WordPress Realtor Sites Enable Agents To Quickly Optimize Photos Of Neighbhorhood Amenities

wordpress realtor sites images

WordPress Realtor sites can give brokers and agents a BIG EDGE when it comes to using neighborhoods to sell a home.

In a recent blog, we talked about how some agents are using the latest apps to help educate and persuade prospects about a particular community.

Using an Uber or Lyft app, agents are arranging for drivers to take prospects on a tour of a community, making sure they view all the top amenities.

A real estate agent shouldn’t take the chance that when potential buyers drive around a community, they will miss a key amenity, like a school or a park, that could influence their decision.

They are doing the same with apps such as Open Table to make reservations for prospects at popular local restaurants, to give them a flavor of the town.

After all, neighborhoods sell.

We also talked about being sure to tap into hyper-local public data providers such as Home Junction that gather and store massive amounts of information that is important to home buyers – school databases, market trends, graphs showing changes in home prices, demographics, boundaries, crime statistics, etc.

WordPress Realtor sites are best for uploading photos

But here’s another key fact- neighborhood images sell.

In addition to home listing images, why not add a bunch of photographs about key neighborhood amenities on your website?

And one of the best platforms to do this quickly and easily is with WordPress Realtor sites.

Why are WordPress Realtor sites such a big deal?

Three words – ease, speed and SEO (search engine optimization for rankings).

Let’s start with ease.

WordPress is the most popular web platform in the world.

Why? It’s not because it’s a big complicated thing like a Facebook or Amazon website.

It’s because it’s easy to use. No coding required. Ready right out of the box.

The platform was first designed to make it easy for the average person to start a blog.

All they had to do was sign up and they could start loading content.

Today, that sounds like a given. But when WordPress first started, it wasn’t.

As you can imagine, such an easy tool like this caught on like wildfire.

WordPress became so popular, that the developers decided to provide the basic coding in their platform for businesses.

Boom. Millions of business adopted this platform. Some of them include Bloomberg, Variety, MTV News, The New Yorker and Tech Crunch.

Naturally, something this popular and effective should be adopted by the real estate business as well.

That’s why companies such as Home Junction have created WordPress Realtor sites specifically for brokers and agents.

They can set up a broker or agent in just a week with a fancy real estate website with an incredible amount of bells and whistles – lead generation forms, massive photo galleries, neighborhood data, etc.

The beauty of a WordPress Realtor sites is that once they are set up, it’s easy for the broker or agent to add information. They don’t need a coder. A webmaster. They can do it all themselves.

Agents can upload new listings, photos, etc. with basically the same ease as loading a post on Facebook.

Load images quickly on WordPress Realtor sites

But back to selling the neighborhood.

With WordPress Realtor sites an agent can easily add a bunch of images on their website that sell the neighborhoods they are targeting.

Maybe XYZ neighborhood is located near an incredible park. Put those images up on the website.

Maybe the Happy Caddy Golf Course has a prestigious clubhouse. Put those images up on the website.

When talking to home buyers, don’t just send them a link to a property. Send them a link to a photo gallery showing all the neighborhood amenities. That’s powerful.

Research shows that when people look online for homes, they spend more than half their time looking at images.

Now let’s talk about speed.

Things change in neighborhoods. New schools get built. Cool restaurants open. Old retail areas are knocked down and replaced by exciting new stores.

All of these amenities are great tools to use.

With WordPress Realtor sites, a broker or agent can be one of the first in their marketplace to display photos about neighborhood changes.

Say a Whole Foods is under construction down the street. Take a photo. Put it up quickly on your WordPress Realtor site.

Blast a link to the page with that photo out on social media – Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Many,  many people are going to be interested in a new Whole Foods, Dick’s Sporting Goods store, or even a new yoga studio.

The big advantage here is that you are the first agent to get this information out to home buyers.

Its’ like being the local newspaper or TV station that breaks a story.

People are going to be interested in your particular social media posts more than others (which is not easy since 91% of agents report they use social media).

Let’s talk about SEO. If an agent keeps loading interesting posts about a neighborhood, that is going to attract the attention of people in that neighborhood.

