Why is the Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young song “Teach Your Children” so popular? Because educating the young is one of the main responsibilities of any civilization. And that is why data about school attendance boundaries is so important for real estate agents and brokers.
In a recent survey of 1,000 home buyers conducted by Realtor.com, 91% of them said school attendance boundaries and buying in a high-quality school area zone was important to them. Some real estate professionals will tell you they have worked with buyers who felt finding a home with the best schools in the area was more important than the property itself.
Here’s another surprising fact. Many home buyers from China are buying homes sight unseen in America totally based on the school their children would attend. They know the value of a quality school system and they foresee a day when perhaps their children or grandchildren will be living and studying there. Or, they see this as a true indicator of the value of a property.
Older buyers might prefer to actually not buy a home in an area with high-rated schools because generally they know taxes tend to be higher. They don’t have children. Why pay more in taxes for a service they won’t use? Home prices will also be higher, perhaps 6% to 10% higher. Savvy home buyers also know one huge factor for resales is being located in that quality school zone area. Not only will the home sell quicker on average, but the seller will be able to command a higher price and for the most part, won’t have to go low in a counteroffer.
In fact, for very valuable school districts, you can sometimes look forward to multiple offers, depending on the inventory and other factors. Another fact. Many families will pass on an extra bedroom, a big yard or a garage, just to be located in a great school attendance area. Subpar listings or remodels will still have tremendous value if located in the right educational hotspots.
Bottom line – school attendance boundaries are going to be right at the top of the list when it comes to inquiries about real estate.
So, how are you as a real estate professional addressing this issue?
Are you just using anecdotal information to tell people, “I’m pretty sure this home is the in Einstein Middle School attendance area.” Or, are you posting a library of valuable real estate data on your site including school attendance zones in relation to homes for sale? Because in this day and age, just winging it ain’t going to make it. (My teachers are going to be mad with that sentence).
This is the age of big data – massive amounts of information available to consumers with just a few keystrokes on a desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone.
It’s guaranteed, today’s home buyers are going to want to search homes by school attendance boundaries. You had better provide it to them, or they are going to go elsewhere. Like your competitor’s site. Or one of the big real estate mega-sites such as Zillow or Trulia. Then all your potential prospects will be gone, like an eraser wiping off yesterday’s grammar lesson.
Be smart. Contact a hyper-local data provider such as Home Junction Inc., and add school-related data to your website. They have hundreds of local data sets covering everything from school size to student-teacher ratios. They also have a geospatial format that will display school attendance boundaries on a map and allow your home seekers to filter their search using these boundaries.
This is the information age. People want to know. They now have the tools at their disposal to find what they want.
To be a serious player in the real estate marketplace, you must have the data to give them what they want. Offer an encyclopedia of hyper-local school information and delineate the all important school Attendance boundaries on your website.
Your teachers will be proud of you.