Real Estate Data Providers Can Give Your Website Tools It Needs To Compete In 2019. What It Takes To Innovate.

real estate data providers

Real estate data providers can help brokers and agents looking to innovate and take their company to the next level in becoming a true resource for home buyers and shoppers.

The challenge for most companies however, is are they open to change?

In this day and age, CEOs and managers are reaching out for help in fast-rising numbers. They’re not generating the revenue, forecasts are fuzzy, their people are leaving – what is going on?

In 2009, researcher Steve McKee published a study where he found 41.2% of nearly 5,700 companies stalled in the previous decade.

In any industry, stagnation is subject to happen for one well-known reason: resistance to change.

The real estate business is no different.

When you take an industry like this, which has changed little over the past decades, and attempt to keep doing business the same old ways, it’s no surprise that some firms are starting to struggle.

Let’s talk about our natural resistance to change, and how we can turn it around to our advantage in the real estate business.

According to a recent article in Forbes, stalled growth in industry leaders is popping up more and more frequently since the 2008 recession.

Leaders are failing to take the bull by the horns and adapt, all the while wishing and hoping for the old ways of business to come back into style again. (Think Sears, Toy R Us, Sports Authority, etc.).

They are fearful of taking the risks inherent in trying new methods and ideas. And as human beings, they are driven by one of our most powerful, primal, wired instincts: force of habit.

Science proves it: it’s our fault

It’s not that we’re lazy, or stupid.

It’s that, as humans, our brains are wired to work a certain way. Our brains actually hate change to the point of pain, because the prefrontal cortex works hard to navigate unfamiliar information.

Since 25% of our body’s energy goes toward brain function, it’s no wonder that we can start feeling tired and “shut down” when attempting to study something new or develop a new habit.

The brain is so powerful that it creates a “roadmap” of your habits. This allows you to move more efficiently and quickly through tasks without having to stop and think about what you are doing.

Hijacking this map to see something through a fresh perspective, or deviate from the norm is difficult unless we consciously choose to do so.

How to change your brain’s roadmap

Is it even possible to change that mental map, training yourself to open up to innovation and risk taking?

Science says yes. Once you have made the conscious choice to change, you must now act accordingly.

We also know that, while you can listen to gurus and read self-help books all you want, the only true way to change is through experiential learning.

There are some simple strategies you can use to get started.

According to the Forbes article they are:

  1. Get out of the office and explore what’s out there
  2. Plan to be a company that constantly seeks to innovate

You must see things with your eyes, touch things with your hands, and feel things with your heart – that’s how you can make the greatest impact on your brain’s ingrained roadways.

There are plenty of real estate technology companies out there with exciting new products.

Have you talked to them? Tried out their platforms? Asked for demonstrations?

Do you have time scheduled to stay abreast of new technologies that are emerging?

Innovation in your industry

All CEOs and managers like to think that they are “innovative” within their firms.

Are they really?

What are you doing in real life to bring about innovation in the real estate industry?

Are you utilizing the power of technology to set yourself apart?

Did you know that by using local real estate data tools on your website, you are already head and shoulders above the competition that is stuck in the past?

If Suzy down the street is still relying on postcards and gift baskets to drum up business, while your potential clients can have their need for information satisfied in a couple clicks on your website, in five years we will see who is still around, and thriving.

Real estate data providers do all the heavy lifting

Technology plays a starring role in the future in general, including in the real estate industry.

Fortunately, in this day and age, brokers and agents don’t have to go out and find sources of local data for themselves.

They also don’t have to find a way to integrate that local data on their website.

And this is very important, they don’t have to find a local programmer to custom code a website to provide new features. Those projects can be time-consuming, frequently over budget and a nightmare to manage.

Today, there are real estate data providers such as Home Junction that do all that work for agents.

They have the technology to gather hyper-local data such as school information, recent home sales, pricing trends, boundaries, demographics and other key information that home shoppers want to see.

Not only do they gather the data. These real estate data providers also have developers to write the coding that makes it super-easy for a broker or agent to disseminate that data wherever they want on their websites.

A real estate company can use a Real Estate Data API or simply a plug-in (a few snippets of code) to instantly add any type of data to their pages.

Why let a potential client do all the legwork of determining the best school districts, the pricing trends in their neighborhood, sales comparisons between desirable neighborhoods, and neighborhood demographics on their own? (Hint: they really don’t want to do all this work).

