A Property API is an important tool every agent needs if they truly want to attract the out-of-town buyer by building pages aimed directly at meeting their specific needs.
And out-of-town-buyers could be a hot commodity in your market.
After all, American real estate is still recognized as one of the BEST investments in the world.
Let’s take Florida as an example.
More than 20%, that’s 1 in 5, real estate buyers from 2009 to 2017 in Florida were foreign. Not just from another state, but another country.
Last year, from August 2017 to July 2018, foreigners purchased $8.7 billion worth of property. That’s about double what they spent in 2010.
We also know that foreign buyers are acquiring properties in places like New York, New Jersey. Texas and California.
That certainly should give you a warm and fuzzy feeling about the value of real estate in America. You probably won’t find too many other counties with that level volume of interest in real estate.
That’s just buyers from other countries.
Homebuyers are on the move
What about other states?
Well, as you know, things change. Demographic groups, such as Baby Boomers, get older or change preferences.
In addition, governments make changes. Changes that have huge impacts. Take taxes for example. A flood of residents in places such as New York, California, New Jersey and Illinois are leaving their states to seek places with lower taxes, such as Florida, where the state income tax is $0.
From July 2017 to July 2018, Florida had the biggest gain in population while you guessed it, New York had the largest loss.
Bottom line. There are quite a few people from outside your town who may be looking to buy homes in your town and as an agent, you certainly want to generate leads from this group.
Here are some ideas.
For one, create a page specifically for out-of-town buyers and one for foreign buyers.
One of the MOST IMPORTANT needs of these groups is information. Local residents know about whether the local real estate market is hot for example, or they might know about the schools, transportation hubs, demographics or even the cost to live there.
But for out-of-town buyers and especially out-of-country buyers, just assume they know very little about the town.
So create pages which offer basic information about the neighborhoods your are farming.
The history. Population. Economy. Climate. Transportation. Amenities. Landmarks. Points of Interest, etc.
Provide big, beautiful photos of the downtown, malls, parks, lakes, schools, museums, etc. (If you have a WordPress Real Estate Theme website, this would be very easy to do).
Get them excited about moving to your market.
Property API provides the facts out-of-town buyers crave
Then address their concerns about investing in a property.
That’s where a Property API (Application Programming Interface) can be super valuable.
After all, these people need more than flowery descriptions and nice images of the local botanical gardens.
They want hard facts.
With a Property API, an agent can add a few snippets of code to any page and that API will pull in hyper-local data from national resources such as Home Junction.
The real estate data API can show for example:
Trends in Home Sales – what is the pace of home sales? Are they selling rapidly? Is it time to jump in? Or perhaps, are certain markets becoming too hot.
Trends in Prices – again, where are prices heading? Are they moving upward and if people want to move, they should act now? Or is there a lull in price escalation, another signal that now might be a time to buy while prices are flat.
Boundaries – where is the property located? Within city limits where taxes are higher?
School Boundaries – this is super-important, not just to families, but anybody who owns a home. Where are the attendance zones? These zones do change. They are different for elementary, middle and high schools. What about private schools as well?
Neighborhood Demographics – who lives in these neighborhoods? Perhaps a couple that is retiring wants to live in an area where the residents skew older in age. Very important data.
Cost-of-Living Indices – some places are not only expensive when it comes to real estate, but also for other items such as food, clothing or transportation. Display that information on your website.
Crime Ratings – always a concern for buyers.
Now, here’s where an agent can really show their worth.
Not only can an agent display real estate data by zip code, but with data aggregators such as Home Junction, they can use a Property API to show data for specific neighborhoods or subdivisions.
So maybe home prices are relatively high in ABC Oaks, but the latest charts reveal that prices are lower in XYZ Acres, which is located right next door.
Place all of these charts on an out-of-town page. Or put links for specific neighborhoods on those pages so out-of-town buyers can review them.
Use data API to generate leads and offer regular market updates
Secondly, create a big, highly visible lead form on that page offering to continually send those prospects updates on the market.
That will keep you at the top of their minds when considering property in that area.
And here’s one, somewhat subliminal benefit, of using a Property API to display all of this data.
Because chances are these out-of-town buyers and especially out-of-country buyers, don’t know you personally. In fact, they probably don’t know any local real estate agents.
By providing these hard facts, not fluff, you are also creating a sense of TRUST with them. Imagine how important that is for someone hundreds of miles or even thousands of miles away.
These non-local buyers don’t know people in the community. They probably don’t have anybody to refer agents to them. For the most part, many of them might be flying blind.
In addition, many out-of-town transactions tend to be made quickly, especially if someone is relocating because of a change in employment.
Or perhaps, the prospect is a seller. One of their parents lived in the home and passed away. They need to sell the home, and probably as soon as possible.
TRUST will be a very, very big factor with all of them. Offering valuable data helps to build relationships.
Now, some of this information can be found by searching general information websites. But the agent who has a Property Data API embedded directly on their own website, will MAKE THE BIGGEST IMPRESSION in the eyes of prospects. That agent can become that point of reference for distant clients.
People trust facts. They trust data. And they will trust the agent who has an accurate and current Property API that provides them with that hyper-local real estate market data.