Investors are always looking for better data sources to help them make better investment decisions. As more competitors seek to gain an advantage, analytics and big data are the next stage of profitable investing. However, investors still want to get good value for their money. They want big data sources without paying a premium for the information. There are a few strategies they can take to get information at lower prices. There are now more free and low cost sources of information than ever before. Helpfully, they are all online as well. A lot of ¬†the expensive¬†real estate investor software‚Äôs actually use data from the sources mentioned below.
- Use public sources
The best way to get data at a low price is to get information that the government makes freely available to all market participants. The government makes sales, foreclosures, bankruptcies and other market data publicly available at local municipal sources. Large companies like CBRE and Jones Lang LaSalle also publish free market reports analyzing trends and providing critical information. The US Census Bureau and Data.gov provide free federal data as well. These are now available in helpful, downloadable formats. They can be plugged into algorithms or charts to help make simple investment decisions.
- Free Google, Yahoo and Facebook data
Google, Yahoo and Facebook provide exquisite data free of charge. Investors around the world utilize these information sources to create large data sets and algorithms. Google Trends charts the volume of different search terms. This can give important indications into the popularity of certain products or services, as well as the main concerns that people are having. Similarly, the Facebook Graph is a publicly available tool that provides data on what users are liking and sharing. This gives important insights into purchasing decisions. Yahoo Finance provides a free source to download the movement of all stocks on a daily basis. The data can be easily exported into an Excel file where the investor can use VBA code to create sophisticated trading algorithms. For a fee, users can obtain data that is more frequent than daily opening and closing information.
The MLS system is the key real estate system of realtors, buyers, sellers and investors. It is a public exchange where a large array of data is found with all of the listings for homes on the market. They provide data about closings and market trends in the region. Well-known websites such as Redfin and Zillow incorporate MLS data. In addition, virtually every realtor has access to the MLS listings so that they can assist their clients. Investors can gain access to this site and download data so that they can make their own investment decisions. The site provides several useful customized formats to download and utilize the data.
Qlik is a business intelligence company located in New York. The firm provides remarkable data sets for all types of businesses. The also acquired a website called Data Market which helped to broker useful data sets between buyers and sellers. Those large data sets can be immensely helpful to make important investment decisions, whether they are sales, tax, retail, agricultural, industrial or other types of data. Depending on the data set, these can be fairly inexpensive but can also be pricey. In any case, astute investors should be able to make a return on the money spent to acquire the data.
Overall, there are more and more ways to get big data at a very small price. Real estate investor software can help to analyze some of this information and produce investment decisions. At the very least, it can help investors gain better insights into the markets they are targeting. Big data is more important than ever and utilizing the necessary tools to extract value is becoming more important.
Photo: Flickr: Mr.TinDC
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