What a great post chocked full of graph and chart creation tips. I like to use SnagIt in lieu of the Print Screen and Paint tips. I am fortunate in the DC area to have a subscription to RBIntel for dynamic charts and graphs easily accessible on my iPhone or iPad.
In today's media world we are VISUAL LEARNERS so anytime we can use charts, graphs, photos, or videos to convey our ideas we are better able to capture our audience. On that note, we should also write with our audience in mind. If you are doing reports for general consumers then it would look one way, if it was for a panel of economists or city officials, it might look another. Our writing should have the same philosophy. Know your audience.
I'm providing 3 options for creating visual images for your market reports: MLS, ChartGo, & Excel. Keep in mind that I'm a PC girl so if you are a MAC user there will be some differences.
Use your own board of Realtor MLS charts. I'm in two MLS areas, Austin & San Antonio. Both have very good reporting options even though they use two Multiple Listing Services. Below you can see I have many choices. The results will be tables, but that's still better than a bunch of words and numbers within a paragraph for visual learners. People can see trends in tables. Yours may do graphs.
After running a report, copy the image you want by using the "Print Screen" keyboard function. Next, paste the image into your "Paint" accessory, available to all PC users with a Windows platform.
In Paint, use the "crop" tool at the top and select a shape (I always choose rectangle) then select crop. Can repeat or undo if necessary. It auto saves as a .png which is preferable for web, but you can "save as" and make it a .jpg. Easy as pie. Keep in mind anything over 600 pixels wide might drop off your outside blog page.
You can still customize with your own photo editing preferences with titles and remarks.
You can design a graph using Chartgo.com. I'ts not as customized as Excel, but if you need time to learn Excel or don't care to customize, then this will work fine for you. I don't like that you can't brand it and you have no control over the color settings. You still have to use Excel to export data from your MLS. (Update, Christine Smith says you can change background colors.)
There are various types of charts - bar, line, cylinder, etc. In most cases, a bar chart is best for market reports. You have an X axis (horizontal) & Y axis (vertical).
You insert the data for the X axis, which in this case is price. You insert the Y data which in this case is the number of homes in each price category. Then label your axis, your chart, and choose fonts.
For those who have never done graphs, you may want to watch video tutorials on Excel that I posted below. My MLS exports CMA information into Excel, which is how I derived the data and why I said Excel is unavoidable.
For those who have some background in spreadsheets, this would be a good choice for you. Admittedly this is not my expertise or favorite thing to do, but I love the results so I took the time to learn. You get accurate detailing, can custom color and brand it however you want.
You'll need to export sales price from your MLS report results into Excel, then copy/paste into your template like I did below. The A column is for Y axis data (number of foreclosed per price range) and the B column is for X axis (price ranges). I set up a range with Serial Labels that are repeated into the graph and are the source of the information. I've posted 2 Excel tutorial videos for graphing for your viewing pleasure.
Take the time to customize, it really grabs attention since most don't do it. Again, we are visual creatures. The drop down menu is shown below. I really like that there are pre-defined layouts. I just chose one and modified the colors and fonts to suit my preference. I pasted my logo at the bottom for branding and to protect my creation. Lastly, I created a detailed explanation at the bottom for those who like details. It gives the source, which is always important to validate your research. I saved it as a template so now I just copy updated data, adjust the dates & details, and I'm done.
Go to YouTube for more tutorials. Keep in mind that most people have 2007. I use 2010 so mine look a bit different than yours might look.
Thanks for reading my blog!
I would love to assist you with the purchase or selling of your San Antonio, or surrounding area Texas home. Please contact me, CATHY BUREAU, GREEN Home Realty, Realtor®. I am ready to exceed your real estate needs!
CATHY BUREAU Broker/Owner
MBA, REALTOR, GREEN, SFR, ECOBROKER, SOLARAGENT
(210) 560-1891 Direct
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