How A Real Estate API Will Help You Deal With Third Party Issues

real estate API

A Real Estate API can be a very effective tool if your buyers need to bring in others to help with a home purchase.

Because here is one of the latest real estate trends: despite the famously skyrocketing education costs and low-paying jobs of this generation, Millennials are poised to make up the largest demographic of new home buyers in the country.

This is great information as a real estate agent looking to know their clients better. But there’s a twist.

Because so many members of this generation have all decided to purchase a home at once, home prices in the $200,000 to $300,000 range are scarce. Buyers now need to stretch their budgets to get into a starter home.

Therefore, many of these young adults in their 20s and 30s are turning to their parents to fund a down payment in this high-priced housing market.

Rising numbers of Millennials need assistance

The FHA (Federal Housing Administration), a government agency insuring home mortgages, offers home loans through private lenders which are typically going to be more accessible to Millennials.

The down payment can be as low as 3.5%, as opposed to 20% through a conventional loan. But even these low rates are a struggle for some. The FHA revealed that over 26% of those who received loans had financial assistance from a parent or other relative to provide the down payment. This is a definite increase, from 22% in 2011.

Is parental assistance with down payments risky?

Traditionally, home buyers who have to get help affording their down payment are viewed as a risky bet.

If they themselves don’t have as much to lose if they get laid off and go delinquent on mortgage payments, the lender thinks there is a higher chance of not getting paid.

Some parents who are called on for this assistance may think the same way, as they don’t want to give a gift which may be used unwisely or a personal loan which never brings any return.

Others in the industry feel that parents giving their adult children down payment money perpetuates imbalances in supply and demand in some competitive housing markets.

Use a Real Estate API to navigate parental risk perception

Not everyone takes such a dim view of asking parents to help with a down payment. In fact, many industry executives have said that family assistance does not entail as much risk as assistance from the seller or other types of assistance – because of the family involvement.

In a tough housing market or life situation, the borrower actually feels a more intense level of obligation to protect or pay back their parents’ gift.

While real estate agents are certainly not family therapists, in engaging with Millennial first time home buyers and their parents, this is a fact that can be pointed out if there are any questions or concerns.

Here’s something that will help with the discussion, which as you can imagine, has very emotional implications.

Bring in the facts.

A Real Estate API gives agents access to local real estate data tools to explain to parents why the home purchase is a sound investment.

The parents, being older and possibly more experienced in homeownership, are interested in this data. They know what it like is to invest in a home…and watch it appreciate. Or not.

They will be very interested in comparing recent home sales data in the area, and seeing the current trends in home prices.

Depending on the area, an agent can use a Real Estate API to display positive neighborhood characteristics including local school data, demographics, crime rates, and access to amenities.

Show hard data with proof that their investment in this home is justifiable, and that the area is being improved and poised to go up in value and desirability. Those local statistics will go a long way toward helping everyone involved feel at peace with their decision to buy a house.

Real Estate API can promote your brand as the one with local data

Agents can also preemptively support Millennials and their parents through this decision by distributing important information through their websites, newsletters, and social media content.

They can create the perception in the community that they are the agent with the local data, the ones that young people will turn to when they know they will need to convince their relatives to dish out some of their savings.

Write an engaging and informative blog about parental involvement in home loans, as well as the great attributes of the local neighborhoods they are farming.

Use real estate data tools to come up with hard facts that can be turned into helpful infographics and Instagram photo captions.

By educating the public that parental help with down payments are normal and acceptable, agents will run into fewer clients who are struggling with this important issue.

And when approaching sellers, they can show home owners that they have the tools to help convince buyers, even with help from their parents or relatives, that the price for that home is reasonable in today’s market.

Third parties will be investing in properties but not living in them. They will be more interested in the hard cold facts than the people who have already fallen in love with the spacious kitchen or the big open deck in the backyard.

Embedding a Real Estate API into an agent’s website with access to a warehouse of neighborhood data, is the tool to use to address this side of the home buying equation.

Property Data API Makes A Home Unique When There Are Plenty Of Homes For Sale

property data api

A Property Data API can be a critical tool in high inventory markets when it comes to one of the most persuasive techniques available in an agent’s tool box.

That technique: scarcity.

Wait a minute, you might say. Now that the bloom is slightly off the rose in real estate markets, scarcity of homes for sale may not be a major issue.

According to the National Association of Realtors, their “Pending Home Sales Index,” a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, decreased 1.0 percent to 101.9 in February, down from 102.9 in January. Year-over-year contract signings declined 4.9 percent. That’s the fourteenth straight month of annual decreases.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said, “In January, pending contracts were up close to 5 percent, so this month’s 1 percent drop is not a significant concern,” he said. “As a whole, these numbers indicate that a cyclical low in sales is in the past but activity is not matching the frenzied pace of last spring.”

Property Data API creates a unique picture for each home

So how could scarcity possibly be a factor at a time when inventories are increasing?

