The tools mentioned so far answer a variety of specific questions that you, or your clients, may ask about your market. However, instead of compiling data from various sources, wouldn't it be nice to have a resource that “rolls everything up” into a single, summarized report that also includes properties available for sale?
This is exactly what REALTORS Property Resource® (RPR®) provides. In a single platform, members of the National Association of REALTORS® have (exclusive) access to a powerful collection of databases and analytical tools that help you:
- Isolate appropriate U.S. properties
- Analyze properties for a client’s unique objectives
- Generate impressive in-depth reports
Plus, RPR® is free to REALTORS® and includes powerful applications for a wide range of users—residential agents, commercial agents, brokers, appraisers, and more. Consider just a few examples of how a CIPS designee could use this powerful tool for international clients:
1. Choosing a Neighborhood
Assume a buyer from another country is interested in purchasing a home in a U.S. market, but doesn’t know which neighborhood offers the best fit. You can use RPR® to drill down on neighborhood data, including or excluding various criteria that your client has flagged as important.
Each Neighborhood Report offers:
An overview of four major categories: 1) the median sales price versus sales volume; 2) median listing price versus listing volume; 3) population.
Easy-to-read graphs on the price, size, property age, and number of bedrooms for homes sold in the area, plus owned versus rented, and other options.
Per capita and median household incomes, plus employment figures.
Quality of life
Details on weather, walkability scores, commute times, transportation options, and water quality.
Each criteria listed above can be included or excluded in the report you generate. Many of the metrics will include side-by-side charts, comparing a neighborhood to the county, state, and nation.
After choosing the specific elements for a client’s Neighborhood Report, select among report cover options (your contact information, photo, logo, etc.) and choose a delivery method. Reports can be emailed to clients (and yourself) directly from the RPR® site. Or, you can download a PDF file.
If your client’s neighborhood decision involves a choice of schools, you can also generate a School Report in RPR®. Start by searching by geography, or within a particular school district, with filtering options by elementary, middle, or high school.
The search results provide summaries on each school along with a variety of academic details and a comparison to the larger school district. The user can also search for properties that are for sale near a specific school.
2. Selecting an Investment Property
Many international buyers are interested in purchasing a property that can be used as a second home, but also provides rental income and long-term capital gains. There are several ways to use RPR® to facilitate these decisions:
Isolate eligible properties, using whatever criteria matters most. Typically, this includes traditional search terms like price range and the number of bedrooms. However, you’re also able to search on the basis of proximity to key points of interest, drive times, markets with rising or falling prices, and much more.
Once you’ve identified potentially eligible properties, analyze the results further. For properties that are currently listed for sale, two prices are provided—the listing price and an estimated value. In most situations, you will see a Realtors Valuation Model® (RVM®) for the estimated property value.
The RVM® goes beyond other automated valuation models (AVMs), by including listing and sales data from the MLS. It’s the most accurate valuation available for U.S. properties. Remember that the availability of MLS data varies by market and may depend on your participation in that MLS.
Go one step further
Showcase your local market knowledge and add value for clients by making further price adjustments, based on what you know about the condition of this property and other comparable homes. You can also make refinements based on specific improvements that need to be made, or upgrades your client would like to make.
To evaluate a home’s investment potential, you can use another tool built into RPR®, called Valuate®. It’s helpful for analyzing both residential and commercial properties, with options for short-term (flip) and long-term (buy and hold) investors.
3. Identifying a New Business Location
According to NAR’s 2018 Commercial Real Estate International Business Trends report, nearly 20 percent of survey respondents (U.S. commercial practitioners) closed a sale involving international clients/investors. This includes both large and small transactions. For example, a buyer from another country may be interested in opening an ethnic grocery store in your market. How can you help them, using RPR®?
First, it’s important to note that RPR® Commercial offers several different tools, compared to the residential side of the platform. Chief among these is the integration of data from Esri, often used for site selection.
RPR® includes Esri’s Tapestry data, which classifies neighborhoods into 67 unique segments, based on demographics and socioeconomic characteristics. It’s an easy way to describe U.S. neighborhoods in visual terms and decide if an area is a good fit for your client’s business.
Other features built into the platform are maps to view traffic patterns, plus supply/demand for additional retail outlets. Additionally, as mentioned earlier, the Valuate® tool lets you conduct both short- or long-term analyses for commercial investors, including a recent enhancement—the ability to evaluate multi-family rental properties.
In terms of what you can do with RPR®, when working with global clients, these examples barely scratch the surface. As a CIPS designee, you’ve already demonstrated your commitment to serving international buyers and sellers of real estate—and you understand their unique needs. With RPR®, it’s easy to deliver a higher level of service that commands respect with global clients!