Secure Your Real Estate Website Using SSL

Over the past few years there has been a considerable push on the web to get all website traffic encrypted. You may have heard of HTTPS vs. HTTP or SSL vs. non-SSL. Or maybe someone told you that your website needs to be secure. But what does all of this mean for your Real Estate website and what can you do about it? We’ll cover some of the basics to help you better understand the important details of securing your website and how to go about making it happen.

You need to have a secure website. A secure website encrypts the information being passed between your users and the website itself. This helps prevent hacking, fraud and other issues caused by “the bad people”. The web browsers themselves are pushing for websites to be encrypted. Chrome is now informing users when a website is not encrypted by labeling websites as such in an effort to encourage website owners to upgrade.

Search engines are also starting to favor websites using HTTPS in their search results and this trend will grow in the coming months.

How to Encrypt Your Real Estate Website

There are many options for getting your website on HTTPS and the first place to start is your website hosting provider. SSL certificates are installed on the server hosting your website so you’ll need to contact the host or company in charge of your website to help you get started. Sometimes your host will have free SSL encryption options available but many times you’ll need to pay for a certificate. The cost of certificates varies but the average website certificate costs between $29 – $99 per year. Each year you may need to renew and have a new certificate re-installed so be sure to ask about how renewals work when talking to your provider.

Home Junction Makes It Easy!

If you have a Real Estate website powered by Home Junction, you may already have an SSL certificate. Most new websites we sell include an SSL certificate and encryption free of charge automatically. You don’t need to do anything and when we launch your site it will be encrypted free of charge.

If you’ve been a customer for a while your website may or may not already be encrypted. If you visit your website and you see a green “Secure | https://” at the beginning of the address bar, it’s already encrypted. If not, rest assured that you’re probably on our list of websites that needs to be upgraded automatically in the coming months. There are a few older websites which cannot be upgraded to SSL due to platform limitations. If you aren’t sure if your website supports SSL and don’t see the “Secure” message in your browser’s address bar, please contact support today to ask about upgrading.

Real Estate Market Data Is One Way To Overcome Frustration With Lead Generation

real estate market dataReal estate market data can be a critical factor in determining the number of leads an agent can capture with their website.

This is important for several reasons.

For one, the lack of leads is a major source of disappointment for many agents.

According to a survey of real estate agents conducted by the National Association of Realtors, 72% reported they were unhappy with the number of leads their websites were generating. That’s horrendous.

For brokers, only 36% were satisfied with the number of leads. Again, a horrible number.

Another question was posed to brokers and agents. How would you rate the return on investment on your website?

Only 12% said “Excellent” and only 25% said “Good.” Not an admirable percentage at all.

It’s apparent. Agents are not getting the leads they need.

That’s understandable. For anybody in sales, you can almost never have enough leads. Because that’s what fills up your bank account.

Naturally, everybody in real estate who sells something wants more leads from the agent to the mortgage broker to the moving company to the remodeling company.

But an important factor to consider is that the landscape real estate lead generation has changed over the years.

Real estate market data necessary for agents serious about leads

As a real estate broker or agent, what changes have you made?

Take real estate market data for example.

There have been incredible advances made in data aggregation, or “Big Data” in the past decades.

For one, data storage continues to drop in price and increase in capabilities.

Used to be one gigabyte of data storage was a big deal.

Now you can get 64 gigs of storage on your smartphone.

Today, people talk in terms of terabytes – the ability to store…of data, like it’s nothing.

Secondly, the ability to not only gather “big data,” but to transmit it has grown tremendously.

Remember the old days of the squeaking AOL modems hooked into a landline phone? In those days, you were lucky to be able to transmit a photo without waiting at least 10 minutes.

Today, everybody is hooked into the high-speed internet. That’s a big pipeline to transmit all that big data.

Here’s the bottom line.

Sure, brokers and agents are frustrated with the number of lead their websites are generating.

