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Too few real estate agents appreciate how important a comparative market analysis (CMA) is.
The CMA is not only one of your core responsibilities as a real estate agent when serving either sellers or buyers. It is also the most visible representation of you and your brand to sellers. A great CMA will both win more listings and better serve home buyers.
When a potential client has interviewed multiple agents, how will your dated, incomplete, ugly CMA compare to the sleek and informative packet the other agents left behind during their listing presentation? Your CMA can easily be the difference between getting and losing the listing.
That’s why it surprises me there aren’t more contenders in the real estate CMA software niche. The below options don’t even have 100% MLS coverage. I don’t know what most agents do for their CMAs, but I know this is a major place you can up your game and really stand out from the competition.
Read below about the best CMA software options available!
$45+/mo. The best-in-class CMA software, Cloud CMA is part of the Cloud Agent Suite (which includes Cloud MLX, Cloud Attract, and Cloud Streams). Cloud CMA creates visually clean and elegant CMAs that will reflect well on you and your brand. It is available in most major MLS markets. I recommend this as the bread-and-butter CMA solution for the modern agent.
$99+/mo. DashCMA is a newcomer to the CMA game, and has already made a strong showing at events like Inman Connect. DashCMA focuses less on the adjustments and more on the price and presentation, giving your homeowner the information they need in a aesthetic and persuasive way to accept your professional price opinion.
$10/report. HouseCanary isn’t designed with Realtors in mind but can be a solution for agents depending on your needs. It relies heavily on AVMs and Big Data, the future of appraisals, to come up with actionable market insights into a home’s value both now and in the future. I recommend it for someone who already has a stellar listing presentation game and wants to outsource their CMA needs to the future of predictive analytics, machine learning, and AI.
Custom Pricing. MoxiWorks is a brokerage oriented solution, so small time agents and teams need not apply. But the MoxiWorks suite, of which MoxiPresent is one piece, is a strong contender for the business of large brokerages. MoxiEngage CRM comes with MoxiPresent, so consider MoxiPresent a bonus if you also like their CRM for your brokerage.
FREE. Realtor Property Resource (RPR) is the NAR owned report and CMA tool that is one of the most popular options for creating CMAs and listing information for Realtors. The best part? It is a free CMA software! While not as sleek or feature-rich as some competitors, it has a lot of information and reports, allowing you to quickly add value and market expertise to your business.
$192/yr ($16/mo). ToolkitCMA is the older and established CMA software option. It is one of the most affordable CMA options. It is not elaborate and a much more dated design than some of the competitors, but it will be a very familiar format for most agents. I recommend it to anyone who is more comfortable with the classic CMA look and fields.
Many MLS providers have a basic, free CMA tool.
Different MLSs have their strengths and weaknesses here, but I’ve generally found MLS CMAs ugly and inefficient.
This list also doesn’t include the proprietary CMA software that companies like Offerpad, Opendoor, or institutional investors have developed for their acquisitions teams.
Lastly, it’s not too hard to DIY your CMA. Being an analytical C on the DISC scale, my personal preference has been to use Excel and pdfs and give a lot of information to my clients via MLS displays and printouts.
Any residential real estate software, at a minimum, must have access to your local MLS data. Not all CMA software have relationships with every MLS, so your options may be limited based on your local market.
When creating a CMA, you will want to make adjustments to comparable homes versus the subject’s property data.
Common adjustments include square footage, number of bedrooms, acreage, flooring type, and more. Making adjustments are essential for a solid listing price and ensuring you are neither overpromising nor underpromising on the home valuation.
A CMA software that lets you easily create the adjustments you need for your market is important, though none of the current options do this as well or easily as I would like.
The CMA reports are what sell you as an agent. You want reports that you can customize to your brand, reinforcing your subject matter expertise as a forward-thinking and tech-savvy real estate professional.
Most CMA software has templated content like neighborhood trends, heat maps, or property flyers that can quickly make a CMA dozens or even hundreds of pages long. You want to be selective about what you include so that your clients aren’t overwhelmed with information or data.
And only include content that you can explain. Don’t know what absorption rates are? Don’t invite your seller to ask by including the CMA’s absorption rate graphs.
Also, don’t forget the homes that are not in your CMA, or among the comparables you’ve chosen. Homes that haven’t sold, weren’t comparable, or were withdrawn/expired, can tell you as much about a market as a home that did sell. And it’s also handy to have that information on hand when your seller asks “what about the home across the street? Their yard sign was gone in a week!” You can explain that no, it didn’t sell, but rented, or whatever the case may be.
Can you send your report directly to your clients’ email? Scroll through on the tablet? Does it pull in third-party information like schools, crime rates, and more?
Some software has additional features like creating property reports for a potential buyer, flyers, or more.
Interested in learning more about CMA best practices while earning CE credit? The CE Shop provides courses in the following states on market analysis.
Even the best CMA software is not necessary for a new agent trying to save some money. Be conscious of your spending.
But when you are ready to go to the next level in your business and are doing at least a few million a year in sales, CMA software is worthy of consideration.
Use free RPR software at a minimum if you are using nothing else. Or better yet, if your brokerage provides a CMA tool, use it!