Market research/monitoring properties

Dear All,

I've started looking for IP about couple of weeks ago and what I found was that after visiting 6-7 flats on the weekends and 2-3 on weekdays it's hard to keep track of the once that you liked or disliked. What my wife and I do at the moment is, we write down the inspection dates and times for the properties we are interested in. After visiting each property we also add short comments and the estimated price range (if we didn't know the price). Still, this is an awkward process. When we've visited about a hundred properties it will be hard to remember them all and we'll have to constantly refer to our notes which is time consuming.

The idea that I came up with is - design a simple database which would include things like: street number, suburb, property type (flat, house etc), price (if known), comments. Then there will be inspection dates and times for each property, appointments that I've made with the estate agents for each property, auctions dates and times. When the property is sold it would still be kept in the database and I could see the prices for the suburb that I'm looking in.

I could also make this database available on the Internet for myself and my wife to update the records when we have time, and not only for us but for other people as well. The users of this system will be able to see each others’ research by running various reports i.e. suburb prices, 2 bedroom apartment prices per suburb, auction/inspection times for today etc.

Please let me know if you think this is a good idea, or otherwise how do you approach this problem, how do you do your market research?

My apologies if this is not the right forum for this thread, I wasn't really sure where to post it to.

Thank you all for your time.
Since I am a software engineer, a friend of mine who is into IP was asking me about doing the same sort of thing.

A database is a good idea but perhaps overkill for the situation (and I am keen to hear other people's reactions about this - if it gets a good response I might consider creating one as a shared medium for people here to use - would anyone *pay* for something like this?).

Why not consider getting yourself a modest Digital Camera (eg. 1-2 MPixel) and a modest color printer (if you want) and take digital photos of each property, which you can download to your computer.

You could then create yourself a template in Microsoft Word regarding particular facets of your properties and fill them in as well as adding color photos as required.

The pictures should immediately help you remember which is which. Might also want to take pictures of surrounding streetscape, nearly playground/parkland or whatever to help capture the "mood" of the property.
I, too, suffered from memory loss when I first started looking for IP's- particularly in the unit market.
After a while, I found that the best thing was actually a simple property checklist (Steve McKnight's old website used to have one- try his new one ) and a handheld tape recorder. I would take the checklist into the property and talk into the TR in the car, in between trips. This way I was able to later play back and recall with clarity which was which property. I now also like to take a digital camera, which is highly helpful.

As far as tracking sales prices go, if you're only researching one postcode, it's far easier just to buy the latest sales information from Residex or Home Price Guide- around $40 a postcode last time I looked.
Hi there.

I printed off a checklist to use at each property. If you would like a copy, I'll put it on. As I check each property, I jot down a little memory jogger about it. This makes it easy to recall a property at a later date.

Good luck!

Sue and I use a check list and often will cut the ad out of the paper or magazine and staple it to the checklist.

We find that the checklist helps us to focus and to remove some of the emotions involved in looking at properties.

Good luck

Thank you all for your feedback. I've downloaded Sunstone's check list, looks good. Would be interesting to have a look at other people's checklists and/or any other means of property monitoring.
G'day all,
I use my own check list, a photo of the front of the property,
and I give every property inspected a grading out of ten.
If the place doesn't rate a seven then it's goodbye to that one.
That's my way.
Bruce G(sydney)
Some of the people that I have spoken to also often cannot remember which potentil IPs that they like or dislike.
These people swear by the use of a digital camera and carry one every time they inspect a property and then come home and download all of the pics onto their computers.:p
The method I use, I borrowed from a Building Inspector. He has a whole bunch of codes WA = Wall, WI = Window, ect.

Then he uses the codes to write up a detail report for each room

WACR = Wall crack
WAMJ = Large wall crack

Works very well for my logical brain