But what have they done to make their websites more in tune with the times?

For example, taking a step to tap into these massive big data pipelines of real estate market data.

Data aggregators such as Home Junction have made it incredibly simple for brokers and agents to beef up their websites with all sorts of hyper-local information.

  • Property sales data
  • Market trend data
  • School information
  • Population demographics
  • Crime statistics
  • Local business listings
  • Home value estimations
  • Market comparisons

Home Junction has created an API that basically enables a broker or agent to embed some simple coding into their website and then pull in the data they want, customized to the markets or neighborhoods they are targeting.

Here’s the key point. If you want to attract more leads, you need to provide the type of information that attracts consumers.

Consumers constantly search for property data

Brokers and agents today should have the mindset that they are more than sales agents.

They should adopt the persona of being information resources.

Because, after all, that’s what consumers want.

Somebody who can answer their questions. And there are a lot of questions.

Consumers today know, this data is out there and available.

So, are you going to be the place they turn to?

And not with some anecdotal responses such as, “This area has great schools.”

Instead, the real pro will answer that question by pointing to an area on their website filled with local data on the middle school their children would be attending.

For example:

  • Number of students enrolled in the school
  • Student/teacher ratios
  • Demographics
  • Contacts at the school
  • And much more.

Now, think about the lead generation possibilities with this real estate market data tailored to any local neighborhood.

Consumers want information about schools, market trends, property prices, etc.

Do you have these answers on your website?

That’s what real estate market data from providers such as Home Junction will provide.

Need to know what your home is worth? They can also supply an agent with a Home Value Estimator tool (just like the mega-sites).

Curious about how this neighborhood compares to another neighborhood?

Here’s some real estate market data that helps you gauge one community over another.

Want to know if a particular area is safe for your family?

Here are the local crime statistics.

Enticing people to visit your website with this data, is the same as promoting an open house and putting up signs and ads inviting people to attend.

When consumers come to your website seeking answers to their questions, are you taking the opportunity to ask them for their contact information?

Home Junction also offers real estate WordPress themes that are built to help you maximize the way you capture leads.

Get an edge in social media

Here’s another key development regarding real estate lead marketing that has taken place in the last decade – social media.

What a great way to reach out to buyers and sellers.

It’s all free!

There’s are plenty free channels:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • And more

What a fantastic tool for agents!

The problem is, according to that NAR survey, 91% of agents are engaged in marketing on social media.

That’s nearly 100%. Nearly every agent out there is also using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest to reach out to buyers and sellers.

How are you going to stand out in this sea of agents on social media?

By offering consumers answers to their questions with real estate market data on your website.

Take this scenario. Which post on Facebook is going to generate more leads?

“Hey, buy a house from me.”

Or:

“Thought you might be interested in the latest data on trends in home prices in ABC neighborhood.”

Same goes for email marketing. Email is a fantastic way to reach out to prospects with the click of a mouse.

Certainly beats designing a mail piece, going to the printer, waiting for the printer, picking up the mail piece, taking it to the post office and waiting for the postal worker to deliver your message.

The thing is, like social media, you are not the only one using email marketing.

Consumers today are bombarded by emails. They get tempted to subscribe to them by some special offer. And then their inboxes become cluttered with an endless stream of pitches.

It’s a battle to get your message to stand out above the others.

Actually a two-part battle.

One, you want a consumer to get enticed by the subject line so they open your email and not just skip over it.

Secondly, you want them to be persuaded by the content in the email so they click on a link back to your website.

The “buy a home from me” approach is not going to cut it.

The subject line with “See these charts on the rise of property prices in __________ town” will catch their attention.

With the internet, the way a consumer can reach out to an agent is incredible. They can fill out a contact form that will be sent to an agent at any time of the day or night, regardless if the agent is in their office or sitting on a chair at the beach.

But persuading a consumer to fill out that contact form, amidst all the clutter and noise out there, is far from easy.

