5 Reasons why graphing is a vital skill for real estate professionals

Can you teach an old dog new tricks? That’s questionable. It’s certainly not easy for us humans to learn new things either. But let’s talk about one skill in real estate that is HIGHLY attainable, yet something that most will ignore (which can be good for you). Knowing how to graph neighborhood sales sounds really dull, but it’s truly something that can be an amazing tool to help you stand out from the crowd and look like a rock star to your clients.

Real estate geeks - Image purchased and used with permission by Sacramento Appraisal Blog

5 Reasons why graphing is a vital skill for real estate professionals

  1. We live in a visual world, so graphs help clients see the market.
  2. Neighborhood data can be far more powerful than zip code data.
  3. Why let Zillow or Trulia make all the graphs? Show your skills.
  4. Graphing helps you understand trends first before talking with clients.
  5. Graphs are perfect for sharing on your blog or social media.

A tutorial on how to make trend graphs: I made a tutorial below for you to check out. I recommend watching it and then pulling up your MLS so you can create a graph by following the steps I took. This is good for Sacramento MLS, but it’s also good for any MLS so long as you can export data (which is probably only a matter of clicking one button). Ask your MLS how you can export data to a spreadsheet if you cannot figure it out. I use Gnumeric in the video (a free version of Excel), and you can download that here for free. Or just use Excel, which is similar and what I use all the time for my fancier graphs.

You can watch the video above or directly here on YouTube. If it’s too small here, watch on YouTube for a larger version. Does this image help illustrate the market? What story does it tell? Should this seller in Rancho Cordova list at $230,000?

Rancho Cordova Example - trend graph of sales - by Sacramento Appraisal Blog

Some Quick Advice: The only way to add skills in business is to take a stab at learning something new, but one big reason why that doesn’t happen is because it can feel intimidating to take that first step. When it comes to graphing it’s easy to think it is only for techies, but trust me, you can do it. The more you practice, the better you’ll get. Remember, you are going to impress your clients by showing them the market visually. Don’t just tell them. Show them. I recommend trying out a graph every time you need to comp a neighborhood or maybe whenever you get a new listing. There are so many different types of graphs too. You can look at my market trends category for some examples. Whatever you do, get into a rhythm so you are practicing regularly. If you have some questions too, don’t hesitate to ask.

Questions: Was the tutorial helpful? Anything you need clarity on?

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  1. says

    Thanks for the very informative post and video Ryan. Graphing sales is certainly something that can make any agent or appraiser stand out since not many do it.

    • says

      No problem at all Tom. Thanks so much. I agree with you too. Knowing how to graph is an amazing skill. I hope this helps others. If it’s a good resource I may show how to do a few different types of graphs eventually. I’ve tinkered with the idea of holding a class this year for agents (for a nominal fee), but I don’t know if I can find the time. 🙂

  2. says

    Great post. I’ve struggling with wanting to create graphs but not being able to grasp instructions from other “teachers” . Yours seems so simple. I’ll sure I’ll be creating graphs this afternoon!

    • says

      Thanks Sandra. It is definitely a learning curve at first, but with repetition it becomes very easy over time. I plan to do a tutorial using Excel soon, so hopefully that will help others also. I tend to use both Excel and Gnumeric for different types of graphs. If you have any questions, please let me know. I’m around. Best wishes.


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