the number one priority.
When it comes down to it, a good agent can improve your decision when buying a home far better than any computer app. Our algorithms pool together the data and local knowledge that a public database could never attain. Then we alter them each and every day based on what you need.
Every accomplished agent will have their own advanced algorithms. And although we can’t necessarily explain them, they work exceptionally well.