That’s why you need the tools of the 21st century, like real estate market data, to optimize your efforts when it comes to lead generation. Don’t get frustrated. Get busy.

 

 

 

 

 

Real Estate Market Data Is An Effective Way For Brokers To Dazzle Top Talent

real estate market data

Real estate market data plug-ins are a a sure-fire way to impress and entice agents you might want to bring into your brokerage.

Why? Because in this digital day and age, providing advanced online assets is a surefire way to win the talent game.

We’re not just telling you this. Agents are saying this.

According to a survey by the National Association of Realtors, a number of agents were asked this question: Do you want your broker to expand the amount of technology they offer you?

A whopping 45% said yes. About 24% said no. Another 32% said they had no opinion which probably means they don’t really know how technological advancements can make them more effective.

Some of the hi-tech those agents wanted were CRM databases, better computers, faster internet, more professional websites, etc.

Here’s one key item they also requested: cutting edge technology.

The ability to offer real estate market data is empowering

The savvy broker will know this request doesn’t just mean providing an agent with a clunky new desktop computer.

Sure, there are plenty of devices out there that can make an agent more productive.

And just like other business, that technology can give a brokerage firm an edge in the marketplace – not just with attracting agents – but also giving agents the means to generate more listings and buyers.

Agents can now show homes on their iPads. Drones can shoot aerial photos of properties from overhead. Listings can be updated by an agent sitting in a car with a smartphone.

But there’s more to real estate technology than just fancy gadgets.

There’s also the ability to disseminate massive amounts of data.

With advances in “Big data” technology, real estate market data providers such as Home Junction have the capabilities to aggregate an incredible amount of local information from sources all over the country.

They can gather school information, property sales data, the location of boundaries, geo-spatial distances between properties and key amenities in a community, demographic information, cost of living indices, crime statistics and much more.

Not only can companies like Home Junction harvest and store this data, with just a few lines of code, they can also feed this valuable information to a brokerage firm. And they can cater that feed to just their local marketplace.

That real estate market data can be broken into small datasets not just on a county level, but on a city level, by zip code and more incredibly, by individual neighborhoods and subdivisions.

Use data to attract agents

So imagine a broker is talking to an agent about joining their firm.

Imagine if that agent says they have developed quite a few contacts and knowledge about “Most Desirable Community.”

Now imagine a broker saying, “This is how we are going to support you. We are going to provide a feed on our website for consumers with the following information:

  • School demographics
  • Boundaries for taxes, school attendance, etc.
  • Demographics for that area – ages, income, education of residents there
  • Cost of living indices – how this area compares to other areas for prices of goods, etc.
  • Crime statistics
  • Recent property sales data – charts and graphs on home sales, prices, etc.
  • Business data – the type of businesses, eg, coffee shops, yoga studios, grocery stores in that marketplace
  • And much more.”

Then the broker can throw in these juicy nuggets:

  1. a) We’ll tie all of this data into a map, using our geo-spatial plug-in. That plug-in will be integrated with the local MLS listings so you can show buyers (and sellers) where a certain home is located (by a distance calculator) in relation to key amenities such as schools, roads, train stations, etc.
  2. b) We also have a Home Value Estimator tool that can be promoted for certain communities so that potential sellers can regularly check estimates on the potential price of their home and eventually become listings.

How’s that for technological support?

This is the type of “cutting edge technology” these agents are requesting.

Certainly more impressive than a $200 tablet.

It’s a tough world out there.

Businesses are demanding more from their employees than ever before.

But a business also needs to equip their employees (or agents) with the most advanced tools in the marketplace to be competitive.

It’s not just the old days of burning up shoe leather. It’s a new age of marketing through entities such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

This is an era when prospects can be reached instantaneously by email instead of snail mail.

The challenge is, everybody can have access to these consumer channels.

Arm your agents with valuable, relevant, hyper-local content so they have something to promote.