Attracting people to your website gets the attention of Google and Bing. Their algorithms are set up to measure this. The thinking behind this strategy is that if this website is posting relevant information that is attracting visitors, then it must be a good website. Google and Bing will then reward that website with higher rankings.

It gets even more complicated.

Say for example a Whole Foods is opening up in your town. An agent posts some photos of the Whole Foods store under construction with some text about the new store. Google and Bing will index that story in their search engines.

When local people start to hear about this Whole Foods store opening up and they do a search on Google and Bing, guess whose website is going to show up higher in the Page 1 rankings? That’s right. That agent’s website.

Same goes for the Happy Caddy Golf Club. If many people visit those pages with those clubhouse images on there, then Google and Bing will push that website higher. Many of those visitors are likely prospects to move into that golf community. An agent has the advantage in that they are going to visit their website FIRST before any others.

Amazing how a few images can possibly result in a million dollar sale. (Conversely with listings, think about how you can show a seller how you market their golf course community better than others).

If an agent is able to do this on a regular basis, people are going keep looking at their posts for new updates. Over time, that’s going to give that agent top of mind awareness as the agent who knows the marketplace.

Talk about local knowledge.

As a broker or agent, you need all the help you can get in selling homes.

Use the easy image capabilities of a WordPress Realtor sites and put those pictures of neighborhood amenities working for you as well.

 

 

How To Use Neighborhood Data, Uber and Open Table To Show Off Local Amenities

neighborhood data and amenities

Use amenities in the community and neighborhood data to add impact to your presentations.

Neighborhood data and the attractiveness of a community can sometimes be the main catalysts to a deal on a home.

Are you familiar with the latest strategies to best promote community amenities?

Because some real estate agents are getting very creative when it comes to selling a neighborhood.

Here’s one idea that’s floating around.

When prospects come to an area, how about booking an Uber or Lyft ride for them to show them around? You can do that remotely with you ride app.

Oftentimes, many homebuyers never get a chance to really visit an area where they might be moving. There are time constraints, deadlines, etc.

Then there’s the other issue of unfamiliarity. People moving into a neighborhood might not know the best places to go. Or they might miss that one crucial area, say a park or other amenity, that could really be the impetus to make a move.

If the agent can’t give them a tour themselves, then book them a ride on Uber or Lyft. These car services can pick people up wherever you want and take them wherever you want them to go.

Have an Uber drop them off in a cute downtown area. Give them time to explore the trendy restaurants, coffee shops and retail stores. Soak in the location.

Then arrange for them to be picked up again.

Or, if the regional mall is the place to be, send them there.

Perhaps the local golf course has an incredible clubhouse with long views overlooking the 18th hole. Don’t want to miss that if the prospect is a golfer.

Lots of towns now provide very exciting water parks. They are massive. Some are indoors for use during the winter. Many are practically mini-Disneylands.

Why not arrange for an Uber to transport a family there?

The smiling faces on the children might just be the touchpoint that gets this couple to say “We want to make an offer.”

To really impress the prospects, you could spend a few extra dollars and order UberLUX – where the car that pulls up to pick up your customers is a Mercedes or something similar. Talk about pulling on the emotional levers.

Book a reservation for prospects at a top restaurant

There are other tech tools agents are using to sell a neighborhood.

For example, say a husband looking to relocate is coming back to town with his wife to view a property.

Using web apps like Open Table, you can book them a reservation at a top restaurant in town.

Frankly, many people might not want to have dinner with an agent, or any salesperson for that matter. Don’t take offense.

If you pick the right restaurant in the right area, you don’t need to be there. All the amenities will make your case for you.

Imagine that couple enjoying a succulent meal with a few glasses of fine wine. Then going for a stroll outside in the downtown area where the trees are lit with beautiful lights, the sounds of soothing music pours from a few clubs and beautiful old buildings portray a town with an interesting history.

That couple might just knock on your door later that night and ask, “Where do we sign?”

Neighborhood data is the other critical high-tech app

There’s another new technology out there that every real estate broker and agent should be using to facilitate how neighborhoods can be a key selling feature.

That tool for real estate agents is neighborhood data.

In the past few years, there have been incredible advances made in “big data” technology. Data aggregators such as Home Junction have the ability to gather and store an incredible amount of real estate market data of all types.

