Category Archives: Tutorial

Real Estate And The Net -April 2014 Edition

I taught a class, for CE credit just prior to the Birmingham Board of Realtors Awards luncheon at The Club In Birmingham, on April 24, 2014. The Alabama Center For Real Estate facilitated the course. Many thanks to the many corporate sponsors.

The course material was substantially updated from the prior offerings as the web does evolve quickly! The slides are as presented and the text below contains a large number of reference links for much more information on most topics. Realtors should find a wealth of curated content here.

A major tip ctlC (copy) ctlV(paste) ctlA(select all)

Social/general use:

Real Estate Specific

  • Trulia
  • Zillow
  • Xceligent
  • Costar
  • My Boss
  • The MLS
  • Active rain
  • Inman
  • etc…..

What is a good way to think about it?

My data I want public, (most) and what do I want private, bank acct, health info etc…

Mobile web traffic will eclipse desktop in about 1-2 years (now at 10%)*

Internet ads more total $ than Newspapers in 2010

More hours on Internet than TV

Internet ads more total $ than TV!   mobile ads revenue experienced triple-digit growth for the third year in a row — in 2013, it was up 110 percent compared to 2012, reaching just over $7 billion in revenue.

Attention becoming more diversified, Net taking more hours per day

Phone books going out of existence…(In one office I was in recently I was amazed to see them still in very active use, in the last year this is no longer the case!)

Although it seems that the internet has already penetrated every corner, experts agree that we are still at the beginning. Mobile is a huge growth factor. If you are not mobile you may not exist for some people.

Google leading the charge here.This year 61 percent of American cell phone owners were using smartphones up from 21 percent in 2010, according to Nielsen.

You must be not just mobile friendly, but, mobile centric. Now more mobile usage than desktop.

Tablet use has exploded. Think more mobile…

Social networking?

Social Network usage: Source:

It is there, and in some fashion, you and your market, are impacted if you participate or not.

As so much tech, can be a force for good or evil, your choice.

Personal vs. company

Big three:

  1. Blog/Web site
  2. Linked-in Now shows in both Google search and Bing
  3. Twitter (tips) Beginners guide: Follow

And more:




What is a Personal Web Presence? via

  • What does it mean to have a personal web presence?
  • Why is it important to consciously build a personal web presence online? What are the benefits and/or drawbacks?
  • What do we like or find compelling in a website or blog? What elements do we want to incorporate into our own websites? What would we want to avoid?
  • Anyone using the Internet is creating a digital footprint, which makes it necessary to be conscious of the way we are perceived by others.
  • By consciously building a personal web presence, we open the door to connect with others in our field or who share common interests.

Illustration of various strategies using live examples: (Real Estate market reports) (software and tech) (connections)

Misc: Misc tools to help to co-ordinate with clients and others involved in the process

Google keep

Google tasks


Wave Accounting

Various Web based services for improved client interaction, and Microsoft alternatives.

  • Do you have a server? Ditch it…
  • Sites (examples)
  • Android vs Apple, carriers… my thoughts…
  • Google chat text, video
  • Google voice (Why?)
  • Hangouts (with extras)
  • Chrome (Chrome store/ addons)
  • Docs/Drive
  • Maps Earth (later)
  • Tools for Apple fans
  • Gmail
    • Gmail filters
    • Control what comes to your phone!
  • Contacts
    • Contact management and how to do a group ex. attorneys or title people or ac or electricians
    • Where are your contacts?
    • Rapportive
  • Network based Documents
    • Collaboration
    • Many Brokers are using, may be an artifact of using loopnet or Xceligent?
    • Spreadsheets
    • Presentations
    • Fusion tables (maps)
  • Using Network based maps effectively
    • custom maps, easier than you think!
  • Google Earth
    • Sophisticated maps easier than you think!
    • Social media usage

Some General Advice:

Phones vs Tablets vs Pc’s going to Tablets very doable now and Chromebooks a viable alternative

Windows 8? Get classic menu indicator!

Install Chrome make it default

Mac, install Chrome make it default

quit using Outlook or Mail app on the computer, eventually it will cause you problems..

Security, two factor auth now offered for most services, other…

find my device, Android and IPhone both have (set it up)

New tools

go paperless! and all cloud

Setting up MLS  searches for your farm/prospects so you get info on new listings before client!

Showing desk reports for agent and also for custom

Useful site for Birmingham

New tool for mailing lists

Photos: G+ features  Pixlr:

Gary Vaynerchuk, @garyvee on Twitter

Be a storyteller be awesome!


12 Month New Home Sales Off 30% In Hoover/Bluff Park/Riverchase Area 250: November 2008

For at least the past two years this area, which is geographically quite large, has had the largest number of new home sales, 43% more new home sales than the next largest MLS area, which is, the (282) Adger/McCalla/Oxmoor Valley area. For the twelve months ending November 2008 unit sales of new homes were down 30 % as compared with 2007 (432 vs. 620). If you need help buying or selling, put these powerful research tools to work for you by contacting Shasta Brander, Realtor. (click for her web site).