Because an agent can use a Property Data API to make a home appear super-unique in a marketplace.

They can do that with some of the information provided by a Property Data API ( snippets of software to provide a data feed) supplied by national data aggregators such as Home Junction:

Here are some examples:

School Attendance Zones – sure, there might be plenty of homes out there for sale. But how many of them are located in the same area as the best schools in the district? That immediately creates a sense of scarcity for parents.

Percentiles in the Market – sure there are plenty of homes for sale. But, an agent can dig down into their Property Data API for comparables to see how a home is positioned in a neighborhood.

For example, that home might be in the Top 10% in terms of square footage, or the lower 20% in terms of price per square foot.

Real Estate Sales and Pricing Trends – sure there might be plenty of homes for sale in a zip code. But with a Property Data API that feeds an agent data for specific neighborhoods, even subdivisions, an agent can show that home sales are still going up in one specific area, as well as prices, for XYZ neighborhood.

If a buyer wants to move there, they need to ignore the national market and grab this particular property in this particular neighborhood.

Market Comparisons – use a Property Data API to show buyers how one neighborhood compares to another. Perhaps there aren’t any homes for sale in Town A but if you look at the data for homes in Town B, they are very comparable in terms of pricing, number of owners versus renters and neighborhood demographics. All of a sudden, that sole property that is available in Town B is very desirable.

Neighborhood Amenities – sure, there might be a bunch of homes for sale in one 10 mile area. But, there are only a few homes for sales that are located near: A great food store such as Whole Foods. A park with a playground and hiking trails. Maybe a popular country club. If the property is near a train station, well, that’s practically a slam dunk right there.

An agent can use real estate mapping tools to illustrate all these amenities on a map alongside MLS listings. Maybe a property is not unique. Or, there are plenty of others in the same price range on the market.

However, that proximity to a great store, park, golf course, transportation hub, etc., will give that home instant, unique appeal. An agent needs the tools to show this properly.

Using all of these factors and others provided by hyper-local real estate market data, an agent can show that when a buyer takes a closer look at a property in relation to their needs and desires, there really aren’t that many homes that fit their criteria as they thought.

That’s when an agent has certainly done their job.

That’s also the picture sellers will love as you demonstrate how your Property Data API can market their home as a scarce offering in a crowded marketplace.



Real Estate Data Providers Can Be Critical To Help Meet A Seller’s Time Frame

real estate data providers

Real Estate Data Providers such as Home Junction can supply agents with a tool that addresses one of home seller’s biggest concerns.

And it isn’t price,

According to a recent survey of home sellers by the National Association of Realtors, finding an agent who could help sell their property by an approximate target date is a big factor.

In a survey titled, “What Sellers Most Want from Real Estate Agents, Level of Service Sought From the Agent by the Seller” the third biggest concern of all sellers surveyed was “Help sell the home within the specific time frame.”

(The first concern was, “Help seller market home to potential buyers.” The second one was “Help price home competitively”).

What is interesting is how the people surveyed prioritized their concerns. Twenty percent said Marketing and Price were the No.1 issues.

A very, very close 19% said the Time Frame was the most important. So you can see, getting that house sold within a certain number of months is upmost on the minds of homeowners.

Real estate data providers can accelerate decision-making process

While everybody in the business knows obtaining the best price for your home is always an issue, as they say in marketing, timing is everything.

People don’t want their home languishing on the market for months. They have plans. They have worries about the transition into their next home. Perhaps they are preparing to move to another state.

They could be involved in job relocation. Maybe a family with children need to move in time for the school calendar.

Meeting a seller’s timetable can be an even bigger issue when you have a buyers’ market in your area as most states are experiencing nationwide.

This is where upping your game and working with real estate data providers can help.

To help accelerate the sale, providing compelling information about the property can be critical.

For example, say the listing is a standard 4/3 just like a dozen other 4/3s on the market.

Data is a powerful persuader

With hyper-local real estate market data, an agent can perhaps show:

1. Number of home sales in this particular neighborhood has trended higher than surrounding neighborhoods. Perhaps people are seeing more value in this area than others. Social proof is powerful.

2. Charts indicating that home prices in this neighborhood are trending upward, more than other areas. Again, a powerful signal that this neighborhood is super-desirable.

3. Home valuation data that indicates this particular property is in the upper 20% for square footage compared to other properties nearby. If a buyer wants a bigger house, this is one of them.

4. School data indicating favorable teacher/student ratios and other key information.

5. School attendance zones indicating that children who live in this neighborhood get to enroll at the popular XYZ School.

6. Neighborhood demographics

7. Municipal and tax boundaries

8. Crime ratings

9. Cost of living data

10. Points of interest

Savvy agents will know how to take a wealth of hyper-local information from real estate data providers and apply key attributes to show the advantages of each property.

Potential sellers will love this.

Home buyers will be influenced by this information.

Buyer’s agents will also find this data valuable in working with their clients.