Tapping into various sources – county records, business listings, school databases, etc., Home Junction basically does all the legwork Their techies gather a massive amount of information that is important to home buyers – including neighborhood data.

The big advancement in technology is that a local broker or agent doesn’t have to have a gigantic IBM server in the back of their office to store all this stuff.

All they need to do is embed a few lines of code from a real estate data API into their website.

After that, they have access to a gigantic warehouse of data.

Slice and dice that data for each area you are farming, either by zip code, city or even down to the subdivision level.

Post that data on your website where you want it.

That neighborhood data could be:
Market trend data
• Recent property sales
School databases – this is obviously critical – school rankings, enrollment numbers, student/teacher ratios, contact information, etc.
School attendance boundaries – again, very important to families
Business listings in proximity to a property
Boundaries – county and municipal, which means taxes and other governmental impacts, such as zoning restrictions etc.
Demographics
Crime statistics
Cost of Living data

Now picture this ideal scenario.

An Uber driver pulls up to the curb. He’s driving a shiny new Cadillac Escalade.

Your prospects get in the SUV and he whisks them off to a popular, Zagat-rated Italian restaurant nearby. One where there’s a month-long waiting list to get in.

A dinner reservation is already arranged for the lucky husband and wife.

They enjoy a fantastic meal.

While they dine, they look over the MLS information you provided to them about the property they are considering.

In that packet, are several printouts of neighborhood data extolling the benefits of the community.

That data can also be tailored to match the particular needs of that couple.

If they have children, then check out all this information gathered from your school data API about the local schools.

Not just public school data.

But information about private schools, religious schools. All schools.

There’s also information about charter schools and magnet schools.

And that’s current data. Not stale or outdated.

Say the couple is older. Well, perhaps your Demographic data shows that the property they are considering is in an area where many of the people are over 35. Perhaps a large number of college graduates, just like them.

They’ll like that picture.

Here’s the icing on the cake. The data desert if you will.

Home Junction also offers geospatial integration of this neighborhood data. For example, you can show all the businesses that are located within a certain distance of a property in question.

Perhaps the wife loves yoga. Well, here’s a very popular yoga studio located just one mile away from the property.

A broker or agent can also integrate all of this key data onto a map. So they can pull the property from the MLS listing and then show the schools, businesses, boundaries in question, and illustrate this data on a map.

Print out those maps and put them in the brochure.

Very strong visual impact.

After digesting that fine dining and all that key information, the couple feels great.

The town looks great. The food at this restaurant tastes great. The neighborhood data is great.

As an agent, you are basically letting the neighborhood sell itself.

Be the agent using these new high tech resources, such as Uber and Open Table, combined with a massive amount of neighborhood data from Home Junction, to make an impressive, 21st Century presentation about community amenities.

Real Estate Market Data Is One Of The Three Pillars Of Effective Presentations

real estate market data logicReal estate market data is one of three factors that any broker or agent must include in their discussions if they want to influence a buyer or seller.

Don’t just take our word for it. Ask Aristotle or Socrates.

If they were alive today, they would tell you these are the basic elements of persuasion – emotion, logic, and presentation (the speaker themselves).

After all, at the end of the day, that’s the business real estate professionals are engaged in – persuading a buyer this is the right property for them. Or convincing a seller they are the right agent for them.

Back in ancient times, great thinkers such as Socrates recognized the importance of these factors. If you think about, in those days without TV, iPads or Netflix, basically all they had to do was sit around and debate one another.

After hundreds of years of yakking back and forth, those three factors still remain the keys to making a case for any sales pitch. Or frankly any discussion.

Many people tend to focus on emotion. Why not? That’s what’s lights people up.

This property is “fantastic” or your kids will just “love” this neighborhood or this community is part of an “incredible” school district. All hot buttons to pump up a prospect.

Real estate pros obviously know the power of emotion. We’re not going to discuss that here.

However, one problem could be depending on emotion alone. That’s when a salesperson thinks they can just wing it with words and enthusiasm. Not smart.

The second pillar is the speaker themselves.

How do they present themselves?

Are they confident? Well-spoken? Do they enunciate well?

Do they appear honest and sincere?

