When was the last time someone asked you “how are you doing?” and you answered back the auto-pilot response “good, thanks” … regardless whether “good” was an accurate answer?
That’s how we feel about the question of “how’s the market?” It’s very easy for most brokers to have a canned answer that projects conditions that incentivize the inquirer to either sell or buy. However, if you know us by now, you know what we’re going to say: “it’s not that easy, and the primary reason for this is that there is no one market. There are a gazillion ‘micro-markets’”:
- Geographic: Tribeca, Dumbo, UWS, etc.
- Stakeholder: Seller, investor, occupying owner, etc.
- Property type: Co-op, condo, single family, etc.
- Property size: Studio, 1-beds, 2-beds, etc.
- Pricepoint: <$600, $2MM, $6MM, $10+MM, etc.
And these micro-markets are not stand-alone; they are matrixed, with many different possible combinations. Dumbo investment 1-bed condos <$2MM, UES owner occupied 3-bed co-ops > $4MM, LES investor studios <$800k … you get the gist. NOW ask us how’s the market. It doesn’t make sense, right?
But you’ve done your research and are ready to get into a full-out debate with your broker on “the market” with a few handy and often sophisticated statistics up your sleeve. Great! Now the only issue is that the data you have, by definition, lags the market. It takes 2-3 months for a closed transaction to appear in public record, after 2-3 months of a closing process post signed contract. We’re talking 4-6 months or more of lag time, which is everything when it comes to having real-time, actionable, intelligent data at your fingertips. For as instantaneous data is, its currency is far from it. It’s like Venmo: it looks like you just paid someone instantly but that’s a mirage; the payment doesn’t actually occur for 3-4 days. Do not mistake instantaneous access to data for instantaneous relevance of data.
This is where intelligent, observant brokers really make a difference. By being in the market each and every day, through anecdotal data about micro-markets, after understanding historical building data and trends from experience versus charts, brokers continue to be the best source of real-time information. The market is still “old school” in these ways and it takes someone who can put these pieces together to turn it to your advantage and translate all this data into wisdom. After all, data is just that: pieces of information. You want to not just have the right data, but partner with someone who can harness its power to help you make the right decision at the right time.