Why You Need Real Estate Market Data On Your Website To Earn The Trust Of Millennials

real estate market data artMillennials are now the hottest home buying segment of the population and there are several reasons why adding real estate market data to your website is a necessity when dealing with this group.

First of all, hopefully, you are paying attention to the Millennial generation. That’s the huge bubble of consumers created in the 1980s to 2000 by that first huge bubble of consumers – the Baby Boomers.

This giant segment of consumers, estimated at 76 million strong, has now entered the home buying stage of their lives. It was a long journey to get there. For one, they lived through the Great Recession when the economy took a nosedive and they watched the price of their parents’ homes go downward as well.

But that was in 2008. The economy has recovered. Millennials are starting to make some money. They are tired of paying rent. Rents that continue to go up. They finally see the value of investing in a house. They know mortgage rates are low but they are noticing how they are starting to creep upward.

Research shows 80% of Millennials want to purchase a home. They make up 66% of new home buyers and more than a third of all home buyers in general. Many definitely plan to buy a home in the next five years.

How great is that?

Real estate professionals have to love the fact that a big part of the population is now eager to purchase a home.

It took a while to get there. Because this is a skeptical bunch.

This is also a wired bunch of consumers, that are digitally savvy.

That means they know they have the ability to use those little devices in their pockets to find the questions they want to be answered. They trust their own abilities, instead of relying on hype, or in this day and age, fake information.

For that reason, many facets of old marketing models don’t work with this group.

In fact, in a study titled “Engaging Millennials, Trust and Attention Survey” nearly 85% of Millennials say they don’t trust traditional advertising.

Uh oh. That means all those newspaper ads, direct mail pieces, and radio spots are not as appealing as they once were, at least to this audience.

Because Millennials are more interested in content than hype.

According to one study, Millennials are 84% more likely to look for and trust experts than ads.

And, since they have been wired since birth, they know how to find information and people with expertise on the web.

Whoa. That’s a tough crowd.

But the great thing about the digital age, especially for brokers and agents, is that it works both ways.

Sure, people today have incredible access to an abundance of knowledge through their iPads, laptops and smartphones.

But in this era of Big Data Technology, a local broker or agent has the ability to provide a tremendous amount of that reliable, trustworthy content directly to Millennials from their website.

(And frankly, one could argue that today, that Generation X before the Millennials is just as wired and even many Baby Boomers are the same way. After all, it was Boomers Like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates that made the digital age happen).

Real estate market data tech goes local

After all these advances with personal computers and smartphones, it took a while for big data technology to catch up. For one, the pipelines (broadband and wifi) to distribute that data had to be created

But today, brokers and agents can easily add a few snippets of code and tap into giant databases of local real estate market data and offer that critical content to Millennials themselves.

National data aggregators such as Home Junction have the ability to gather massive amounts of that real estate related content. They have the expertise to access public records, MLS listings, property sales data, US Census results and dozens of other sources.

Some of the records they can pull include:

  • Recent property sales
  • Characteristics about properties – eg square footage, number of beds, baths, etc.
  • School data – the number of students enrolled, number of teachers, student demographics
  • Area amenities, eg restaurants, parks, golf courses, etc.
  • Cost of living indices
  • Real estate demographic data, eg gathered from sources such as US Census data
  • And hundreds of other detailed datasets

Home Junction’s data developers created an API (Application Programming Interface) they call “Slipstream” to facilitate the transmission of this data from their massive national database to a local agent’s website.

These real estate data APIs or school data APIs “feed” a local agent in Anywhere USA hundreds of datasets about their particular market. That agent can decide where and how they want to display that data on their own website.

What does all this have to do with marketing to Millennials?

Plenty.

This is the arena where Millennials like to play. Finding their own answers to their questions.

If they want to know about Market Trends in an area, you want them to go to your website.

If they are thinking about starting a family and want to research schools, you want them to go your website.

If they are checking out crime statistics for a neighborhood, you want them to go to your website.

Remember, these people are buyers.

Data has tremendous appeal to Millennials

You don’t want them venturing all over the web looking for answers, perhaps visiting one of the large real estate portals, and letting some other agent capture that lead.

You want them on your website and you want to generate that lead for yourself.

Use the real estate market data on your website to promote your website as a resource for Millennials.

Don’t just post listings on your Facebook page or Twitter posts, but also promote real estate market data as well.

