Real Estate Data API Helps Realtors Show Comparisons Between Neighborhoods

real estate data api compare
There are times when a Real Estate Data API with hyper-local market data on different neighborhoods can help clients when it comes to comparing properties.

As a Realtor, helping a client find their dream home is what you’re all about. But what if their client can’t stop obsessing about the “perfect” neighborhood, community, or school district that is not right for them.

Yes, it’s important to many people to move into a nice area with good schools, clean streets, and low crime rates.

But just try convincing a buyer to widen their pool of options when they’ve set their sights on one of the most desirable and high-priced neighborhoods in town!

You know where their dollars can be spent smarter in an area that is just as nice as Neighborhood No. 1. How can you facilitate some deeper consideration into other markets?

Price comparison doesn’t provide the full picture

Simply looking at pricing doesn’t necessarily provide enough context to make a final decision. That’s why information search tools created by a Real Estate Data API can help you prove that to your clients.

A Real Estate Data API supplied by data companies such as Home Junction, is simply a snippet of code that is integrated into a broker or agent’s website. But that piece of software opens the door to a wealth of in-depth, hyper-local data – recent property sales, school data, pricing trends, boundaries and much more.

With that information, a broker can point out how a different neighborhood may not be as “hot,” but is still in an area with decent schools and low crime and near desirable amenities.

Since the current sales activity there may be low, you can even point out to the client how they can get a larger house for less money.

It may only be a matter of time before this area is on the radar and prices start to go up. Why not encourage a conversation about snapping up a property while they still can?

Real Estate Data API shows where a budget can go further

One of the first things you discover when working with a buyer is their estimated budget. They have looked at their income and mortgage rates and have an idea of how much they can comfortably spend on a house.

When buyers are ready to move up, they usually have a pretty good idea of where they want to live: somewhere in high demand and at the top of their budget.

However, what if you knew that on their current budget, they could get features like more square footage, more acreage, a pool and a bigger yard if they just went with a neighborhood that had a little less buzz?

This is where real estate market data tools on your website can bridge the informational gap and help buyers make decisions based on facts rather than emotions.

With just a few clicks, shoppers can see maps, comparisons of housing prices in different areas, school ratings, local amenities, and everything else they need to know to help them formulate an idea of which neighborhoods they are interested in.

As they examine the data, they can see there is not much difference between Neighborhood No. 1 and  that other Neighborhood No. 2.

Or buyers might discover with shock that their $300,000 budget doesn’t really get them the property they truly desire in Neighborhood No. 1, but for that same amount they can purchase a very nice home in the alternative.

Just as housing prices differ from state to state ($300K can get you a one-bedroom house in Hawaii, or a five-bedroom house with acreage in Kansas), there can be subtle differences in communities too.

With a Real Estate Data API sending you feeds for your target areas you are farming, you will have plenty of data for comparing. And it will information in the same format, so you can truly show buyers apples to apples comparisons.

By working through the obstacle of emotional attachment to a popular area, you can help your clients find what they’re really looking for, without going over their budget and still ending up with a house that fits their dreams.

Ultimately, your clients will be grateful for the tools on your website and the expertise and guidance you provide to help them find the right home, in the right area, for the right price – not just the one in the fancy neighborhood they had stuck in their heads.

The best way to overcome unrealistic expectations is with realistic facts and figures. You can not only be the agent with the local knowledge, you can be the agent with the local numbers and statistics.

That’s where a Real Estate Data API on your website can be a relief for all parties concerned.

 

 

How Mortgage Companies Can Use A Real Estate Data API To Generate Borrower Leads

real estate data api mortgage

Adding a Real Estate Data API can be a tremendous lead generation tool not only for brokers, but for mortgage companies as well.

Think about the position this information plays in the home buying process.

Mr. and Mrs. Home Seeker decide they want to purchase a home.

Now, we all know, the first thing they should do is get pre-qualified for a mortgage to decide how much home they can afford.

Some people do that. Some don’t.

But one of the first things Mr. and Mrs. Seeker will do is start thinking about where they want to live.

This is where a Real Estate Data API plays a critical role.

And this is where mortgage companies can seize the opportunity to start a dialogue with home buyers.

Use Real Estate Data API to answer early-stage questions

The great advantage of “big data” technology today is that a real estate agent or a local mortgage broker can display a tremendous amount of hyper-local information on their own website.

For example, here’s one website, HomeScout.com, that uses real estate market data to attract potential borrowers for lenders.

There are data aggregators out there such as Home Junction that have developed ways to aggregate an enormous amount of local market information from public records and other sources.