Numbers help people decide, sooner rather than later

For most people, making a decision on the magnitude of a home purchase is a tough one.

They will take their time. Many will procrastinate. Others will struggle with the financing. Or the home inspection that finds minor little issues.

It can be nerve-wracking for all parties.

But it can be particularly nerve-wracking for sellers on a tight time frame.

That’s why offering this super local market information from reliable national real estate data providers can be crucial.

The hard cold facts can overcome the emotional side of the equation.

Yes, Mr. And Mrs. Homebuyer, look at the data. The statistics show this is a very desirable property. Time to make an offer before someone else does.

And time to help my listing client get out of his house in the time frame they desire.

That’s how real estate data providers can provide value for agents and perhaps it’s time to talk to one, like Home Junction, to show homeowners the tools you have to sell their property on their schedule.


Property Data API Can Be Useful In Attracting Millennials To Your Real Estate Business

A Property Data API is an important asset when it comes to addressing the Millennial generation.

By now, you are aware of all of the recent research suggesting that Millennials are about to make up the largest bloc of home buyers.

You also probably know that Millennials are a special generation: tech-savvy, innovative, progressive, and they do things a little differently than some of us are used to.

You need to adapt to their culture in order to catch the wave of this upcoming group of potential clients.

Here are our suggestions for attracting Millennials as a real estate agent.

Property Data API meets the research demands of Millennials

Millennials, or young adults currently in the 22-37 year age range, are more interested in research than any other age group.

They are savvy buyers, resistant to sales gimmicks, and will read up on the best ways to do things before they do them.

Millennials will read studies, journals, and blogs; watch YouTube videos, and Google local real estate options and trends before making a decision to take the next step forward.

As pioneers of the information age, they take research and knowledge seriously.

That’s a major reason why a Property Data API can set agents apart when working with this demographic.

They listen less and scan more. You need something for them to scan such as Recent Property Sales, Home Price Trends, School Data, Neighborhood Demographics, Boundaries, Crime Statistics, etc.

Millennials have a different outlook on real estate

Millennials are entering the real estate buying and selling markets prepared and backed up with plenty of research.

Here’s are a few reasons why.

For one, this is the generation that went through the housing debacle back in 2008. They saw the value of their parents’ homes take a nosedive. (And they are probably kicking themselves for not moving into a home sooner as home prices recovered).

Secondly, this big wave of the population all decided to buy at once. So much of the inventory in the starter home segment – $200,000, went fast.

Now many Millennials are now considering jumping past a starter home and into the next level.

They will need guidance from a professional.

You can help them see your value and have a fantastic experience by showing them what they cannot find on Google and YouTube.

Your local real estate data tools can show research that they haven’t seen yet, such as rising price trends in a certain neighborhood and how they compare to other neighborhoods.

Your experience also gives you a sharper insight into expected property value increases, and your guidance during stressful situations like home inspections or negotiating costs will be invaluable.

Ultimately, your skilled and educated presence along the way will provide what a search engine never could.

The back story: Millennials heavily utilize social media

Millennials are on social media not just for fun and entertainment, but also for work, information, and ultimately making their lives better.

Social media is now one of the best ways to ensure that your brand is put in front of the right people’s faces.

Additionally, almost all Millennials will ask their social media contacts where to find the best “everything” – including the best neighborhoods, best schools, and of course the best local real estate agent for their needs.

If you promote yourself on social media as the agent with not just hyper-local knowledge, but for Millennials, hyper-local data, then that person could be you.

You can utilize social media to the best advantage by building a story brand.

If your feed boasts an interesting and insightful niche (not just selling, but helpful info), you will gain more followers and start to get those coveted tags and mentions in those “looking for a Realtor” posts.

Showcasing beautiful home details on Instagram, using your local data to create colorful infographics on Facebook, and providing insight into who you are and why you do what you do are some key ways that you can build trust and a following that is mostly comprised of Millennial-aged buyers and sellers.

Don’t buy into any negative-sounding news articles about Millennials.

This age group is motivated, creative, sharp, and great to do business with if you can gain their trust by being authentic.

While they are the younger generation, they are now maturing, moving up into better-paying jobs, and thinking about starting families

And most importantly, they now realize the value of not paying those high rents any longer and instead investing that money into real estate – a home of their own.

Just like Millennials have embraced the latest technology, to address this group, agents need to embrace the latest technology as well. That includes tapping into the “Big Data” phenomenon.

A local agent on Main Street can now partner with a national data aggregator such as Home Junction and compete with the large real estate portals supported by Wall Street.

By embedding a Property Data API into their website (which basically means inserting a few lines of code), a broker or agent can tap into a well of hyper-local information.

They can disperse that data wherever they want on their website – next to listings, on a Community Page or even as a News Alert on their homepage.

That’s how an agent can become a true local resource in the 21st Century.

By providing an in-depth Property Data API on your website, creating an engaging brand story on social media, and painting a picture of the digital value you offer, you will be able to successfully build a reputation among young adults in your target market.