Tip of the Week: Rolling 12-Month Data View

Analyzing market data through graphs and looking for trends can be tricky because the data points sometimes change drastically from month to month. For example, if a brand new condo building was built in October 2018, home sales may have seen a large spike that month, when October is usually a slow sales month. Thankfully, when creating charts in InfoSparks (a NorthstarMLS core service & market analysis tool), there is an option to use a “rolling” data view to smooth short-term fluctuations and highlight longer-term trends you are looking for.

By using the Rolling 12 Months, you can educate buyers and sellers on basic fundamentals of statistics and provide meaningful information that can be used to make buying and selling decisions. Each data point on the line graph represents 12 months of activity up to that point in time. The sample set will be larger for more meaningful trend analysis. Note how much smoother the line is when using the Rolling 12 Months calculation.

Click here to try it out!

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Create Your Own Real Estate Year in Review Did you know that you can create your own real estate year in review with InfoSparks (a NorthstarMLS core service) to share with your clients, sphere of influence and others in the area where you typically prospect? Within InfoSparks, you can choose from several different metrics (Homes for Sale, Closed Sales, Days on Market, Months Supply and more), to tap into. From there, you can choose to highlight whichever metrics you prefer and zero in on other variables, such as number of bedrooms, size, etc. Whichever way you choose to present your selected housing metrics, you’ll be able to show the last years’ worth of local market history. This screen shot above compares the # of Closed Sales in 2017 vs 2018, in St. Cloud vs Brainerd. Click to enlarge it. Combining your data-backed year in review with your experience and real estate expertise gives you the opportunity to talk about what 2018 looked like and what the trends point toward for 2019.
Submit Your Own Tip! Do you have a question that you would like to see featured a Tip of the Week? Or maybe you have your own tip you would like to share with other NorthstarMLS users. Send your question or idea to tips@northstarmls.com. We will use one submission each month and the winner will receive a $30 Caribou Coffee gift card!
Tips On Demand Want to check out older Tip of the Week topics? Click here to view an archive of previous Tip of the Week entries.
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Tip of the Week – Broker Marketing With Stats

Brokers can use Infosparks to have regular discussions about market stats and ways to make the most of the data. Analyze trends together in order to identify new and niche markets during weekly office meetings with your agents.

Stats can absolutely help explain brokerage progress (or, gulp, stagnation) by comparing the broker’s pending sales and new listings counts to the total market to help measure success.

Manage seller returns and buyer costs by using stats to generate ideas on where to increase showings and open houses, or use market metrics to forecast home prices and dollar volume.

The possibilities are as endless as the number of possible graphs you can make in Infosparks, which is about 40 quintillion per location per metric! Give it a try.

You can access Infosparks on the Matrix Home screen in the External Links box, or by clicking on the Infosparks link when viewing any listing in the MLS.


Submit Your Own Tip! Do you have a question that you would like to see featured a Tip of the Week? Or maybe you have your own tip you would like to share with other NorthstarMLS users. Send your question or idea to tips@northstarmls.com. We will use one submission each month and the winner will receive a $30 Caribou Coffee gift card!


Tips On Demand Want to check out older Tip of the Week topics? Click here to view an archive of previous Tip of the Week entries.

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Tip of the Week – NorthstarMLS Core Service Support Info

Looking for contact info for any of the core services available in NorthstarMLS Matrix?

The NorthstarMLS Help Desk is always available 8am to 5pm, Monday through Friday to answer your system questions or walk you through any issues you might be having. But sometimes it’s helpful to go directly to the vendor’s support staff. The Available Support page has contact information for all the core services available with your MLS subscription.

Click here to view the NorthstarMLS Available Support page and bookmark it in your web browser today!


Submit Your Own Tip! Do you have a question that you would like to see featured a Tip of the Week? Or maybe you have your own tip you would like to share with other NorthstarMLS users. Send your question or idea to tips@northstarmls.com. We will use one submission each month and the winner will receive a $30 Caribou Coffee gift card!


Tips On Demand Want to check out older Tip of the Week topics? Click here to view an archive of previous Tip of the Week entries.

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Infosparks, the interactive analytic tool and NorthstarMLS core service, will be relying on Google maps for the My Areas mapping utility beginning today!

Functionality in Google maps will be similar to Bing maps. Users will have the same features, with the added ability to pinpoint to a specific location, which has been a popular request.

Give it a try the next time you’re using Infosparks. You can access Infosparks on the Matrix Home screen in the External Links box, or by clicking on the Infosparks link when viewing any listing in the MLS.

NorthstarMLS Matrix will also switch to Google Maps sometime in late October. Stay tuned for more info on that addition. 

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Infosparks Metric Spotlight: Months’ Supply of Inventory

Months’ Supply of Inventory (MSI) is a calculation that quantifies the relationship between supply and demand in a housing market. If new homes stopped entering the market, how many months would it take to burn through all of the homes currently available for sale? MSI answers this question.

Typically, MSI is calculated by dividing the current month’s inventory figure by a rolling 12-month calculation of pending sales. It’s also possible to use monthly pending sales, monthly closed sales or rolling 12-month closed sales, but Infosparks (a NorthstarMLS core service) uses the rolling 12-month pending sales figure to adjust for seasonality and to retain the forward-looking, predictive nature of pending sales rather than the past-oriented closed sales figure.

Often, MSI is mistaken for an inventory-only related metric. MSI is related to inventory but is not solely impacted by inventory. It speaks to the relationship between inventory and buyer activity.

Generally, a balanced market will have an MSI between 4.0 and 6.0 months. If MSI is displayed as less than 4.0, sellers have gained asking power. If MSI gets above 6.0, buyers have gained negotiation power.