The real estate data companies can filter, sort and warehouse that data on their own servers.

They are then able to redistribute this data down to the local level to a mortgage broker or a bank.

Say for example, Acme Mortgage Company is focused mainly on generating loans in the Atlanta market.

That brokerage firm can order multiple layers of data from Home Junction just pertaining to Atlanta and its many neighborhoods.

The data can include:

  • Recent Home Sales
  • Trends in Home Prices
  • School Data (this is of super-interest to parents and one of the first items they will research. Talk about reaching people early in the home buying process.)
  • Boundary Information – this includes those critical School Attendance Zones (again, super important to parents) and Municipal Borders that determine property tax rates
  • Neighborhood Demographics
  • Cost of Living Indices
  • Crime Rates

And much more.

A mortgage company can display this information on their website and promote themselves as a resource for consumers starting the home buying process.

What a valuable service to offer, right?

Free data and market research is a powerful draw

Here you have a mortgage company offering to supply FREE information to buyers that answers many of the critical questions on their minds.

Where can I afford to live?

What are the schools like in this particular neighborhood? What is the teacher to student ratio? How many students attend that school?

What’s the cost of living in this town compared to this town next door?

What’s the crime rate like?

Who lives there ? Are they older, retired people or young people with families?

What’s the trend lately in home prices?

Every, we repeat, every home buyer will want to know this information.

After all, for 99% of them, they will be making the biggest financial commitment of their lives.

A savvy mortgage company can use this valuable real estate market data to promote themselves in their target area.

Rather than just say, we have the best interest rates or best customer service, why not offer to provide a comprehensive report on property trends and other relevant data in local neighborhoods?

Send out a direct mail piece to renters.

Promote this free service on social sites – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.

By the way, this information can be displayed in a variety of easy to understand charts. As we all know in this digital age, visual information is the No. 1 way to convey information. More people will look at images than read text.

A mortgage broker can display plenty of charts showing trend lines in Home Sales or Home Prices. They can also show pie charts on Neighborhood Demographics, etc.

Offer this free service on local radio and TV ads.

Post this hyper-local information on your website to rise up in the ranks on Google and Bing when people conduct searches for keywords such as school information on their target neighborhood school or recent home sales there.

Those organic rankings, which are free, are like gold to businesses.

Because here’s the bottom line.

In this day and age, where consumers are constantly being bombarded with messages and offers, not just on TV and radio, but also on their computers, laptops and cell phones, lenders need a compelling offer to catch their attention.

You also need to give something if you want to get something.

If you want to get the contact information from a potential home buyer/borrower, then it’s smart to offer them something first.

Nothing is more important to that person than this vital real estate market data.

Get it on your site. It’s simple. All you need is a Real Estate Data API from companies such as Home Junction and this real estate market data will be automatically fed right onto your web pages.

Become an important LOCAL RESOURCE. Get your customers to tell their friends and family about this resource to generate referrals.

If you want to be the mortgage company that catches home buyers in the early stages of their search, then a Real Estate Data API is one powerful hook to use.

P.S. There’s also another way mortgage companies can use a Real Estate Data API to generate leads – by examining the data for potential refinance customers. Find out what homebuyers are paying for their mortgages and at what interest rates. We will explore this is an upcoming article.

How A Neighborhood Data API Can Help You Connect With Growing Segment Of Female Home Buyers

neighborhood data apir female buyerAdding a Neighborhood Data API to your website can instantly make you an expert in whatever niche of the home buying population you choose.

For example – single women.

Keeping an eye on market trends over the years helps us fine-tune our businesses, attract more clients and provide them with the best service for their needs.

That’s why brokers and agents should be aware of this important statistic: in 2017, single women represented 18% of real estate buyers.

Contrast that with the 7% of unattached men who bought houses during that time, and you can see a change in the market that will be interesting to watch.

In fact, the number of single women buying homes has been rising for some time, indicating a significant and solid trend.

In the 1980s, they represented just 11% of home buyers. Now, as many young people are marrying later, single women are moving closer to 20% of the marketplace.

That’s a trend a savvy agent will pay attention to. And with a Neighborhood Data API from national data aggregators such as Home Junction, that agent can display a wealth of information on their own website that they can tailor specifically for this market.

Let’s discuss how using hyper-local data can increase your client satisfaction rates among this fast-growing segment. And we’re not just talking about data for a county or even a zip code, but data for any neighborhood a buyer might be considering.

Neighborhood Data API can generate info specific to any market

Why are single women buying more houses?