Show Millennials charts pointing out trends in home sales in different neighborhoods. Point out to them how home prices in one area of town are not moving as fast as other areas which might indicate a good buying opportunity.

(This is especially critical at the moment when home for sales are scarce, which naturally has occurred because guess what, this massive shift in Millennials regarding home ownership).

If you send out an email, send out valuable content to entice Millennials back to your website to learn more.

Even on your mailings, offer to create a custom presentation for Millennials with all the data they want to know for their particular needs – school data if they are starting a family, demographic data if they are interested in moving to a neighborhood where there are lots of professionals like themselves, cost of living information if they are concerned about expenses, and so on.

If you provide all of this data to Millennials, they will see you as an expert. The expert on the markets they are considering.

Because here’s another fantastic factor when dealing with Millennials: they also like to read user-generated content and reviews.

If you use your wealth of hyper-local real estate market data to impress them, Millennials will express their satisfaction in positive reviews on Google or Yelp. They will share your information on Facebook or Twitter with their friends. They will forward those emails to others.

Sure, marketing to Millennials might be hard. But if you do it right, it could be incredibly rewarding with referrals coming to you at the speed of an electron.

The game has changed. Technology has changed. Attitudes have changed. Marketing to prospects has changed. But, fortunately, some aspects of marketing, such as adding real estate market data to your website, have gotten easier.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Public Real Estate Data A Neccesity To Overcome Seller Concerns About Negative Perceptions

public real estate dataPublic real estate data can be a major selling point when it comes to talking to listing prospects about perceptions on “good” and “bad” neighborhoods.

Here’s an amusing story that illustrates the point.

One writer talked about how the city he lived in appeared on one of those lists as “Worst Places to Live in the US.” The reseseach said unemployment was high. There were quite a few crimes. Lots of abandoned stores and office buildings.

But then, one day, the writer came across another list of “Best Places to Live in the US.” Guess what? His city appeared at the top of the list. That’s because the methodology used in the study was based on highest median income per household and fastest increase in property values.

Funny story right?

But when an agent approaches a potential seller who lives in an area that might not have the greatest reputation, it’s not very funny.

That home seller is concerned. Worried about losing value on their home. Perhaps they need to relocate quickly because of a new job and might be dreading the idea of their home languishing on the market for months.

This is where public real estate data, on your website, can be a major, selling point and a major way to alleviate that seller’s fears.

With today “big data” capabilities, aggregators of public real estate data such as Home Junction, gather an incredible amount of hyper-local statistics.

Recent property sales, market trends, school data, cost of living indices, crime statistics, and much more.

In fact, Home Junction has more than 1,000 data points that they aggregate.

Public real estate data can change perceptions

Here’s the big advantage for real estate agents.

Using Home Junction’s proprietary “Slipstream” real estate data API (Application Programming Interface), an agent can add a widget on their website to tap into this giant warehouse of data.

Now comes the best part. That agent display that data down to the micro-level – not just the county or city level, but right down to the neighborhood or subdivision level.

When it comes to providing public real estate data, you can’t get any more hyper-local than that.

Here’s a potential strategy.

An agent can approach a homeowner and show them the public real estate data resources they provide on their website.

They can tell the homeowner: “You know Mr. and Mrs. Seller, according to my real estate market data, I can paint a very appealing picture to potential buyers for your property. (Oh, and by the way, I’m the only agent in this area with this wealth of public real estate data).”

For example, according to the data on my site:

  • School data – you live in a very appealing school district. From the school data on my website, I can show how there are top-ranked schools in your neighborhood. That information can include student/teacher ratios, number of students, student demographics and much more.

With my geospatial data, I can also point out the latest school attendance zones to illustrate how this property falls within the boundaries for these particular schools, including top-notch private schools and charter schools.

  • Rising Property Sales – here’s another key point. Sure, there might be some parts of the county that are depressed and not doing so well. But, in researching the public real estate data on my website, I will feature charts next to your listing showing how the number of home sales in your neighborhood is actually increasing.

I can point out to any potential buyers that not only is your home in a desirable neighborhood, but they better act fast if they want to grab a home here.

  • Home Value Estimator Tool – here’s more data the Seller will appreciate. An agent can add a Home Value Estimator Tool (AVM) on their website that will give a reliable estimate of what a particular property is worth. Included with that data, is a chart that compares a property to the market in general. The comparison will be based on Size of the Property, Price, Price per Square Foot and Age.