Give them the edge they need to succeed.

Because when they are successful, other agents will notice,

And that’s how you can use real estate market data technology to attract (and retain) the best talent in the marketplace.

 

 

How Real Estate WordPress Themes Can Help You With Organic Versus Paid Rankings

real estate wordpress themesWhen it comes to appearing on the front page of Google (or Bing) the value of real estate WordPress themes is critical.

Here are the strategies to consider.

Some people may scoff at the value of ranking naturally on Google when a home buyer conducts a search (referred to as Organic Listings).

They might say, “Oh, that’s no big deal. I can just pay a few dollars for pay per click advertising and make my way right up to page one, no problem.”

Yet, there are issues with that way of thinking.

For one, a real estate broker or agent has to pay for that click. And as most people are finding out when buying the most desirable keywords, eg “homes for sale in (your town),” those clicks ain’t cheap.

This is why Google is a bazillion-dollar company that has literally ripped ad dollars right out of the pockets of all those local newspapers that used to dominate real estate marketing for so long.

In fact, according to a survey by the National Association of Realtors, only 1% of homeowners look at newspapers for properties. More than 50% look to the Internet and as know, about 90% of them use search.

And as you know, nowadays they can look at Google from their smartphone, their iPhone, their tablet, their laptop and even their watch.

Folks, this is where the action is. This is the battlefield for all those consumers. This is where the fish are swimming.

So how are you taking participating in this arena?

Pay per click ads? Sure, they work. They can also get you to the front page of Google the next day.

However, you seriously should consider a strategy to increase your organic rankings as well.

Why? Because research has shown that organic rankings deliver solid results.

In one study, it was shown that organic results were more than eight times more likely to be clicked than pay per click ads.

There are two reasons for this.

  1. Credibility – Google ranks a website based on a number of factors. Those factors include content, site speed, links to the site, relevance, etc. So when a real estate broker ranks high on Page One for certain search terms, many consumers know that this company must be a reliable source of the answers they are querying about.

That high ranking is a seal of approval from Google.

(To be real, Google’s search algorithms are not 100% reliable. That’s why many times you will see some dumb results for certain searches. In addition, there are still a bunch of what are referred to as “black hat” practitioners who try to manipulate rankings using strategies that Google has deemed to be in violation of their terms. Generally, those people make it to Page One rather quickly, but they generally don’t stay there. Google literally has an army of programmers sniffing out sites that try to game the system illegitimately).

  1. Consumers Now Know the Difference Between Organic and PPC – one issue in the early days of the web, including Google’s early days, was that it was difficult to determine which websites showed up in the natural organic rankings and which websites showed up based on the dollars they were paying per click.

Many a consumer dug into the rabbit hole of a pay per click advertisement thinking it was a natural ranking, only to find out the website was sketchy and trying all sorts of ways to manipulate them, like trying to capture their contact information for example. Many lead generation sites, that don’t actually offer a product or service but sell lead information, practice this strategy.

Google’s motto is “Do No Harm.” So they have gotten better at identifying their paid listings as paid. This is admirable since they are a public company beholden to shareholders.

In addition, consumers over the years have gotten better at identifying which listings are organically ranked and which ones are advertisements.

Here’s the point. Every real estate broker and agent should have some sort of organic strategy. That’s where a lot of the treasure is buried.

Real estate WordPress themes give you an edge

In this day and age, if you are going to be serious about organic rankings, you really should have a web platform that is one of the most popular and effective platforms for Google rankings.

That platform is WordPress.

WordPress was started as a simple way for bloggers to blog, and get their blogs to appear for web searches. It became so popular in fact, that the developers of WordPress created a version for business websites.

This is how the marketplace reacted. Just like everybody and their brother started working on apps once the iPhone was released, much of the same happened to WordPress.

Unlike the iPhone, WordPress is an open platform. That means developers are free to develop products for this platform. And they did. There are now thousands of themes and plugins for business people to choose from.