Or why let them go to a national real estate portal to find this information? (And let them be someone else’s lead). Or let a local agent with this data start gaining more market share as THE hyper-local resource?

Working with a real estate data provider, you can quickly add your own data and home estimator tools that give you the power to disseminate this information through your website, your blog, your newsletter, your social media channels, and give the people what they want.

The takeaway?

Don’t allow yourself to fall into the brain traps that keep you comfortable, safe – and never growing or thriving.

Don’t make excuses like “I’m too old to learn technology.”

The great advantage today, is that you don’t need to.

There are real estate data providers out there today with a full suite of programs you can use to upgrade your website.

Today, innovation is one way to become successful (and survive) whether in the real estate industry or any other.

You can harness the power of technology to stay on top of the wave and keep up with the times (and competition).

The big question you need to ask yourself is: are you willing to innovate?

Home Valuation Widget Generates 1.1 Million Home Value Searches In 2018 On Client Websites. Where’s Yours?

home valuation widget

Home Junction Inc. recently announced there were more than 1.1 million online requests by consumers in 2018 for property value estimates on our client websites using our home valuation widget.

“This milestone is important for two reasons,” reported Ed Kim, Senior Vice President with the company. “First, the total demonstrates the importance of home value estimates to consumers.”

“Secondly, now that local brokers and agents have the ability to provide their own estimating tools on their websites, these numbers show consumers will visit their local agent sites to obtain these property value reports.”

In essence, Kim explained, a home valuation widget helps the public find answers to this question, “What is my home worth?”

“What is my home worth?” popular search phrase

According to organic search results for Google, people are searching for websites that offer this service. In January, there were about 27,000 queries that asked “How much is my home worth?”

Variations of searches for home valuation widgets also generated a significant amount of activity. For the term “What is my house (or home) worth?” there were a combined 20,000 searches last month. Another variation, “Value of Home?” was asked 6,600 times.

The industry term for these home valuation estimator tools is referred to as an Automated Valuation Model (AVM). The AVM is a formula that gathers data from a variety of sources such as municipal records, historical sales data, geospatial coding, property attributes and other sources.

The machine-based calculations then provide a current estimate of the “Predicted Market Value” of a house based on data available at the time.

The result is only meant to be an initial estimate and is not as detailed as a formal Comparative Market Analysis or estimate from a licensed appraiser.

However, the home valuation widget is very popular with homeowners because it gives them a relative idea of the current value of their home, allowing them to compare their homes to others in the same neighborhood and to see pricing trends.

Home Valuation Widget is perfect lead generation tool

“This is a valuable resource for consumers. The AVM feature is a great way to start a conversation between agents and homeowners who may consider listing their homes for sale,” said Kim.

Brokers and agents are encouraged to add a lead form next to the home valuation results, stating “Request a Professional CMA” for those visitors who are interested in obtaining a more detailed evaluation of their property.

“The home valuation widget is a proven lead generation tool,” Kim indicated. “And now advancements in technology enable local brokers and agents to offer this powerful marketing feature just like the larger real estate portals.”

The AVM values are considered a guesstimate based on the age of the comparable information.

For that reason, Home Junction includes a “Confidence Range” of a plus or minus figure to give users parameters on the accuracy of the data.

In addition, Home Junction includes a pricing range, showing the High and Low estimated values.

To help homeowners see an overall picture of the market position of their property, Home Junction also provides a chart showing how that property compares to other homes in the neighborhood.

That chart will report which percentage the property ranks in the area compared to others based on Size, Price, Price per Square Foot and Age of the structure.

“This home valuation data really helps to give an owner a snapshot of how their property matches up with others in their neighborhood,” Kim explained. “Perhaps our data shows that one particular property is in the upper 20% for square footage, but priced in the lower 30% for price per square foot. That’s important information that a homeowner needs to know.”

“Obviously, in the end, the value of a property will be determined by what someone is willing to pay for it,” said Kim.

“But as we continue to gather and compare data, our methodologies are becoming more accurate,” Kim said. “From our data, we can see consumers want this service. Brokers and agents would be smart to provide this feature on their website as an effective way to generate leads and market to prospects.”