There are many reasons why this number is growing. Most obviously, single women now have more opportunities, more buying power, and more earning potential than they did a few decades ago.

The average age of marriage and childbearing is getting higher by the year as women pursue their potential in industries such as finance, technology, and yes – real estate – among others.

Many more women are now making six figures on their own and are naturally ready to take the next step by investing in home ownership.

A large segment of these single female home buyers are women in their 60s who have experienced success and are ready to take make a decision on where they will spend the rest of their lives.

They may be retiring and choosing a more desirable location to live out their years; downsizing after the death of a spouse; or making a new start after a divorce.

Don’t just assume only older single women are out there buying property. Younger single mothers are also choosing to buy as a means to provide more safety and security to their children. In 2017, 53% of unmarried parents were single mothers.

How to address the concerns of female home buyers

In order to best serve any niche client, you need to really dig in to their specific thoughts, needs and desires that are particular to them.

For example a young single mom may be interested in a friendly, close-knit community with low crime rates, in the interest of safety for her children.

She may want to know that there are grocery stores, playgrounds, pools, ballfields and emergency rooms close by. You can supply all that information with a Neighorhood Data API that can easily be integrated into a Realtor’s website and tied into the local MLS database.

And of course, good schools are going to be paramount for a single parent looking to move to a new area. By adding a School Data API from aggregators such as Home Junction, an agent will have a wealth of school information that will impress any mom.

That information not only includes student/teacher ratios, but those all-important school attendance zones that will determine which school a child will attend.

An agent can add Home Junction’s Geocode API to display neighborhood amenties such as retail areas, gyms, hospitals, parks, and other locations on a map that would be desirable to this demographic.

A retired woman may be interested in features such as community centers, shopping, yoga and fitness studios, and churches. You can point out all those amenities on a map or chart and show the distance from any property a person might be interested in.

Lower maintenance accommodations, such as condominiums, can be very appealing to busy women who don’t have the time, desire, or ability to perform home upkeep, yardwork and renovations.

However, this should never be assumed. So talk with each client as an individual to find out what her specific needs are – there is a definite stigma on single female home buyers, so it’s important not to go into discussions with preconceived notions about their ability to afford and maintain a home.

Answer concerns about crime rates

Crime rates are one of the biggest concerns for the majority of single female home buyers. Some women on their own have chosen to go the apartment or condominium route due to the extra security features of neighbors, cameras, and guards. Any Neighborhood Data API should definitely include a Crime Rating feature.

While owning a home is empowering, a single woman also wants to be able to feel safe as she comes and goes in her neighborhood. This factor is increased when children are involved.

By adding a in-depth, detailed Neighborhood Data API on your real estate website with current and accurate data feeds, you are giving this powerful and upcoming segment of female buyers the extensive information they need to make decisions.

When a client is able to find out where to view a home within her budget, and schools for her children combined with other desirable amenities – right on your website – this instills a more powerful confidence in your ability to connect with her and what she’s looking for.

The use of this technology doesn’t just apply to single women either. You can also address the particular needs of retired buyers, relocations, young families, etc.

As we all know, today’s population of home buyers is extremely diverse. But in this high-tech era, each segment will want to see how a broker or agent will address their specific needs.

Rather than wing it, add a Neighborhood Data API to your website with an incredible array of solid statistics and facts to demonstrate how you truly are the expert when it comes to their particular niche.

Geocode Data by Home Junction Provides An Inexpensive, Fast And Accurate Alternative to Google Maps API

geodata api

If a real estate-related website needs a Map API for their mapping needs, or as an alternative to Google Maps API, Home Junction’s Geocode data can help.

The real estate world was rocked recently with an announcement by Google that they were changing their plans and pricing for their Maps API. An API is an Application Programming Interface which is basically software code embedded on a website to feature a map or real estate market data such as school data or recent property sales.

One developer estimated Google’s change amounted to a 1,400% increase in pricing. Who wants a surprise like that in the middle of the year?

According to Google, the change was made after they combined their 18 separate Google Maps APIs into three packages for Maps, Routes and Places and merged their Standard and Premium plans into one.

Many brokers and developers who work with real estate websites are not happy.

One broker said the new plan could amount to an extra $5,600 a month in fees for them.

Another developer said, “My costs will rise considerably.”

We all know Google offers incredible services and works hard to maintain the best search engine in the world.

We’re sure they had their reasons for the change in plans.

But there are alternatives.

Home Junction offers Geocode data with several key benefits:

Price – the pricing for our Geocode data is one of the best in the business. Give us a call to find out.