Many of them are excellent and can help you create a fantastic site without any custom coding and long time delays. But some are schlocky and poorly coded.

Home Junction is one of the reliable developers of real estate WordPress themes. The company didn’t start overnight and has a long track record of developing websites specifically for Realtors.

Brokers and agents can choose from real estate WordPress themes that really make home photos pop and provide easy navigation for visitors to find the information they want.

In addition, Home Junction has developed a slate of real estate-related plugins that can equip an agent with an incredible array of real estate market data, maps, home sale charts, boundaries and other features, all integrated into an MLS listing with their proprietary IDX applications.

WordPress coding is Google-friendly

Which brings us back to organic listings on Google.

If you are going to be serious about organic rankings, get out of that clunky old website.

Get into a website with the most user-friendly, search engine friendly design that makes it easy for a broker or agent to add keywords and content that they want to rank for on Google.

Sure, we get it. Perhaps you will never be able to rank in the top three for this keyword phrase “homes for sale in (my market).”

But with real estate WordPress themes, you have the ability to try different ranking strategies. With the right mix of keywords and content, perhaps you can rank in the top three spaces for “homes for sale in XYZ subdivision” which you are farming.

Or “equestrian homes for sales in (my market).”

The volume of search for those keywords might not be that high. But luckily, you are not selling wind chimes to these web searchers, you are selling homes in the range of $500,000 plus or minus. Just a few inquiries every month can yield incredibly big results.

We’re not dissing pay per click. Go ahead and buy that keyword phrase “equestrian homes for sale in (my market).”

But studies show you will do better with organic.

So don’t ignore organic, embrace it. In some form.

You can easily be on your way with one of the most Google-optimized content management systems in the world. With a site created specifically for marketing properties – a real estate WordPress themes from Home Junction.

 

Home Value Estimate Tool Is A Necessity When Inventory Is Low

home value estimateHere’s one tool that can be a lifesaver when a broker or agent faces a market with low inventory – a home value estimate tool.

Let’s face it, many markets right now are short on units for sale. Especially, properties in the starter-home range.

Home buyers are frustrated. But no one is more frustrated than the real estate brokers and agents who would love to sell to these buyers.

What’s even more frustrating, is that Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, said in this market, there are several positive factors that make this a prime time to buy a home.

The number of jobs is high. But even better, wages are finally starting to go up. That means many consumers, especially the huge bubble of Millennials, now feel even better about the idea of taking on a mortgage instead of throwing money away on high rents.

There’s one more incentive to buy right now – those mortgage rates are starting to creep up and the outlook is they will continue to head north. So you better buy now.

“Sadly those positive indicators may not lead to a stronger sales pace,” Yun said. “Buyers throughout the country continue to be hamstrung by record low supply levels that are pushing up prices – especially at the lower end of the market.”

In other words, buy what?

Many sellers, especially baby boomers, are sitting on their homes, not sure what to do. That indecisiveness does not help.

Such is the life of a real estate agent. Pros have been through these scenarios before.

But in these tight supply clouds, there is a silicon lining, made available by incredible advances in Big Data and real estate technology that was not available to the average broker and agent before.

That technology – the home value estimate tool.

Now, everyone knows this feature is one that put those mega-real estate sites such as Zillow on the map.

When first introduced, the home value estimate tool was different. People could look up the value of their home from the privacy of their living rooms. It was enlightening. It was a way to compare home values on a street or neighborhood. Frankly, if your house was going up in value, it was fun.

Early home value estimate tools did have issues with accuracy, etc.

But this feature has gotten better over the years.

What’s great about 2018, is that this powerful home value estimate tool is now available for the average broker and agent to add to their website.

Big data providers such as Home Junction gather property sales data on a national scale and have developed API programs so an agent can easily embed this feature right on their own website.

