I need people.
I spent much of yesterday with my head buried in statistics and faced with an ongoing technical dilemma. Admittedly, this kind of work is not very sexy, but then I don’t have “people.” (And, I mean no offense to Cyber-Steve, Master of the Crashed Hard Drive. He just has different skill sets.) Since the breached birth of our new MLS system in May, I have been struggling with a way to easily import market statistics given that they (the perpetrators of Tempo 5) robbed me of my right-click capabilities. So, I started Thursday morning on a mission to right the wrongs, the “wrongs” being my data living under lock and key and a website which has consequently been displaying very outdated real estate numbers for a couple of months.
Skip this part if embedding stuff in web sites doesn’t turn you on.
If you don’t care about the nuts and bolts of my solution, scroll down a paragraph or two; the braver may soldier on. My first thought was to import the data in PDF format. In response to my question of how to embed a PDF on my web site, my bloggy buddies on Twitter quickly responded with the Docstoc and Scribd solutions. These turned out to be the right answers to the wrong question. I quickly remembered that the MLS reports include too many fields which are of no value to my readers, plus they offer the added bonus of getting truncated about halfway across the page when printed to file.
The ease with which I can post and update statistics is of paramount importance. (See “I don’t have people” above.) For this reason, I have always loved the Altos charts for listing activity because, once embedded, they are perpetually updated, kind of like magic. If at some point, I get hit by a truck, or a burning brick for that matter, consumers will have the comfort of at least knowing what the median listing price is for homes in their community. So, my solution for providing homes sales data comes about as close to being magically self-sustaining and worry free as I can get it, with the help of EditGrid.
Here comes the cool part.
Using EditGrid, I created a spreadsheet of homes sold, thirty-days back, for each of six San Diego I-15 Corridor communities. I embedded the spreadsheets in our web site and now, future updates require simply that I update the data on the EditGrid site. This is an example of my handywork:
All of these statistics currently live under the Market Stats button on our web site. I intend to update the data every two weeks or so, which should be quite manageable. Time permitting, I also hope to branch out and add some coastal communities to our list. Maybe this isn’t quite as exciting as, say, doing a load of laundry, but it’s all I’ve got for the moment — until I get me some of those “people.”