Four property research tools to impress your clients

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    Director of Hunter Galloway, Nathan Vecchio, started broking in 2015. Using the techniques from Joshua Vecchio's Top Broker Handbook, he’s been writing big numbers, leading to Vow Financial naming him Broker Partner of the Year Rising Star in 2016.

    Sometimes it’s hard to communicate just how much value we add to our clients as brokers. Between navigating constantly changing bank policies, negotiating rates, fees and going into battle with SAI Global just to get settlement booked, it feels like brokers add lots of value to our clients.

    But being a Top Broker is about giving that little bit extra, so today I thought I’d share four free property research tools that never fail to impress clients.

    And one thing to remember… While you might have heard of a few of these tools, I promise hardly any of your clients have, so you are going to look like a true Top Broker in front of them.

    1. Show them the local area – WalkScore
    This is a great tool to help give clients an idea about local transport, parks and travel time in the area they’re interested in. It quickly ranks the suburb, or property your clients might be wanting to buy in, gives detailed information about public transportation, cafes and other amenities in the area.

    My favourite tool is the Travel Time Map, which gives them an idea of how far their potential new home is to anywhere by walking, driving, etc.

    For example, the Red Hill suburb in Paddington is considered a “Walker’s Paradise” by the app, which means that you can leave the car behind and get your daily errands done. This gives the buyer an idea about the future of the property they seek to buy and what the selling points would be for prospective renters.

    2. Learn about local demographics with Microburbs
    Microburbs gives you insight into the demographic data of an area and it’s taken directly from the Census. This holds a lot of information for potential buyers to understand whether the area is suitable for families, and make some deductions on the lifestyle on its inhabitants.

    Microburbs scores the suburb on the following categories:

    • Community Score – An overview of long-term residents and other communities in the area
    • Family Score – Schools, daycares and universities in the area
    • Lifestyle Score – Local cafes, pools, gyms and nightlife in the area

    3. Research rental vacancy rates with SQM Research
    Understanding what kind of rental income can be expected from a property is a hot topic in my clients’ eyes. Even if your clients are buying an owner-occupied property, it is worth understanding rental vacancy so they can consider who they will eventually sell the property to.

    SQM Research can help you determine the fundamentals of a healthy rental market:

    • Low Vacancy Rates – Vacancy rate is the number of rental properties on the market that are vacant. As an example, Paddington’s vacancy rate is trending lower, and is currently at 3.1%, which is a good sign.
    • Stable Weekly Rental – Stable weekly rent shows the market is not in decline or growth. Again, as an example, Paddington’s average weekly rent for a three-bedroom house is picking up with a 1% increase on the quarter.
    • Good Rental Yields – The rental yield is calculated as the gross annual rental, divided by the property’s value.
    • Supply and demand in balance – If there is too much supply and not enough demand, prices tend to soften. Whereas if there is too much demand and not enough supply, the prices increase. As an example, the number of houses for sale in Paddington has remained fairly stable since 2012, compared to the number of units, which has increased.

    4. Determining supply and demand – DSR Data
    DSR Data gives the area a grade towards its supply and demand. It’s a quick and easy online tool to see if the market your client is looking to buy in has balance. In other words, it’s a tool to help them negotiate better.

    • Demand to Supply Ratio Score – DSR uses a few more data points to estimate the demand to supply ratio, a simple predictor of capital growth potential.

    Wrapping up
    So which property research tools did you know and which are new to you? Share these tools with your clients to provide further value when working with them and I can assure you they’ll be pretty impressed!

    This has been republished with permission from Top Broker. Top Broker's vision is to rally mortgage brokers from across Australia to share the industry's best practices to help brokers maximise client value, reduce their working hours and increase their overall settlements and profitability. Check out more at:

    Original Article