Last week, I had a chance to catch Brad Pitt’s motion picture MoneyBall, the story of Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane’s successful attempt to put together a baseball club on a budget by employing computer-generated analysis to draft his players. The movie (trailer is here) is based on Michael Lewis’s 2003 book Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game. Beane’s “genius” in this case was to use data analytics to guide him in his player selection and deployment and, at the same time, ignoring distractions such as player popularity. By doing so, Beane was able to take a perennially losing team (even with big name and huge $ players) and transform them into the playoffs — even with coaches and players fighting him all along the way. Then, when the winning started, the coaching staff and players took ownership of the approach and other teams started to emulate the strategy.
I strongly recommend the movie and book to any serious real estate professional because — from my view, and those of others that really get the future of the business — real estate is less and less about the property-centric data and fast becoming all about the data and business analytics surrounding and weaving through it. The business strategy employed in Moneyball, and how seamlessly it can be applied to the business of baseball (or many businesses for that matter), offers some really interesting parallels to the real estate business as well.
MRIS’s Real Estate Business Intelligence company, RBI, presents an excellent example. Consumers are smarter and more demanding of not just data, but insight from a real estate professional. For the cost of one or two visits to Starbucks a month, an RBI Premium subscription will provide a wealth of hyper local data and tools to enable you to take your business to a new level. No more defending Zestimates (or soon, Trulia Estimates) at a kitchen table debate with a seller ….
MRIS is also focused on what we can to to improve our core service, Matrix, as well as the premium offerings such as agent websites, e-signatures and great enhancements offered at no additional cost to MRIS customers such as e-Fax, MRIS mobile (coming in 2011) and homesdatabase.com, recently ranked by HitWise as one of the top five real estate sites in our market area in terms of unique visitors.
We believe that a business centric approach, along the lines of the strategies in Moneyball, will work to help you do what you need to do — list more, sell more and earn more — even in a down market or as Brad Pitt experienced, with an ultra-tight budget.
American entrepreneurialism created the world’s best real estate business model, and that same drive, innovation and laser focus on customer service will lead the way forward.
We’re really interested in your views on this topic — before or after you see the movie or read the book. Let us know!