Are they knowledgeable about the local market?

Do they dress like a professional?

What is their body language like? Does their posture denote authority and integrity?

There are many facets of being an effective presenter.

Speaker presentation is a whole study within itself that we won’t touch here either.

Again, another danger is that just because a salesperson dresses to the nines and has a bright set of choppers, they might fall into the trap of thinking they have all the factors of influence covered.

Real estate market data provides the proof

Because here’s the third critical piece. Facts. Proof. Logic.

That’s the part where we come in.

You can really fire up a prospect with colorful descriptions of a kitchen or all the schools in the neighborhood.

An agent can appear open and reliable with their body language.

But how are they supporting all their claims?

One could argue (get it) that logic, facts, and data are more important now than ever before.

This is the era where consumers can search for just about anything in the world from the smartphone in their pocket.

This is also the era where anybody and their brother can post fake news online.

It’s a time when consumers are more skeptical than ever.

They can recognize the stereotypical salesman in the loud suit. They know many of the headlines and statements floating around out there in the digital and real world are bogus.

In essence, consumers today not only have their own B.S. filters turned on, they have the means to verify facts as well.

So, when it comes to logic, who will be the winners?

People armed with real facts. Genuine real estate market data. And lots of it.

Buyers and sellers know this real estate market data is out there. They are going to be persuaded by those brokerages and agents who can provide it to them.

Integrating property data with a website is easier than ever

That’s where data from aggregators such as Home Junction comes into play.

Home Junction gathers billions of bits of national real estate data from all across the country. They gather it from a variety of different and credible sources.

School data. Property sales data. Market trends. Boundaries. Demographics. Crime statistics. Etc.

Think of the power you as a real estate agent or broker can have by providing this data to home buyers (and using it to market properties for home sellers).

An agent can make all the emotional statements they want. That can get people excited about a property.

But when they back up those statements with reliable real estate market data, then a few things happen.

For one, that agent instantly gains credibility with the consumer.

“This is someone I can trust,” a buyer might think. “They not only talk a good game, they also walk the talk by providing proof to back up what they are saying.”

Secondly, by presenting this huge warehouse of local real estate market data, the entire transaction process is accelerated.

After all, according to a recent survey of home buyers, about 50% of them said deciding on the “right home to buy” is a major concern for them.

When a consumer sees the breadth and depth of the real estate market data you offer, they will instantly realize, “Wow. This agent has all the answers to the questions I have about this property. I don’t have to go out on the web and dig this stuff up on my own. It’s all right here on their website.”

Data gives agents an edge with social media

Here’s another benefit of using logic to persuade – social media.

In a survey of agents by the National Association of Realtors, about 91% of them said they use social media to promote themselves.

As you can imagine, there’s are a lot of posts flying around out there on Facebook and Twitter.

Sure, people will be interested in new listings.

But they will also be paying attention to any information about the housing market in general.

Which is more persuasive:

“Hey folks, the market is hot right now. Give me a call if you want to grab a house.”

Or, “I just posted the latest Home Sales Data chart on my website. Click here to see charts on the market trends in your neighborhood.”

Logically, the data is going to win out.

Not only that but looking at that chart is going to have a deeper psychological effect on that consumer. Research shows visual images have a bigger impact than verbal cues.

It’s true. Seeing is believing.

People will be more compelled to act after reviewing those charts and data on your website. They may decide to buy that property sooner or choose you as their listing agent quicker.

Your job as a real estate broker or agent is to make a case for buying or listing.

Emotion is important. Enthusiasm about a property can be contagious.

Displaying that emotion with sincerity and effective body language is effective.

But what have you done to support the logical part of your presentation?

This is the era of big data. The mega-real estate websites provide local neighborhood data and school data.

But with Home Junction, any broker or agent can now do the same on their website.

Don’t just take our word for it. Ask Aristotle.

Adding a gigantic warehouse of hyper-local, important real estate market data to your website is going to make you a powerhouse of logical persuasion.

 

 

 

 

School Data API Helps Sellers Justify Higher Prices

school data apiUsing a School Data API is frankly one of the quickest and easiest ways to defend home prices.

