Here’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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.