Monday, October 23, 2006

How might WARDEX benefit you... (think Members)

All right fellow Members, maybe some of you still don't understand why the three Associations decided to merge our current MLS' into one regional Data Exchange. I hope the following helps, but feel free to hit the comment button and ask questions.

As I mentioned in my previous post to the clients, most of the Members will not be all of a sudden heading to Havasu from Kingman to list and sell property. We do know that there will be a set of agents and brokers that will be doing so, but I can't see anywhere near the majority of Members doing this.

What I've seen happen over the years when talking with would be buyers coming through this large area of Mohave County is buyers want to know not only what is available in my community (think Kingman) for sale, but also what properties might be right for them say in Bullhead City for example. Unfortunately, I've never been able to 'look into' Bullhead City and provide information to a would be buyer. So that has meant that this would be buyer might have to sit through another presentation from a different Realtor or Realtors in other service area's. Of course I could have always sent this would be buyer to Bullhead City (again for example) to meet with a Realtor that I have referred them to. However, I've always felt that there was no service that I provided to the client, that is if they ended up making the decision to purchase property in Bullhead City. Why should I get a referral 'fee' for just sending the would be buyer to an agent??

So after the conversion, what I expect to happen is that I actually can provide some service to the would be buyer that ends up purchasing property in Bullhead City instead of Kingman. How?? Because now I'll be able to do some searching of available properties, eliminate the listings the would be buyer has no interest in, give the client a comparative marketing analysis, and then send them to a reputable agent (for a referral 'fee'). In my mind I still have some control over the process and thereby will 'earn' any referral 'fee' I may get. I'll be offering a service. I know that I appreciate it when I get a referral that the referring agent has a solid working relationship with the client AND has done some of the legwork (ANY of the legwork) to help in the process. When that situation happens, I'm all too happy to pay the referral 'fee'.

Long story short... I'll be able to service the client to the point where I have the proper relationship with a client in order to receive a referral fee for the services provided. Heck, I may even be in a better position to follow through for the client and thereby the client actually would have two competent agents working on their behalf. I'm willing to bet that if this is done properly the clients would absolutely love it. Two professional service providers for the price of one. Now I don't expect each and every Member to follow along with this from day one, but I bet it becomes the culture of WARDEX eventually. It will streamline the process for the Members and more importantly -- the clients.

Now onto other benefits. There is no time like the present to tackle a huge problem with the current MLS. The current data stinks, I've said it before and I hope that I won't have to say it much longer. As Members of KGVAR and our MLS, we've seen poorly entered data in the MLS and have put up with it for far too long. The system has needed an overhaul since I joined this Association in 2001... and I bet long before.

Yes there is going to be some adjustment to the new system, but the system will be better if we all pay attention to the new data fields and fill them out completely. It will be easier to allow the data to paint a positive picture of our listings, but it is on all of us -- each and every Member -- to buy in. The new system is faster and more feature rich than anything we've ever had. It can make our jobs more streamlined and less redundant, and thereby become much more consistent. But it needs to be consistently better. There will be auto population fields that will scrape property data from sources like the county resources. No more entering in legal descriptions and parcel numbers three or four times. The new system is designed to save steps in the data entry, to save time and for better accuracy. The new mapping program will be much more intuitive and user friendly... and hopefully plenty more accurate.

The last advantage that I'll speak of now is what should be the best benefit. That is the data we use for comps. We know that there are still Members out there of one Association that are listing and selling property to clients that normally serve in the area of another Association. Many of us have seen comparison data that looks out of the norm and inaccurate as all can be.

Let me just take the Golden Valley area for a second as an example. Golden Valley is practically located right between the cities of Kingman and Bullhead City. While Golden Valley belongs in the KGVAR serving area, many Bullhead City agents have done business in Golden Valley. Many of those Bullhead City agents do not have access to the data from KGVAR. The fact that these agents are servicing the area does not bother me, but it does bother me that they are likely using an inferior data set for pricing for comps. Thereby skewing the true picture of the Golden Valley market. This is not a problem only in Golden Valley, it can be a problem practically anywhere. At one time there were some agents out of Havasu that were selling properties east of Kingman at price levels much different than what was reflected in the KGVAR MLS.

This can cause confusion for clients before the sale and perhaps angst for clients after a sale, not to mention legal complications that can arise. So when we go live this Wednesday, we will all be able to use one set of data, an improved set of data, to manage a more accurate image of comparison data. I'm most looking forward to this benefit.

But never forget this... we are all in this together and together we can make this a great resource to help our clients sell and buy properties in our serving area.

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