Did You Know Archive Want to check out older Did You Know articles? Click here to view the archive of previous Did You Know articles on the NorthstarMLS Blog & Archive.

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Tip of the Week: Agent Marketing with Stats

Have you tried Infosparks to create and share market activity in your area? It’s a NorthstarMLS core service that’s handy for reviewing up-to-date market stats, creating information-rich graphics and more, using NorthstarMLS data. You can access Infosparks on the Matrix Home screen in the External Links box, or by clicking on the Infosparks link when viewing any listing in the MLS.

By promoting yourself and your brand with data-rich products, market stats can help increase your credibility in the marketplace. Being able to reply to “How’s the market?” with ease and confidence, along with empirical evidence to back up your answer, creates an influential reputation and strengthens your negotiating power in the market.

Add stats to drip marketing campaigns. Promote properties and services by comparing your personal track record to the market. Example: “My homes sell in X fewer days than the market average of Y.”

Deeper interactions with facts will empower clients to make data-driven decisions, and it will be easier to connect with analytical personalities as well as to guide emotional decision makers.

Create stories that are universally understood by presenting market stats combined with your trend analysis to dominate your market!


Submit Your Own Tip! Do you have a question that you would like to see featured a Tip of the Week? Or maybe you have your own tip you would like to share with other NorthstarMLS users. Send your question or idea to tips@northstarmls.com. We will use one submission each month and the winner will receive a $30 Caribou Coffee gift card!


Tips On Demand Want to check out older Tip of the Week topics? Click here to view an archive of previous Tip of the Week entries.

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Tip of the Week — Using Max in Infosparks

Meet Max. Max goes back a loooong way. Like as far back as there is reliable data. Infosparks defaults to a 3-year historical view of the market, because most answers can be obtained by looking at fairly current data.

But if you want to see a longer trend line, than select Max (as seen in the screen shot below).

Here are two examples using Homes for Sale (click for screen shot) and Median Sales Price (click for screen shot) in the Twin Cities. In each case, the trend line for a three-year view only scratches the surface of what Max can offer. Utilize Max (click for screen shot) to set buyer and seller expectations.

Click here for a printable PDF of this Tip with large screen shots.


Want to check out older Tip of the Week topics? Click here to view an archive of previous Tip of the Week entries.


Submit Your Own Tip! Do you have a question that you would like to see featured a Tip of the Week? Or maybe you have your own tip you would like to share with other NorthstarMLS users. Send your question or idea to tips@northstarmls.com. We will use one submission each month and the winner will receive a $30 Caribou Coffee gift card!

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Tip of the Week – Functional “My Areas” in Infosparks

Let’s say you have a buyer that wants an Edina address but the income just isn’t quite lining up with that desire. What can you do? Infosparks can help you find other interesting options!

You know the market well, so you know that Hopkins and Saint Louis Park have an overall lower median sales price compared to Edina. You’ll obviously want to show those areas off, too. But you also know that there is a part of Edina amidst those other cities that might also be affordable.

You are also aware that these older suburbs have something akin to traditional city neighborhoods. A good home at a fair price can be obtained if a buyer is looking in the right place. So you open up Infosparks and draw a map using My Areas that looks something like this:

You call it “Hop-SLP-Edina-169” and place it next to the other three cities for comparison. Then, based on the specifications of your buyer, you specify single-family home, previously owned, traditional sale, 3 and 4 bedrooms to achieve this comparison:

Notice how the Hop-SLP-Edina-169 prices are all lower than the three stand-alone cities? As a buyer, wouldn’t you like to see your agent creating scenarios that can help you meet your dreams?

Once a “My Area” is created, it lives within your Profile to be drawn from later, so create subareas to your heart’s content to tell stronger stories about the sub-regions you know exist in the marketplace!

Click here for a printable (PDF) version of this Tip


Submit Your Own Tip! Do you have a question that you would like to see featured a Tip of the Week? Or maybe you have your own tip you would like to share with other NorthstarMLS users. Send your question or idea to tips@northstarmls.com. We will use one submission each month and the winner will receive a $30 Caribou Coffee gift card!


Tips Archive Want to check out older Tip of the Week topics? Click here to view an archive of previous Tip of the Week entries.

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Tip of the Week – NorthstarMLS Core Services

Did you know that there are over 20 NorthstarMLS Core Services? These are the applications and services that are included with your MLS fees at no additional charge — which include Matrix, Realist, BookAShowing, Add/Edit, Infosparks and more.

You can view all NorthstarMLS Core Services here

Additional Tools & Services
NorthstarMLS® contracts with a number of 3rd party vendors who provide additional value-add services to NorthstarMLS users. NorthstarMLS provides a data feed to these vendors. They incorporate the data into their products and market them to NorthstarMLS users for an additional fee. Click here to see a list of all the vendors who currently have a data feed.

Please Note: NorthstarMLS does not endorse any of these products/services, nor do we provide technical support for them. We enable their use in our market through the MLS data feed. Purchase of any of these additional tools is your business decision. Contact them directly to learn more about and purchase their products.

Need a little Extra Guidance of the NorthstarMLS System?
Check out the NorthstarMLS YouTube Channel! You can go online quickly learn how to use some of the NorthstarMLS® core services, and even learn some tips and tricks for them.


Submit Your Own Tip! Do you have a question that you would like to see featured a Tip of the Week? Or maybe you have your own tip you would like to share with other NorthstarMLS users. Send your question or idea to tips@northstarmls.com. We will use one submission each month and the winner will receive a $30 Caribou Coffee gift card!


Tips On Demand Want to check out older Tip of the Week topics? Click here to view an archive of previous Tip of the Week entries.

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