So, for example, the results might show that this particular home is in the upper percentile for square footage and age of the home, indicating this is a fairly new house and very large house compared to others in the area. That’s certainly a big plus as well.

  • Real estate maps – Mr. and Mrs. Seller not only will I provide a great array of positive data about your property, I can illustrate some of the key neighborhood amenities on a map in relation to the location of your home.

Take that Whole Foods store by the way. According to the map alongside your listing, it’s only 1.5 miles away. So is that great magnet school for the arts. There’s also a famous sushi restaurant over here and a very popular pilates studio right down the street.

And, let’s not forget that huge public park that is just 2 miles away.

How about access to roadways? According to the maps provided, this property is just two blocks away from the interstate. That’s huge when it comes to making a home appealing to commuters.

Paint a picture with real estate market data

Like an artist, with Home Junction’s public real estate data and geospatial technology, an agent can pull up a number of different data points to paint a very pretty picture of a home for sale.

That picture will be a huge relief to a homeowner.

It will also be a convincing argument to choose that agent – the agent who walks the talk and backs up their marketing with solid, reliable information that answers every concern a buyer might have.

After all, geography matters. So does reality.

We can see from the story above how perceptions can be twisted the wrong way.

Don’t let a misleading rap for an entire area cause problems for a specific property.

Provide this resource of accurate public real estate data to show owners how that information will help overcome any negative perceptions about their home and their neighborhood.

Real Estate Data Providers Can Make A Big Difference With Difficult Homes

messy houseReal estate data providers can be a real lifesaver when it comes to prepping a home for sale, especially when a seller is strapped for cash or not the tidiest.

Sure, every broker and agent would love to see a seller upgrade that ancient kitchen.

Or, for a homeowner to remodel an ugly bathroom.

But how willing are sellers to dish out the money for upgrades?

Also factor in today’s marketplace, where it’s hard to find a reliable contractor.

Who charges reasonable prices. And happens to be available during the right time frame.

Normal prep costs, such as painting and minor repairs, can run into the thousands. About $3800 in most markets.

But what about major improvements?

According to a recent article in Realtor.com, the national average cost to remodel a kitchen is $20,000.

To upgrade a bathroom, a seller will have to spend $9,000 on average.

A new roof? Expect to pay $20,000 on average.

Replace the floors with wood floors – $4,000. Laminate floors will be about half that cost.

Not too many sellers are eager to part with that kind of money. They expect the agent instead, to perform miracles.

So what can an agent do when they have a home with a kitchen from 1950, a crummy bathroom, worn out floors or a leaking room?

One strategy is to turn to real estate data providers such as Home Junction.

Real estate data providers offer a different view of a property

Because while the home might not be in the best shape, the real estate market data tied into that property could be the catalyst that turns that old horse into a Preakness winner.

Home Junction is an aggregator of millions of bits of data that is all relevant to the purchase of a property.

The company has gathered detailed, in-depth information from a number of sources to create detailed, in-depth datasets about properties, neighborhoods and schools.

Say for example, Mr. and Mrs. Lazy Homeowner don’t want to bother fixing the shutters hanging sideways near the front windows.

Or, they don’t really want to clean the rug in the living room with all the wine stains.

They use the bathrooms every day to get ready for work. Why should they clean them for an open house?

When an agent takes a potential buyer to a property like this, they know they have a challenge.

But that’s where the real estate data providers can be a lifesaver.

Sure, Mr. and Mrs. Reluctant Homebuyers, this house does need work.

But, have you seen the latest chart on my website for Recent Home Sales. They are trending up. Like Space X rocket trajectory upward. You might reconsider.

Yes, the house is not pretty.

The agent knows the young couple have a young child with one more on the way.

But if you check the school data on my website (provided by Home Junction’s proprietary school data API coding), you will see that Charming Middle School down the street is a top-rated school with a fantastic ratio of students to teachers.

Back at his or her office, the agent is able to show the couple the demographics of that particular neighborhood.

The information (provided by Home Junction’s real estate data API) shows this particular neighborhood has lots of young families with children. Plenty of friends for their children to play with. Plenty of moms and dads to meet at the local park.

Check out the Home Value Estimator on the agent’s website. The results show that particular home is in the lower 20% range when it comes to price per square foot. If you want to live in this neighborhood with those great schools, this house is a bargain.

Agents don’t control condition of the home, but can control the data picture

As agents know, the home buying experience is an emotional one. If a couple walks into a home and sees walls marked by crayons, a towel rack barely hanging from the bathroom wall and a kitchen with puke-colored cabinets, it’s gonna be a tough sell.

