The Real Estate Encyclopedia
Up a Creek?
Category - Real Estate Information Sources - Real Estate Articles
Everyone in the industry acknowledges that the consumer has more knowledge and power than ever before, thanks in the most part to the power of the Internet. But no one can agree on just how much of an effect that is having on the real estate industry.

One thing is for certain, however, is that the consumer is hungry for information and has found an avenue outside the real estate agent to find it. Compounding this is the fact that consumers are demanding much more information and the interpretation of that information from their agent than ever before. As a result you may find yourself up that proverbial creek in the MLS canoe without a paddle.

Every agent has access to sales information for their neighborhood and it’s certain that in today’s market there is no real differentiation between agents just because of access to the local MLS. Today’s differentiators all involve knowledge and how to use it. One of the most critical ones, according to NAR, is knowledge of the neighborhood. This is one of the most important requirements of today’s consumer - right behind honesty and integrity.
So a good real estate agent must become a true neighborhood specialist that recognizes that MLS data is largely historical and widely available to consumers in some shape or form. MLS information, although very valuable, is limited to recent sales, current listings, pending and expired properties. It doesn’t encompass the wealth of neighborhood information that the consumer needs to make the right decision, such as: What will happen with the vacant land that is adjourning the neighborhood? How is it zoned? Are there any proposed changes to the roads leading into and out of the neighborhood? Do I have to be concerned about any soil conditions? What is the impact of the community bylaws? Are there any Home Owners Association regulations that affect the future value or salability of my home?

An agent that is a true Neighborhood Specialist should understand all the information that the new online consumer is looking for - but where does he or she find all this data? The easiest and quickest method is through the new Certified Neighborhood Specialist (CNS) course. This new program provides in-depth training on how to learn about all aspects of your neighborhood, how to locate and interpret the data and most importantly, how to use it to assist your client.


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