REP poll that found a majority of agents believe monthly statistics are important to their businesses.
Some 85 per cent of respondents answered “yes” when asked if they found monthly sales data useful. However, many sales reps – and another 15 per cent of poll respondents – pointed to the hyper-local nature of the industry.
“Real estate is very local, and even local statistics don’t mean much,” says Norman Schneiderman, an agent in Halifax. “People want to hear them when you talk to them about real estate, but if you’re interested in a property, you’re looking at the properties around it that sold, and that’s different in every neighbourhood.”
In Toronto, which is often blamed for skewing statistics, agents are also claiming broad market data isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
“People are interested in local,” says Kathi Oliver, a sales rep focused on Toronto’s Rosedale neighbourhood, “what’s happening in their neighbourhood or even in their building. If clients want to sell, they don’t care what’s happening in Vancouver.”
Still, Schneiderman and Oliver both say they still read reports from the Canadian Real Estate Association, as well as those from their respective boards, but that’s just to discern general trends.
“I’ll look at the stats for Halifax and I’ll look for trends to see what’s going on, if there are a lot of buyers or not,” Schneiderman says. “But real estate is so specific.”
Oliver says she, too, reads various statistical reports in an effort to keep up with what’s going on in the world of real estate – “Otherwise I’m stuck in my 2,000-kilometre by 2,000-kilometre area,” she says.
She also points to agents with big-budgeted investor clients who would benefit from such cross-country reports.
“When you’re looking from an investment point of view, you want to know if things are selling or if things are dead,” she says. “Residentially, if you have a company and you want to build in another city, you need to know what’s going on there.”
Sales reps across the country are questioning a recent