In essence, the little guy can now compete with the big guys. And generate their own leads. Exclusive leads only for them, not shared. And they can use this tool as an effective way to generate brand awareness, just like the mega-sites do.

Ideas for the home value estimate tool

Think of the law of unintended consequences.

There might not be many homes for sale in a particular market. Sure, that’s frustrating.

But we also all know what else happens in these situations.

Prices start going up.

And what happens when prices start going up?

People start thinking about selling their homes.

What is a great tool that fits perfectly in this scenario? That’s right, the home value estimate tool.

Don’t just take our word for it. If you look up on Google number of searches every month for home value estimate related keywords, they are in the tens of thousands. People are searching the web for this feature.

Every agent in a low inventory marketplace would be smart to offer this tool on their website.

It’s human nature. Like watching your stocks go up in value. What’s even better, homes don’t gyrate up and down in price like a stock (okay, there was this event called the Great Recession, but we’re over that now).

Bottom line – if you get the word out, potential sellers are going to be flocking to your site on a daily basis to check out the latest estimate on the value of their homes.

Think of the many benefits:

  1. Branding – there are soooo many websites out there now competing for people’s attention. If you have an effective way to attract people to visit your website, regardless if they call you the first time, that is HUGE.

By leading these consumers to you, they will become familiar with your name. That’s why McDonalds and Coca-Cola on a consistent basis. Repetition causes awareness.

If you offer them a great experience (and the Home Junction home value estimate tools does just that with incredibly detailed data), they will keep returning.

The more they visit your website, the more your brand is embedded in their brain. The more it shows they trust your website for reliable real estate market data.

  1. Lead Generation – this is the big kahuna of real estate, the main goal, the pot at the end of the real estate rainbow. If a home buyer keeps returning to your website to use the home value estimate tool, they are a very warm lead. Some don’t have an intention to sell. But many will have the thought of selling their home on their minds. Some will be extremely close to making that leap.

One day, a readout of the results on that home value estimate tool just might be the catalyst that pushes them over the edge to become a seller.

As an agent, you obviously want to be there when that happens. You want to have a lead and contact form located on your website to capture that interest when a homeowner crosses that threshold.

The home value estimate tool gives you all of these advantages.

  1. Marketing Value – there is a lot of marketing noise out there. On TV, radio, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the Internet in general.

How do you cut through all the clutter?

Well, there are very few lines in marketing that are as valuable as this, “What is my home worth?”

Who doesn’t want to know what their home is worth?

With Home Junction, you have a powerful database of real estate market data that answers that question. It’s not hype. A person doesn’t have to call you to find out this information (most people won’t want to).

But if you have a feature that consumers can use to check on their own, they will love it. They can find the answer to “what is my home worth” just by visiting your website and entering their address.

That free tool without any obligation is going to catch a lot of attention when promoted on TV, radio, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the Internet in general.

People love technology. They love to play with the web. They love to find their own answers.

A home value estimate tool provides all of these benefits.

Sure, inventory levels are low.

But are you going to be the agent that sits around lamenting about market conditions?

Or are you going to use a  home value estimate tool with current real estate market data, to get aggressive in your market and dig out more listings?

The buyers are out there. The sellers are out there, many hidden in the weeds. But they are going to keep coming out to peek at real estate market data. Your home value estimate tool can be just the place they turn to.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do You Have The Best Neighborhood Data Tools To Impress Sellers And Attract Buyers?

neighborhood data toolsIn a National Association of Realtors survey of home buyers, 78% said the quality of the neighborhood was a top priority for them, even more important than the size of the house.

So why aren’t brokers and agents using more neighborhood data tools to sell homes?

What are neighborhood data tools?

Neighborhood data tools for real estate professionals would be any features or products that help brokers and agents better illustrate the amenities of the community surrounding any property.

Let’s face it. In this day and age when you can carry access to nearly all the information in the world in a little device in your pocket, telling a prospective home buyer “Yes, they have quality schools here” or “Sure, this is a great neighborhood” just won’t cut it.

