TOTAL Store spotlight: Spark — Analyze data the way you want

Written by on April 24, 2017

Guest post from Brandon Reich, an appraiser, owner of Choice Valuation, PLLC and creator of TrendSheet 4 and Spark. You can find TrendSheet 4 and Spark in the TOTAL Store.

As an active appraiser, I struggle with time; needing more of it, using it efficiently, and when a new tool comes out, having the time to learn it. From talking to a lot of you, I know I’m not alone in that struggle, and that’s why we made Spark.

At its core, Spark is a time-saving tool for appraisers. It saves you time on every report in two primary ways:

First, Spark lets you quickly analyze your market the way you want to explain it. Every time you check a box in the 1004MC or the one-unit housing area, Spark provides a full analysis to you via a pop-up window.

The pop-up shows the analysis along with how a feature (e.g. median price per square foot) is performing and whether it went up or down. This lets you make a quick but accurate decision based on all the imported data rather than just what's available in the 1004MC.

Once you've completed your analysis, your data gets added into your report as a chart or graph to help further support your conclusions. This same data is also loaded into your Digital Workfile inside TOTAL for quick reference later.

Next, Spark lets you import up to 30 properties into your sales grid (including prior transfer history) based on both the MLS and public records data in less than a minute.

This saves you time and the hassle of typing in most of the information on your comps.

The sales grid section of Spark is customizable just like the market conditions, so you can load in data how you choose and even select whether you want information based on the MLS or public records data.

Tip: Use the default layout or customize the analysis however you prefer. Once set up, just hit save. Spark remembers your preferences, so you don't have to adjust your analysis every time.

From there, Spark lets you easily see where there are discrepancies between MLS and public records by highlighting those features in red right inside the Spark grid. Simply hover your mouse over the item in red and Spark shows you the discrepancy and lets you change to the data source in just one click.

If you want to change the way a feature is abbreviated or how it’s going into your report, just click that feature and quickly modify it to your preferences. Once saved, Spark will remember the change going forward.

Want more insight into your data?

Just click on any number in Spark to see the raw data. Whether it’s the data imported from the MLS, a number on a bar chart, contained within the 1004MC, or a dot in a scatter plot, you can click on any of them to see the data. For example, if you're showing a median price of $200,000 in the four to six month period in the 1004MC within Spark, you can click that number to verify the calculation yourself. See properties you don't want included? With Spark, you can quickly sort and filter, remove outliers, and exclude properties all within the grid.

There’s a lot more that's new to Spark so, check out this video to see what we’ve done.

From the speed to the ease-of-use, to being able to analyze your market however you want, Spark is different than other comp-importing and market conditions tools you’ve seen. Whether you’re new to data-importing and market analysis tools or you’ve been using one for a long time, take advantage of the free trial only available in the TOTAL Store and see for yourself that Spark is a better way.

What about your peers?

We’re genuinely excited about the newly updated Spark and other appraisers are too; here's what people were saying since the big update a few weeks ago.

“In the 18 years, I’ve been appraising this is the best tool for appraisers since the digital camera! Thank you!!”

“Awesome! Love the web-based analysis! I have saved SO much time per report now! Good data, much quicker, easier interface than the competition! Keep up the great work!”

“Thanks again for this wonderful tool and your fantastic, personal customer support.”

"Hey Brandon, first off – great tool. Just checking it out, going to say it is far superior to your competition, which I have used 15+ years."

Check out Spark in the a la mode TOTAL Store and get started with your free trial.