CHICAGO — Discussing advanced real estate analytics over gut feelings and old-school approaches can bring about a fervor similar to religion. There are many in the middle, but believers and skeptics always seem to speak loudest.
Avi Gupta, CEO of real estate data firm SmartZip, has no problem with following your gut, but as your business grows, he believes hard data starts to matter more.
“Using your gut can work really well when you’re a one, two or 10 person company, but you need more data as you grow,” he said during a discussion at Inman Connect on the Road Chicago. “Even if [your gut] seems to work, you don’t really know if it does.”
With years of data that track factors such as employee performance, customer satisfaction, marketing success and human resources, platforms such as Gupta’s can use predictive analytics to better asses how an agency and its employees are doing, which leads are worth chasing and more.
You don’t always need mountains of raw data to use analytics. Gupta believes approaches such as compatibility questionnaires for agents and buyers to create the best possible fit benefits both parties, and it helps a business better allocate resources.
Creating and updating an employee leader board with current sales figures not only shows employees how they’re doing, it can alsoinspire more healthy competition amongst colleagues. And monitoring one’s own performance in past quarters can inspire personal improvement, too.
“Everytime someone makes a sale, the leader board can play part of their favorite song, and the length of the song can get longer with each passing sale,” Gupta said.
Analytics can also help the training period for new hires, he says. By using past and present sales calls, new agents can receive feedback to help their sales calls and follow-ups.
But before being able to incorporate all of this useful information, you need to know where to look for it. As keen as your eyes may be, real estate trends can often go unnoticed if you don’t know what to look for. Gupta referenced a 2014 IndieSales.com study published in The Wall Street Journal that found New York real estate deals closed during a new moon were 43 percent higher on average than those closed during an old moon.
“No one would ever think that kind of stuff would matter,” he said. “Until you dive in and look at the numbers.”
It takes more than just quickly diving in, though. According to Gupta, you need to stay submerged in the data pool for at least a couple years before ever putting most of it to use.
“Store the data now,” he said. “Two or three years from now, when you’ll want to track this stuff, it’ll be too late.”