First of all, a seller certainly doesn’t want to see that cavalier approach to the marketing of their precious home.

If they live near first-class schools, they want an agent to be able to show that prospective homebuyer all the details about those schools. Student/teacher ratios. Demographics. And more.

If the seller lives in a desirable neighborhood, they want you to show prospective home buyers all the great amenities about that area. That would include the Zagat-rated restaurants, the number of tasty coffee places, the popular pilates studio or that fantastic golf course down the road.

In fact, if you want to capture that listing, you will show the seller all the neighborhood data tools that you will employ to emphasize the great benefits of the location, in addition to the home itself.

If the seller has a small home,  you can also cite the NAR study that says size really doesn’t matter – it’s neighborhoods.

If the seller doesn’t appear to live in the greatest neighborhood in the county, these neighborhoods tools will be extremely valuable in putting together a package of amenities that can make this area sound just as appealing as Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.

Sure, this home might be located out in the hinterlands. It might appear to be removed from the quaint downtown area that is so popular.

But, perhaps there is a fantastic restaurant hidden around the corner over here. Down the street there is an up and coming yoga studio going up in a new retail complex over there. The boundaries for school attendance might be changing to include higher rated schools.

In essence, with these tools, an agent can create the image of a desirable neighborhood out of scratch.

Neighborhood data tools are now easier than ever to acquire

So, what are these awesome neighborhood data tools that we are talking about?

Property data. Property data offered by seasoned and reputable suppliers such as Home Junction that uses Big Data technology to gather a ton of relevant property information from a variety of sources.

School data, business data, demographics, boundaries, cost of living indices.

To go even further – Home Junction offers geospatial technology to integrate all of this neighborhood information into a map.

So when talking to a prospect about the benefits of a particular neighborhood, an agent or broker doesn’t have to give a half-hearted pitch that “Yea, this is a great neighborhood” but can walk a prospect through the amenities one by one.

For example, an agent might say, “Dear Mr. and Mrs. Skeptical Home Buyers, let me show you all the information about the local schools in this neighborhood.”

If you look at this map, you can see how the property you are interested in is within walking distance of this top-rated middle school.

Mrs. Skeptical Home Buyer, you said you like to take your baby for a walk in a baby carriage. Well, again, if you look at this map, you can see there is a beautiful park just around the corner where you can go for a walk every day and perhaps meet other mothers with the same interests.

(All of this may seem obvious. But this writer can say from personal experience that he discovered an amazing park just two miles away from a home he almost did not buy. The agent never mentioned the park – and the closing almost did not happen.)

Here are two key points.

  1. Don’t Assume – in this day and age, you cannot assume every person knows of every amenity in every neighborhood. What about people who are relocating and know very little about the area?
  2. Repeat the Amenities for Emphasis – when presenting a home to a potential buyer, there are a million thoughts going through their heads. Do I like the look of this house? Is this the kitchen I want? Is the backyard too small? Are the windows in the master bedroom too big? Etc., etc.

An agent can nullify many negatives by reminding the prospects, with the neighborhood data integrated into the map on their website, that sure, one bedroom might be kind of small, but just around the corner is a great daycare. Right across the street from there is a great coffee house. And of course, the new Whole Foods Store is under construction just three miles down the road.

It’s amazing what the sound of those amenities can do for someone who is struggling with the features of a house. All of a sudden, the small size of those closets don’t seem as important anymore.

Neighborhoods sell. Neighborhood data tools do a better job of selling neighborhoods.

This is something your client will like to see if you want their listing.

This is something a home buyer will want to see if you want them to purchase that listing.

Big data technology makes it all easy to do. If an agent or broker were to try to gather all this data on their own, it would be impossible (and to keep it current would be unimaginable).

Why bother?

This neighborhood data is already gathered in a neat package from providers such as Home Junction and all an agent has to do is set aside sections of their website to display it.

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