MBC's Spreadsheets Coming Alive

By Dave Fratello | September 17th, 2009
Hope the word "spreadsheets" in the title didn't cause you to nod off, because we have some good news to share.

MBC's twice-monthly MB Market Updates are now going live & online. For the first web-published pages, click here for the 9/15/09 update.

No more musty old PDF downloads. The new spreadsheets are cleaner, more colorful and far easier to navigate.

Here's the big innovation: Property addresses are live hyperlinks to pics & details via Redfin.

This means that, at any time, you can open up the current MB Market Update spreadsheets and go straight to any property on the list to learn more.

As much as we like various property search tools (including Redfin's and ZipRealty's), there's simply no substitute for having MB properties divided up in the same manner that buyers and other market watchers view them – by region and by price.

So use the new MB Market Update pages as your starting point.

Bringing MBC's spreadsheets into the 21st century has been a vague goal for a while, something we've even discussed with some fine gentlemen in central Asia, Seattle and MB who had offered to help.

In the end, your blog author set out to produce the template without outside help, relying on Google Docs instead. That's right, we're now working and publishing in the cloud.

Current Features

Use links to tab between sub-regions west of Sepulveda. For the Hill Section, there's one page of active listings, and one for recent sales. For the Sand & Trees, there are 2 pages of actives and one each for recent sales.

Active listings are live links. You can click on the address of any active listing to go straight to the Redfin page summarizing the listing. As cues, the addresses are underlined and there's blue text on each page of actives saying the same thing. On our computers, clicking on an address/link opens up a new tab, so the spreadsheet stays active in another window.

Tracking data by region. The last tab at the top, titled "TRACK," provides summary data for the period of the current spreadsheet. By region and by price range, the total number of new listings, new escrows and cancellations are all listed. The number of active SFRs in each category is given, as is a total figure for all active SFRs west of Sepulveda. You'll also see another box (grey background) that we sometimes fill in with other data such as number of closed sales in a given period.

Features to Come

Regular/auto-updating. The new MB Market Update for 9/15/09 is a big leap forward. But this update captures data only from Sept. 1-15, 2009.

We should be able to offer more real-time data in future spreadsheets. For instance, the actives & solds will be updated online whenever your blog author updates the spreadsheets, and DOM counts can be auto-updated from the listing's start through the day you're reading the page.

These are relatively small steps, but not ready for publishing quite yet. We'll let you know when this change is implemented.

What MBC Needs from You

Keep us current. Frequently, readers will notice before the blog author that there is a problem with a link. A property may be canceled but still appear on the page, for instance, as active. Or a link may go to the wrong property entirely. Please report problems, broken links, or changes via email to: mbwatcher [at] gmail.com.

Your requests. We've tried to design something that's got a lot of what anyone would want to help track the local RE market. But we may be missing obvious features, or esoteric ones that you'd like to see regardless. Please provide your feedback and suggestions, and let's see how the presentation can be improved.

Oh, and if you think changes here at MBC are overdue, we've got more changes to come... Stay tuned.

Please see our blog disclaimer.

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