First of all, where kids go to school is a hot button with home buyers. It’s near the top of the list of their concerns. It’s emotional. It’s a major cause of concern and worry.

Secondly, data shows that people are willing to pay more for homes in top school districts.

In fact, according to one study, more than 50% of home buyers said they would be willing to spend over their budget to get in a house with great schools.

Breaking those numbers down even further, 9% said they would they would be willing to go from 11% to 20% over budget and 21% said they would go from 6% to 10% over.

What would those surveyed give up for a great school district?

About 60% would skip a pool and 44% would forego an extra room in the house.

It’s obvious, the quality of schools is a powerful, persuasive asset when it comes to home seekers.

School Data API provides instant school data expertise

So how do you as a real estate professional address this concern?

How do you as an agent in a crowded field of other agents, persuade a seller that you are the best choice for them to emphasize this school district selling point?

There’s a very simple answer.

Add a School Data API to your website.

Data aggregators and software developers such as Home Junction use “big data” technology to create national school databases that have just about everything a home buyer would need to answer their questions about schools in a particular area.

The beauty of a School Data API is that the agent does not have to go out and dig up this local school information on their own.

Who’s got time for that?

Secondly, even if you did find your local school data, how are you going to keep it updated and current?

Third, and this is a critical point, there are websites that already exist that are sources of hyper-local school data. But why would you want to send home buying prospects to other people’s websites? You risk losing them to other agents or national mega-lead generation websites.

Heck no.

Simply add a School Data API to your website by inserting a few lines of code (Home Junction will assist you) and make your website the local resource on school data.

All relevant school data on agent’s website

This is what that School Data API will be able to show:

– location of the school

– location of the school relevant to the location of a property pulled from the local MLS listings

– school district boundaries

– school attendance zones (this is supercritical)

– school attendance zones outlined geo-spatially on a map in relation to property addresses

– school enrollment figures

– school rankings

– student demographics

– student/teacher ratios

– dollars spent per student

– name of the school’s current principal

– private and public schools

– the religious denomination of private schools

– school website address

And more.

Now that’s a local school database.

Imagine approaching a seller and telling them, “Look. I know your home is located in a desirable school district. But I’m not going to just tell home buyers, ‘By the way, schools are great here.'”

At that point, pull up an example of the massive amount of data supplied by the Home Junction API.

“No, Mr. and Mrs. Home Seller, I am going to show that home buyer this huge amount of key school data, to drive the point home about why their children should attend this school. And that’s why they might have to pay slightly more for a home in this district.”

Everybody knows home prices in northern California, particularly the San Francisco area are high, practically insane.

Well, guess what? A recent article in the San Francisco Chronicle pointed out that many families were willing to pay $200,000 more for homes that were in popular school districts.

That just goes to show the power of schools.

That also illustrates the power your School Data API can have on how you attract home sellers and buyers.

Use School Data API as source for social media posts

Think of the many opportunities you can create to promote the fact that your website offers this hyper-local school data.

Nearly 91% of agents say they post on social media.

With your ability to tap into Home Junction’s national school database, you have something of value to post.

With your School Data API, you have a wealth of critical school data to draw upon for interesting content.

For example, say you are farming a certain neighborhood or subdivision.

Post a notice on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram about this school data you now have available on your website.

Pull out little snippets of school data from time to time.

Say, for example, the school’s ranking changes. Or the student/teacher ratio gets smaller. Maybe there’s a new principal.

Keep pushing this school data out on social media. You will establish in the minds of your audience that you are the go-to source for local school information.

Use this data in your email blasts as well.

Test various phrases for the subject line.

For example, “Click here for latest update on school data for Got To Be There Middle School.”

That will catch the attention of parents. Not only potential home buyers, but also people who are thinking about putting their homes on the market.

You can accomplish this all with an embedded school data widget.

(By the way, Home Junction also offers a wealth of other real estate market data such as Recent Home Sales, Market Trends, Demographics, Boundaries, Cost of Living Data, Crime Data, etc. There’s also a geo-spatial component that puts all this data together on a map. For example, the map can show school district boundaries for homes for sales from a local MLS database. And Home Junction has an IDX to tap into MLS databases as well).

This is the digital age. The age of “big data” technology.