Usage – Home Junction also allows a large number of requests per minute. We think the most generous in the business. In addition, our geocoding can be used with any base map and we allow caching.

Performance – need speed for your Map API. We’re fast. Very fast.

Accuracy – Home Junction drills down deep with our data assets. We have parcel boundaries for most of the nation. We coordinate delivery address lines, street names, suffixes, zip codes, census tract data, neighborhoods, subdvisions and geographic latitude and longitude coordinates to provide a highly-accurate map feature.

Bottom line: we are the Geocode data experts. We have geocodes for nearly 160 million delivery points combining data from both the United States Postal Service and other sources.

Best thing to do is call a Home Junction representative for a demonstration on just how our Geocode API can fill your mapping needs.

Home Junction Geocode data integrates with other key data

Google’s Map API was sort of a one-product-fits-all that developers would then work around to fit their client’s website whether it was a small business, bank, restaurant, tire store, etc.

But Home Junction’s Geocode data was developed with the needs of real estate brokers and agents in mind.

For one, our geo-spatial map widget can be integrated with local MLS listings. This is huge. A broker or agent can show a property or several properties on a map at one time.

Secondly, Home Junction can integrate that map and those MLS listings with critical neighborhood information.

That information includes:

Boundaries – municipal, school and tax. School district and attendance boundaries are incredibly important for families with children and to show the enhanced value of any property.

School data – enrollment numbers, student/teacher ratios etc. Parents want to know the location of a school in relation to any property they are considering.

Demographics – an overview of the community in terms of education, income, etc.

Cost of Living data

Crime statistics

Local amenities – our Geocode API can also display the location of parks, golf courses and other places that add value to a property and move a property up in the mind of a buyer who enjoys certain amenities, say parks or golfing.

Local businesses – perhaps a home buyer likes yoga. Home Junction’s Maps API can point out the local yoga studios and their approximate distance from a property. Neighborhoods sell. Home Junction’s SpatialMatch widget helps you illustrate the power of those neighborhoods in a convincing, visual format.

Transportation amenities – people are driving further and further to get to work or busing their kids around town. Point out the major highways or train stations to show the benefits of a property. That alone could a major influencing factor.

Don’t just tell a prospect there are great schools, or parks or bus stations near a property. Show them.

Home Junction also has a full complement of other APIs to include with their Maps API.

This is super important as well.

As a broker or developer, you don’t want to bounce all over the web trying to find different sources for different APIs. Not only that, but you never know how those different APIs from different companies will interact with each other.

A bunch of software code over here can have an effect on a bunch of software code over there.

Combine Geocode data with valuable real estate market data

Home Junction also offers:

Real estate market trend data APIs

Recent Sales Activity

Trends in Home Prices

School Data APIs

Boundary Data APIs

Basically, thousands of datasets for different key pieces of information that every home buyer needs to know.

Another great advantage is that Home Junction can sparse this data down not to just the county or city level or even zip codes, but all the way down to neighborhoods and subdivisions.

This truly gives buyers an in-depth, focused picture on the home and neighborhood they are considering.

(And conversely, data that every seller would love to see used to promote their listing. For example, say Property A is located in an area with a great school with an appealing student/teacher ratio, with home prices that are steadily trending upward followed by a chart on recent sales activity also moving higher. A seller will love to see all that information provided alongside their listing).

By adding Home Junctions Maps API, a broker is also opening a window to so much more real estate market data than can be embedded on their website.

Sure, Google’s Map APIs product was nice when it was free or super-cheap. But as we know, things change.

It’s time to change to Home Junction’s Geocode data built specifically with real estate websites in mind (or real estate related companies such as banks and mortgage companies) and integrate a geocoded platform built to optimize the value of property listings.

WordPress Real Estate Themes – Key Issues You Need To Know Before Choosing

wordpress real estate themesAt some point every broker and agent in America is going to consider WordPress Real Estate Themes for their website.

It’s inevitable. We discussed why in earlier articles. WordPress is one of the best, if not the best content management system in the world. More businesses use a WordPress platform than any other.

To start, you are going to need choose a “theme” or format for your website.  For real estate, obviously look at WordPress Real Estate Themes first.

It’s critically important you consider these issues.

  1. Do it Yourself or Go Pro – WordPress is known as a user-friendly platform for bloggers. In fact it was created specifically to make blogging very easy.

The blog platform became so famous and popular, that the creators of WordPress decided to create a full-on website platform for businesses.

Great, one might think, I’ll choose a WordPress Real Estate Theme and do it myself, or have that techie down the street put one together for me.

WRONG!

