This afternoon I attended a demonstration of Imapp, the new tax-information system replacing Net Value Central’s system for Phoenix real estate agents. Net Value Central allowed agents using the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service to (relatively) quickly access tax, sales and other data about a given home. Like NVC, Imapp uses data from the Maricopa County Assessor’s office but provides a decidedly slicker interface with a number of rather useful upgrades.
Enter a property into Imapp and rather than seeing a basic text-based page, you’re taken to a page anchored by a map highlighting MLS activity in the area. (Right now, anything in the MLS is shown meaning any activity over the last seven years will appear – it’s not a stretch to believe in many neighborhoods almost every house will be flagged for one reason or another. This was one of our group’s upgrade requests.)
The basic property information is the same as on NVC but the design of the page is much more user-friendly. Users can delete certain portions of the report, include others and also access information such as Flood Zones not currently available. And again, maps remain the page’s dominant feature.
As for searching capabilities, agents will be able to search for data either on the tax system or on the MLS while logged into the Imapp system – a duplication of effort, but not surprising from a group that has the local MLS contracts elsewhere nationally.
Best of all (at least to me and a few others), the system was designed by teckies who program with Mozilla Firefox in mind so there should be few to zero issues of pages and forms only working halfway before conking out.
What does this mean for agents? Once everyone gets the hang of the new system, there should be some definite efficiencies – for example, the new system culls comps for a user-defined time period and can offer raw suggested home valuations. (Zillow, anyone?) Agents would have to adjust for the usual factors but there’s a built-in starting point for a significant number of properties.
And for the general public? The ability to easily print and e-mail maps and data should add some transparency to the pricing process, helping sellers view the market more realistically and helping agents justify their pricing recommendations a little more easily.
We’ll add screen shots in a couple of days when they start to appear. I, for one can’t wait for the change to take effect.