Computers now have the ability to tap into a huge national school database.

All you need to do is add this simple School Data API to provide that school data on your website.

 

 

 

Why Add A Real Estate Data API To Your Technology Budget

real estate data api

When brokers and agents figure their budgets for technology, are they dedicating anything to one of the most important tools they can use – a real estate data API.

“A what?” some agents might ask.

Let’s face it. This is the technological age. Yet, according to a survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors in 2012 on what people spend on technology, the investment seems relatively minor.

The survey found on average, agents spent $848 in the last 12 months on technology. Sounds somewhat impressive. But that doesn’t even cover the cost of the new iPhone.

Brokers spent $1,410. Not much more. That’s maybe two laptops.

Again, this is the tech age. A time of incredible advances in how agents can reach out to consumers – smartphones, tablets, websites, email, social media.

Used to be an agent made a point every few years to spend money on a nice car to drive prospects around.

Now it’s a smartphone or a tablet.

And, unfortunately, a person needs to keep those devices up-to-date.

Every year, new gizmos and gadgets are introduced with faster web access, better screen resolution, incredible photographic capabilities and a new slew of bells and whistles.

All the features you believe make you a better real estate agent. (And come on. Admit it. Most of the time your current device is operating just fine. But you just have to have that new Google Pixel with the cool portrait mode like they show on TV).

Include real estate data API on tech wish list

These new inventions are wonderful.

But every broker and agent should be asking themselves this question as well: What about the content you are displaying and promoting on these devices?

What are you investing in that?

How are you using the latest technology to upgrade information on your website?

What are you doing, tech-wise, to improve the way you appear as a resource to home buyers and sellers?

Because the other amazing technology that’s related to the real estate business is the aggregation of hyper-local information.

Remember the days when it took five IBM computers to hold one gigabyte of data?

With advances in big data technology, a single agent is now able to tap into a gigantic warehouse of terabytes of hyper-local data about their market area.

And display this incredible wealth of information on their website with a simple real estate data API (Applied Programming Interface).

The great thing is, companies such as Home Junction, do the coding to develop a real estate market API. Not the brokers or agents.

All they have to do is to integrate this coding into their website.

And then the magic begins.

A huge database of relevant info for home buyers

That single agent can offer:

  • School information such as student/teacher ratios and demographics of the student body
  • Recent property sales data – including trend charts
  • Boundary information – showing school attendance zones, city and county borders (which is critical for taxes) etc.
  • Local business information – integrated with geo-spatial data showing the distance of these businesses from certain properties
  • Demographics – age, education, income
  • Crime statistics
  • and more.

That data can be parsed by counties, cities, zip codes and even down to the neighborhood or subdivision level.

So, with your new devices, you can send out a quick note on Twitter from your Samsung Galaxy 9. Or add a post on Facebook while sitting on your couch with your iPad.

But according to the same survey, 9 out of 10 real estate agents are also doing the same thing.

The big question is, what unique and informative item are you posting on social media?

Again, investing in information, like a real estate market API, has a huge payoff.

Think of the power of sending out a post announcing the latest data on property sales in the county. Or in a neighborhood you happen to be farming.

Think of the power of sending out a link with a chart on local home pricing trends.

Same goes with email.

Brokers and agents go through a lot if trouble enticing consumers to sign up for email, knowing some of them will eventually turn into buyers or sellers.

But what are you going to send them via email to catch their attention?

With a real estate market data API, you have a wealth of ideas to draw upon for social media posts and email blasts.

What you don’t want to do, is point out valuable real estate market data that sends a prospect to somebody’s else’s website, even if it is not an agent.

Put that information on your own website with your own real estate data API.

Sure, investing in the latest shiny new device is practical, and frankly, exciting.

But be sure to set aside a budget to upgrade your position as a resource for real estate market data.

Because in that same survey, brokers and agents noted they “Value tools that make them look technologically savvy to their clients.”

Consumers don’t care about how you reach them. They care about what you are providing for them.

When a mother seeks information about the latest schools her children will attend, she doesn’t give a hoot if you provide that data from an iPad or an Android. She just wants the data.

So what’s your investment in big data technology?

Now is the point in time to add a real estate market API to your technology budget.