FVREB Stats Centre or MLS® HPI Dashboard: Which tool should you use?

Come on, you know that’s a trick question. 😊 The answer, of course, is both!

Forward-thinking FVREB members embrace every competitive advantage available to assist them in providing value for their clients.

To continually enhance their professionalism, REALTORS® embrace PDP and life-long learning and as a duty to clients, commit to staying current on new industry rules and regulations. To effectively engage with clients and prospects Fraser Valley members use the best, most up-to-date communication tool for the demographic – Paragon’s Collab Centre, social media, auto-notifications, texts, emails – whatever best meets their client’s needs.

When determining the most accurate list price recommendation or offer/counteroffer, great Realtors rely on the most up to date MLS® data and tools to interpret that data. Nothing trumps your Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) or your local knowledge, but you do have excellent supporting tools that will validate what your experience and MLS® reports are telling you.

Which brings us to the new MLS® HPI Dashboard and the not-so-new (introduced in 2013) FVREB Stats Centre.

Both are effective, essential pricing tools, but they serve different purposes. First, let’s recap what they are and then review when you’d use them.

What is the MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Dashboard?

As we’ve explained in a few recent NewsReal articles (October 22nd article, here), CREA launched this free tool in 2020 to help REALTORS® apply the MLS® Home Price Index – the most accurate tool to gauge change in home values in Canada – to real-life listings.

As members know, you’ve had the index for over 15 years, but you didn’t have a tool that a) merged all the HPI features in one place, and b) ‘auto-calculates’ the change in HPI and applies it to an actual home or listing. In short, you don’t have to risk using your grade 10 algebra anymore, the tool does it for you.

Does this tool allow you to look up average prices? Or days on market? No, it only has Benchmark prices, which are derived from the MLS® HPI. Can you search the percentage of sale price to original list price? No. How about the Sales-to-Active-Listings ratio? Sorry, no. This is strictly an HPI tool. If you’re looking for a quick tool to source those other handy stats, keep reading.

The key benefit to your new HPI tool is to validate your CMAs using the Price Estimate tab. With it, you can quickly see how a ‘typical’ home fitting the description of your client’s has changed in value over time. For example, your CMA suggests that your client’s listing is worth $850,000; but applying the change in index to the most recent sale price, suggests the house should be worth $100,000 less. However, you know that your client has done extensive renovations and the listing is not ‘typical’ for that neighbourhood. Thus, the tool, has helped to validate your recommended fair, asking price. It has many other uses, but if you only use it for one thing, that is it.

With our new tool, can I look up MLS® HPI data for the Vancouver Board?

The number one question we received during our MLS® HPI Dashboard webinars was, “Can we look up the index and benchmark descriptions and so on for REBGV areas and sub-areas?” Not with our FVREB tool. It only accesses our Board’s data. MLS® data is proprietary; CREA can’t arbitrarily offer our members other Boards’ data.

And secondly, the dashboard is just being rolled out across Canada and we are amongst the first Boards to offer it to our members (it’s not yet available to REBGV members). That said, thanks to extensive cooperation between our boards, you already have access to REBGV area and sub-area MLS® HPI Benchmark prices through our FVREB Stats Centre (as they do for ours.)

What is the FVREB Stats Centre? How is it different from the MLS® HPI Dashboard?

One is devoted to the HPI. The other is an all-in-one graphing tool that displays a multitude of MLS® data and statistics straight from Paragon plus you can pull up MLS® HPI Benchmark prices – Paragon data flows automatically to the FVREB Stats Centre at month-end; the Benchmark prices are pulled manually from Altus, the HPI provider, and uploaded by FVREB staff, also at month-end.

Much of the area-level data available in the FVREB Stats Centre is included in our monthly stats package – average prices, median prices, number of sales, number of active listings and so on – but wait for it! This tool offers access to SUB-AREA data and the ability for you to make it visually appealing and share it with your clients. YOWZA.

In addition, the FVREB Stats Centre provides access to other, super-helpful data, like average days to sale, the sales-to-active-listings ratio (BEST stat EVER – don’t know what that is? TIP: email laurie.dawson@fvreb.bc.ca, she’ll turn you into a fan in two minutes.), price per square foot and so on. Plus, as mentioned, you can graph all these and share it with your clients (either a PDF or a URL).

For ease, here’s a chart comparing the functionality of the MLS® HPI Dashboard tool and the FVREB Stats Centre.

So, as you can see – both stats tools have their uses – and both will help you carve out your niche as a local market expert.

To access either one, head to REALTOR Link® and in the middle of the main page there are buttons, choose Stats Centre – Custom Graphs for the FVREB Stats Centre or MLS® HPI Tool for the MLS® HPI Dashboard tool. For help with either one, reach out to our helpdesk@fvreb.bc.ca or (604) 930-7626.

Source: FVREB Communications