My Favorite Report Writing Hack
Updated: Jan 31
For appraisers looking to save time in 2023, Highlight This is an excellent little tool for you! It's an innovative free Chrome extension that lets users quickly identify important website keywords. Instead of meticulously reading the text in MLS listings, this powerful little app makes it easy to speed through your grid and your workload - streamlining comp research, so it's faster and more accurate than ever.
MLS listings are often overflowing with superfluous language. Highlight This helps you instantly pinpoint relevant words and phrases during your sales comparison analysis and cut to the needed information without missing key features quickly.
Let me show you what I mean. Consider the following paragraph...
With Highlight This, it becomes…
I have also created a second category for negative keywords in red. and because my MLS is terrible about putting certain factors in their appropriate fields, a third category allows me to search for particular features I'm having trouble bracketing, like solar. I will put a single word into this category, and I can scroll through hundreds of listings in minutes until I see "orange." These are usually searches that would take an hour or more of carefully reading each listing in the market area until I found that "Easter egg."
To get Highlight This, Google "Highlight This: finds and marks words" and click "add to chrome" – Once it's added, click the pen symbol to edit and add words. Click the + sign to add new groups. To help you get started, I have published my list of keywords in a pdf so you can copy/paste them and then add your own words.
Highlight This is an invaluable tool for anyone looking to identify keywords in MLS listings quickly. It's free, easy to use, and provides a shortcut that saves considerable time over a busy day of analyzing multiple comparables. Give it a try and start becoming more efficient.
Brian Mathews is a State Certified Appraiser. AQB Certified USPAP Instructor, Trainer, and Speaker. Click here for a schedule of live courses and events.