Add a menu of real estate market data

Home Junction is a national data aggregator of relevant real estate market data. That data includes:

  • Municipal boundaries
  • School district boundaries such as attendance zones
  • School data such as student/teacher ratios
  • Recent home sales
  • Trends in home prices
  • Parcel numbers
  • Tax assessed value
  • Property attributes
  • Zoning codes
  • New construction
  • Utilities usage
  • Points of interest
  • Flood zone maps
  • Comparable sales in the area

The company offers a Real Estate Data API (Application Programming Interface) for website developers or a plugin which an agent can embed in their website. They can use this code to pull in all the property and neighborhood data they want for a particular listing or a neighborhood they are farming.

The data is not only available for county and zip codes, but is also available down to the neighborhood and subdivision level.

For brokers, agents and other companies interested generating leads and traffic by adding this popular Home Valuation Widget or plugin to their websites, call 858-777-9533 x 151 or write to help@homejunction.com.

 

 

 

 

To Approach Luxury Home Consumers, Be Sure To Provide The Full Service They Will Demand Such As A Neighborhood Data API

luxury homeA Neighborhood Data API is a powerful tool that can give you more clout with luxury home sellers.

This will be more important than ever in 2019.

That’s because experts predict much of the activity in the real estate business will be in higher-end properties.

But as we all know, these sellers are different. And can be more demanding.

That’s probably one reason why they live in those multi-million dollar homes.

That’s also why this year you want to focus on making sure your marketing presentation is filled with the most current and accurate real estate data.

And if you want to impress these buyers and sellers, you will want to have your own data feed of hyper-local  data on your own website, not some other website.

Because here’s why this data is important when working with luxury home owners and shoppers.

One Realtor that works with high-end properties put it this way: luxury home buyers and sellers know this is the era of big data. They know that data is out there relevant to their needs and they want a Realtor who will supply it to them.

Makes sense.

Many of the owners of high-end properties are also the owners of their own businesses or hold upper management positions in companies or are savvy investors.

This category of consumer probably deals with data on a regular basis.

These consumers know how data separates hyperbole from facts.

Therefore, they will listen to the broker or agent who does a great job of providing that critical data.

How a Neighborhood Data API can make a big difference

Sellers will want to see how well you will use data to position their property in the marketplace.

Do you have charts showing how home sales or prices in that particular neighborhood are going up? Or how, a particular property ranks compared to others in regard to Size, Price, Price per Square Foot and Age.

Same with luxury home buyers.

You can tell them there is an exclusive country club right down the street. Or you can show them the wine cellar.

But it’s the data that also going to impress them.

Shoppers will obviously want to see statistics, graphs and charts. They will want factual data to back up the sizable amount of money they are about to invest in a home in that neighborhood.

Luckily for brokers and agents, there’s a simple solution.

National data aggregators such as Home Junction already gather a plethora of neighborhood data from a variety of reliable sources.

They tap in to municipal records, mortgage data, historical data, MLS Listings and other sources to gather the information that these luxury home owners want to see.

With a data aggregator, you can have a developer use a Neighborhood Data API to feed the data into a website. Or you can add a plugin, which is basically just a few snippets of code.

Either way you can feed relevant data onto any page on your website.

Show a variety of relevant real estate market data

So right next to listings, you can also show:

  • Recent trends in home sales
  • Recent trends in pricing
  • School boundaries and attendance zones
  • School data
  • Municipal tax boundaries (which is sure to be of interest to people with multi-million properties)
  • Neighborhood demographics – people like to live next to people like them
  • Crime statistics
  • And more.

This year, with mortgage rates predicted to increase and the inventory of homes in the $250,000 range for Millennials getting scarcer and scarcer, pay attention to the luxury home market.

Add a Home Valuation Plugin (Automated Valuation Model) onto to your website so people can get the latest estimates for home values (just like that real estate portal that starts with z and rhymes with pillow).

Promote these services heavily with mailings to high income neighborhoods.

This will catch the attention of luxury home owners and shoppers.

And as you can imagine, it’s not easy to start a conversation with people in the luxury home category. That’s because everybody wants to.

If you want these data savvy prospects to invest their money in a home with you, or sell their high-end property with you, as a real estate pro you should use all the resources available out there on the market.

A luxury home customer will expect it.

That’s why it’s smart to invest in the right tools such as a Neighborhood Data API to make your website and presentations a full-service resource.