But those items can be repaired. Those are cosmetic factors. Items an agent will try their best to get out of the minds of buyers.

Or, they might be talking to sellers who need to get out a home quickly or don’t have the funds to replace those ugly kitchen cabinets. Or maybe they are sellers, who tried their best, agreed to paint the walls, and the crayon marks still show through.

Those crayon marks are only a small part of the picture.

There’s a bigger picture out there. The picture you paint with the information you gathered from real estate data providers such as Home Junction and embedded on your website.

The numbers picture. And boundaries as well. All those datasets that come together to show this is a desirable property in a rising sales marketplace.

Priced below other homes that recently sold in this market. With a low crime rate. In the right school attendance zones. Located in an area with a low tax rate compared to other areas that are within city limits.

This data is so powerful, an agent could almost print it out and tape it over the crayon marks on the wall and say, “Which image is more important to you? Those red scribble marks or this chart showing property sales moving quickly in this community?”

There’s emotion and there are facts. When emotions are running in one direction, real estate market data can help counter those feelings and point them in another.

That’s why in this day and age, before you encounter your next Mr. Messy Homeowner,  it’s smart to get in touch with real estate data providers such as Home Junction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brokers And Agents Can Now Add A Critical Flood Zone Map To Their Websites

flood zone map

After 2017’s year of record-breaking disasters, real estate brokers and agents can now become an even more valuable asset for local consumers by adding a flood zone map to their website.

The real estate market data company Home Junction has implemented its data aggregating technology to extract these valuable flood zone maps from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and can now include these boundaries in their data feed for real estate agents. This information can appear as a text notice of a flood zone or geo-spatially as a boundary on a map.

If you recall those images on television of the flooding in Houston alone, brokers or agents can certainly see that consumers are going to be concerned about the location of their property in relation to waterways and floodplains more than ever before.

According to the National Centers for Environmental Protection, Hurricane Harvey caused flood damage to more than 200,000 homes and businesses in the Houston area. The estimated cost of the devastation is a whopping $125 billion.

Last year, massive floods also destroyed properties in Louisiana, Missouri, Arkansas and southern Illinois when rivers reached historic levels and levees were breaches. In California, heavy rains there caused the Oroville Dam spillway to overflow and 188,000 people had to be evacuated.

“Today buyers need to know if the property they are considering is at risk,” said Ed Kim, Senior Vice President with Home Junction. “Any real estate company that adds a flood zone map is going to provide an incredible resource for their marketplace.”

Home Junction researchers obtained the floodplain data using its advanced “slipstream data technology” to parse a flood zone map down to the zip code, neighborhood or subdivision level. This enables local agents to provide these boundaries for the neighborhoods they are farming.

The company has gathered this boundary data for 2,300 counties, where flooding may be an issue.

For years, the national approach to flooding was to focus on flood-control projects such as dams, levees, seawalls, etc. However, property damage to homes still occurred and in many instances development still took place in high-risk areas.

To mitigate this problem, Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The concept behind the program was to identify at-risk areas to reduce flood damage with community floodplain management ordinances and to prevent development in high-risk locations. The agency then also provided flood insurance to homes that could possibly be flooded if a catastrophic storm took place, which as we’ve seen does happen, even in areas once considered safe.

A flood zone map adds boundaries for different levels of risk.

For example, in Special Flood Hazard Areas, home buyers need to know flood insurance is required. This may be true for some properties even if they are not located in the 100-year floodplain.

The company also has a flood zone map for homes in the 500-year floodplain, where flood insurance is not generally required. But consumers will know there is some degree of risk in those locations.

Adding a flood zone map is just one more tool that Home Junction can provide to a broker or agent to enable them to truly display in-depth knowledge of an area.

The company already aggregates and distributes data feeds for school data, property sales, market trends, real estate demographics, crime statistics and cost of living indices.

They are also experts in boundary data polygons. The company provides school district boundaries, school attendance zones, municipal boundaries and much more.

This is the 21st Century. We are at the next wave in the Information Age.

We are also experiencing a time when major weather events are taking place. Catastrophic storms are creating situations where hundreds of thousands of people may be stuck with damaged homes. Many in the Houston flood did not have flood insurance.

In this day and age, if a broker or agent really wants to be a neighborhood expert, they will need to back up that strategy. Not just with talk, but with detailed real estate market data and a flood zone map for the areas in their target markets.