Area 250 Summary Table

Area 250 Summary Table

The table above (click for larger) shows an overview of the area for the month of November 2008. Broken down by price range, the table shows for the current month: Active Used and New houses, Failed (expired, canceled or withdrawn) Pending Sold, and New listings. The next column shows how many houses were sold in the last 12 months. Next, for active listings, the average price, within the price range. Next the average Sold price for those that sold this month. Then, the Days on Market (DOM), for sold houses only and last the Absorption in months of inventory. Absorption is the current inventory divided by the last 12 months sales times 12. This shows the number of months it would take to sell the active houses if the future sales rate remains as it was for the last 12 months.

The total line represents the totals and averages for the entire area.

Area 250 New Subdivision Detail

Area 250 New Subdivision Detail

This second table (click for larger) selects only New homes and those subdivisions that have had 5 or more sales in the last 12 months. All other New homes in the area are in the “Other” subdivision. Looking at the “other” subdivision one can see the averages for the smaller and one off New Home subdivisions and compare how they are doing vs. the larger subdivisions. The “Other” subdivision has the largest number of houses and that the absorption rate is 39 months. In general larger subdivisions are performing better, with the absorption in months of inventory lower. Note that this can be distorted on a “new” subdivision that has not been on the market for a year.

This next section is new for us but quite powerful. It takes all New house activities, (Active, Pending, Failed and Sold) , and picks those subdivisions that have at least 5, and gives details for that subdivision, for the current month only. It also puts all others into a subdivision called “Xother”. But the big difference is that we report on the competing resale/used/existing homes in the same subdivision since we are now seeing an increase in the competition from Existing/Used stock.

Caldwell Crossings

Caldwell Crossings

An example of this is the first subdivision Caldwell Crossing (click for larger) which shows 13 active “Existing” listings at an average price of $311,781 and 5 New at an average of about $400,000. One house sold Last month, a used one for $289,000.

Lake Cyrus

Lake Cyrus

Lake Cyrus (Click for larger) shows a different situation with the Resales being listed at higher prices than the New construction. Both New and Existing had sales last month but at the low end of the price range.

The entire detail is here(pdf): Area 250 detail Nov ‘08 Hoover, Bluff Park, Riverchase

The overall trends can best be seen in this Chart:

Area 250 Chart-Overall

Area 250 Chart-Overall

Madison City Limits: August 2008 Trends (Part 2)

This chart is dense by design. We show both the absolute number of active listings (Left Scale) and the months of inventory (Right Scale).

Huntsville Area 05 Madison City Active And absorption Aug 08

Huntsville Area 05 Madison City Active and Absorption Aug 08 (click to enlarge)

  • This area has generally had below 6 months of Used inventory from 2003 though the first quarter of 2007.
  • The New months of inventory began to climb in mid 2006. Our reporting service was showing “excess inventory” in late 2006.
  • This area has not previously seen this level of absolute,  or relative months, of Used inventory  since 1999.
  • New housing is impacted due to the high availability of Used resales, some of which are quite recently constructed.
  • In the beginning of 2008 there were the same number of New and Used houses available on the market. Builders are competing with their own older product as resales.
  • Some might take comfort that average sales prices or average sales prices per square foot have not declined. When discouraged sellers begin to lower their prices to clear inventory (as they must) this will change.

Let’s look further at the new housing picture (Part 3).

Madison City Limits: August 2008 Subdivisions (Part 3)

  • We report detail on 190 active new construction subdivisions We select all subdivisions with more than 5 sales of “NEW’ houses in the last 12 months and provide detailed breakdowns.
  • The breakout changes monthly depending on the sales threshold. Those that do not make the 5 sales threshold are grouped in the “OTHER” category (by area).
  • The system monitors all 1500 subdivisions in the Huntsville area for NEW houses only.
Area 05 Madison City Subdivision Detail Aug 08

Area 05 Madison City Subdivision Detail Aug 08 (Click to Enlarge)

  • As a general rule, the larger subdivisions, which have detailed breakouts, have lower months of inventory and lower “Failure rates” than the smaller ones (see below).
  • In this case  OTHER has 14.5 months of inventory as compared with an overall total of 9.2 for new as reported in the  Summary section located in Section One of this series.
  • This OTHER group also tends to cluster in the higher price ranges, which we have pointed out as problematic. However, in this area there are several subdivisions showing larger months of inventory available with two of them at the high end of the price range and the third at the lower end. The indication of high months of inventory can be due to being very new on the market and not having long sales histories, but it can also point to other issues.
  • We also see the 12 month “Failure rate”. “Failures” are those listings that terminate in something other than a sale. The builder may cancel a listing and then re-list the property with a new agent, or take other similar actions. This tends to be a sign of “seller frustration”. Note that we report failures in the summary tables as well, although those are one month figures. Still, high failure rates in new or used housing is a caution note that something is causing “Seller Fatigue”. Depending on where you are coming from you could simply attribute it to “buyers on strike”. This area tends to have a number of New homes scattered in smaller and or built out areas which is the reason that there are such a high number in the OTHER subdivision category.
  • The full report also shows the most active builders in this area are ALA HERITAGE CONSTR, HPH HOMES, LLC and ADAMS HOMES, LLC., each with more than 30 home sales in this area in the last 12 months.

In the full report we have charts showing data by price range, details of new listings vs. sales and many other features all of which can provide perspective on this difficult market.