MLS Websites Are Terribly Inefficient - Is There a Better way?

2 Replies

Hey! I am analyzing properties one by one through sites like Realtor.com,Zillow exc. 

As a first cut I am calculating which properties cashflow by plugging in estimated price, rent, debt service, expenses, exc. 

This all takes about 15 minutes per property just for data entry. Perhaps I am just slow but this seems very unscalable to research the ~250 properties in my market that fit my basic criteria.

I could hire someone to help with the data entry and have also found a number of web scraping tools like Parsehub but these options are not ideal for such a simple task. It would seem like a very basic feature to allow an export feature on Zillow. 

I am simply trying to create a .xls export of the properties in my market.

What are some alternatives to scraping these sites with an external tool?

Any help is greatly appreciated! 

Thank you! 

-Joe

It sounds like these are all in the same county (property taxing authority) and the rents and other expenses except for financing costs are only guesses.

In this case your answers aren’t property specific. 

Your financing costs and payment as well as your property tax will be based on price, so run 5 properties from minimum to maximum price for your criteria, that will give you your debt service multiplier. With those 5 you’ll also get a pretty good idea of multiplier for property tax and insurance. 

If you have a tight criteria you should have your rent down in your head. Each property should take less than a minute. Have your realtor send you an MLS search of your criteria. Day one might have 10 or 100 properties depending your criteria. After that you will probably get less than 5 per day.

My example is less than 20 years older (used to be 10), stucco siding, tile roof, 1900-2500sf, 3-5 bedroom, 2+ car garage. (I recently switched to 3 car garage and single story, really narrowing my market.) when the realtor’s automated list is emailed to me I already “know” how much rent it will bring and since I know my property tax and insurance are insignificant in Vegas, I use $/sf to eliminate many/most. 

If you go really slow at the beginning it could take 5 minutes per property but within a week it should be 30 seconds. 

250 properties at 15 min each is 62.5 hours

Just imagine that you are taking a class that will provide you financial freedom in the future.

once you finish this class, you should be able to analyze properties faster and have a better understanding.

Using a scaping tool for your first go around makes me believe you won't really understand your market once the 'analysis' is done.