Creating a website for brokers and agents is a bit more complicated because there are many intricate parts that make need to be addressed.

When you are counting on your website to generate leads for half-million dollars homes and you are displaying listings for million dollar homes, you can’t afford to go cheap.

Don’t adapt a free or cheap theme and think it will work to display listings, etc.

Because there are IDX and integration issues with the local MLS, a local WordPress company that creates local websites for plumbers and hair salons is probably not the best choice to help you.

Adapting themes will take you longer than you think. And probably cost you twice as much.

There’s too much at stake.

Go with the pros like Home Junction who specialize in creating WordPress real estate websites.

We’re going to tell you why.

  1. WordPress Real Estate Themes – Home Junction has created themes specifically for the needs of brokers and agents. That means those themes have pages already built for listings, lead forms, market data, photo galleries, etc.

You don’t want to spend time and money rewriting  code to make a theme fit your needs.

Using existing WordPress Real Estate Themes from a reputable company also allows you to quickly customize that site for your logo, brand colors, about us page, agent roster, etc.

In addition, you will want a theme that is SEO-friendly. Google and Bing love the basic WordPress structure. It’s easy for them to scan with their bots and index in their rankings. However, to rank high in your particular marketplace, you will need to add specific keywords and content for your target market. You don’t want a theme that is clunky and doesn’t help you maximize those SEO efforts.

That in itself will take some time. So it’s smarter to go with ready-made WordPress Real Estate Themes out of the box.

  1. WordPress Real Estate Plugins – here’s another major, major point you need to know. Your WordPress website is going to need plugins. Plugins are a great feature of WordPress. There are thousands of them out there that can help you add features such as lead forms, photos galleries, etc.

But that’s also a problem with WordPress Real Estate Plugins. There are so many of them, it’s hard to tell which one to choose. You can waste a lot of time inserting, deleting and testing plugins.

Home Junction has created their own WordPress Real Estate Plugins. You need someone who knows the real estate business to truly supply you with the right software.

For example, a broker will want an IDX to pull in MLS listings. You certainly need a reliable company to set that up for you and knows how to integrate the specific critera for each MLS.

Home Junction also has an assortment of other real-estate related plugins – real estate market data, school data, recent sales activity, home price trends, etc. Another powerful plugin is their home value estimator tool which is a magnet for lead generation.

(Home Junction is also one of the leading real estate data aggregators in the country. That’s very, very  handy. With a hyper-local real estate data API a broker or agent can display massive amounts of relevant data, such as recent home sales, that instantly makes them the local broker with the most local knowledge).

  1. Mobile Responsive Websites – we actually saw an article about WordPress themes which asked the question, “Does your website need to be mobile ready?”

For brokers or agents, the answer is easy.

Of course it does! More and more consumers use their mobile phones and tablets to search the web. Even Google is noticing this trend as they analyze the billions of data points they see every day. In the US, Google now says 58% of searches are done on mobile devices.

All indications point to mobile becoming more and more popular. Home buyers are going to scan their phones on a regular, if not daily basis, when looking for a home. This is how the Millennial generation searches the web.

Your website must adapt to whatever devices – iPhone, Samsung, HTC, they are using, and whatever version they are using and the software on that device. It’s complicated.

WordPress is very adaptable but you need a qualified developer who can make the necessary adjustments so that consumers can see your website on any device. That means navigation, text, images, videos, etc. all must adapt to that device.

Google and Bing have ways of checking this and if your website is not mobile-ready, then frankly the search engines are not going to list you high in their mobile search engine rankings, even if you rank high on desktop versions.

  1. Technical Support – a blog website is easy to manage.

A business website is a different story.

Be sure you find a WordPress real estate theme where you can get technical support. Just one piece of code in the wrong place can cause problems. You don’t want issues when someone is searching on your website for a $1 million dollar property. A glitch here or a delay there and they are gone.

While there are thousands of themes available on WordPress, support can be thin. Some companies might have even gone out of business. That means there won’t be any updates for that theme – which is super critical for security as threats are constantly changing and adapting.

Secondly, as a real estate professional, you are going to want to make additions and changes to your website. Maybe you want to customize some section of your website. New WordPress real estate plugins are constantly being developed.

You will need technical support to help you implement those changes and ensure they work correctly.

Bottom line: WordPress is an amazing platform. It’s the perfect platform for brokers and agents because there are some ready-to-go, off-the-shelf WordPress Real Estate themes available.

Do the legwork  on WordPress Real Estate Themes now (or just call Home Junction) to avoid tremendous headaches later.