This Labor Day, Consider The Impact Of Real Estate Professionals On Jobs And The Economy

For this Labor Day, one might reflect on how brokers and agents in the real estate business have a major impact on jobs and the US economy in general.

Traditionally when you think of the American labor force you typically see images of factory workers or construction workers or maybe even restaurant workers.

But what about real estate brokers and agents?

As we can see by the real estate data, this is a BIG industry. That generates quite a few jobs.

Number of home sales and their impact

Look at these numbers from the National Associaton of Realtors:

  • As of July 2019, there were 1.38 million NAR members
  • It is estimated there are two million active real estate licenses in the US
  • They work for 86,004 real estate brokerage firms
  • Those professionals sold 5.34 million existing homes in 2018.
  • There are about 121 million total occupied housing units in the US.

Now, let’s talk about the impact.

First of all, two million people are directly involved in the selling of homes and other properties. That’s a big labor force.

Secondly, being responsible for the sale of 5.5 million homes in one year is a major accomplishment.

Think about the rippling effect of those sales.

All those sales mean billions of dollars in transactions.

Those transactions have many side effects besides just putting a family into a house.

For example, look at all the parties involved and how those sales support so many occupations.

Besides the brokers and agents, you have a support staff that works at those realty firms.

Then the bankers and mortgage brokers that fund the sale. Don’t forget the credit companies either. Or the property appraisers,

Prior to a sale, you have contractors, landscapers, repair people, painters and home stagers helping to get a property in saleable shape.

Once a deal is made, then the home inspectors, title companies and movers get involved.

Think about the money spent after a home is acquired. Again, putting contractors and painters to work.

There’s the impact of dollars spent on new appliances and furniture. Think of all the retail employees and factory workers impacted by those expenditures.

Then you have all the ancillary companies and their employees that are involved in real estate.

For example, technology companies like this one, Home Junction Inc., which provides property data, WordPress real estate themed websites, WordPress plugins, MLS APIs and other services for real estate companies.

Heck, there’s even a rise now in the demand for drone pilots.

All this activity adds up. Creates a large number of paychecks.

And it all starts with a broker or agent.

Profile of real estate agents

Here are a few statistics about those real estate professionals:

According to, 68% of Realtors are female. The average Realtor is a 54-year old female who attended college and is a homeowner.

Most work about 35 hours per week on average.

The medium gross income of Realtors is $41,800 in 2018. In 2017 it was $39,800.

About 87% are independent contractors.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has developed different numbers, based on ALL real estate professionals. They are working from a broader real estate segment than just NAR members.

Their data shows 1.56 million in the real estate workforce with 1.1 million females and 1.13 million males.

They cite the average wage at $61,081.

And they project a growth rate of 2.17%.

What all this data shows is that this is certainly a group that works hard for their money.

The actions of brokers and agents certainly have a major impact throughout many diverse parts of the economy.

As that famous quote by Elliott Burdett goes, “Nothing happens until someone sells something.”

This Labor Day, it’s certainly worth noting that real estate professionals are one group that continually makes something happen in the US economy and support quite a few workers and their families.

WordPress Real Estate Themes Give Brokers And Agents More Control Over SEO

wordpress real estate themes

WordPress real estate theme offered by Home Junction

If you notice how other realty firms seem to show up higher in search engine results, there is one easy solution – switch to WordPress Real Estate Themes for your website.

As you know, about 90% of home buyers first turn to the web when looking for a home.

When they search the web, they start at one of two places – Google or Bing search engines.

Having a ranking on Page One is huge. Ranking in the top three results is immensely huge.

In fact, studies show organic free rankings on Google and Bing tend to convert into leads more than paid advertising.

Those organic rankings are super critical to an agent’s success.

But as you can imagine, the competition for those coveted spots is intense.

What you might not know, is there is a tool out there that can give you much better control over search engine optimization (SEO) and a better strategy for moving up in the rankings.

That’s not just for the main keywords that everybody is battling  for positioning such as “Homes for Sale in Your Town.”

But also for the more narrow, targeted keywords such as “Homes for Sale in That Country Club Community Your Are Farming.”

That tool – WordPress. More specifically WordPress Real Estate Themes designed specifically for brokers and agents.

WordPress is the leading content management system

WordPress was first designed to make it super easy for people to start a blog.

It was also built to make it super-easy for those bloggers to rank on Google and Bing for keywords they were targeting, such as “Best Quiche Recipes.”

That platform was so successful, it skyrocketed in users.

Here are a few statistics:

  • There are an estimated 19.5 million WordPress websites out there today.
  • 500 WordPress-based websites are launched daily.
  • WordPress has an estimated 50-60% market share for web platforms.
  • Major content sites such as USA Today, CNN, Fortune and even TED talks use WordPress.

The developers at Automattic that created WordPress thought, why don’t we create a version for businesses?

That version took off as well.

wordpress real estate themes

WordPress real estate theme offered by Home Junction

WordPress Real Estate Themes ready to go

You know the great success of the furniture company “Rooms to Go?” You can visit the store and not only find a bed, but an entire bedroom set complete with drawers, nightstands, etc?

Everything in one place.

One of the reasons for the tremendous success of WordPress is that it is “open-sourced,” meaning outside developers can create themes and plugins to be used with the platform.

Therefore, technology companies with real estate experience have the ability to create WordPress Real Estate Themes specifically for brokers and agents.

They include such features as listing pages, lead generation forms, agent rosters, neighborhood information, etc.

Rather than hire programmers to code an entire real estate website from scratch (and take months to do it), these WordPress Real Estate Themes come off the shelf, ready to go.

And when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), they come with some powerful tools.

WordPress Real Estate Themes give more power to agents for SEO

For one, WordPress Real Estate Themes make it easy for agents to add content. You can go right in the admin section and change words on a page or upload images. Or you can easily write a blog and post it on the web instantaneously.

Many platforms may provide this for agents and brokers now. But those platforms can be clunky and cumbersome.

WordPress offers one of the smoothest and most effective content systems on the market.

Agents can also create specific pages for neighborhoods they are targeting and add keywords relevant to that community.

That strategy is super-critical because battling for generic keywords such as “Homes for Sale in Your County or City” is probably very competitive, especially against some of the larger mega-portals.

However, an agent can position themselves on search engines for more targeted keywords, such as “Homes for Sale in XYZ Neighborhood.”

If the agent hammers away with lots of content related to that neighborhood, it will definitely increase their chances of ranking higher on the search engines for that neighborhood. And as we all know in this business, one click that results in a sale can be a big reward for those efforts.

That’s just one strategy.

But here’s another amazing feature of adding WordPress Real Estate Themes that can give a brokerage or agent a major advantage – SEO Plugins

WordPress Plugins designed specifically to enhance SEO

As we said, WordPress is an open-source platform. This allows outside developers to create products to be used with the platform.

Themes are one of them.

Plugins are another.

Plugins are basically software features that can be added to a website. Those plugins can help with everything from showing images to creating lead forms.

WordPress plugins are so popular, in fact, that there are more than 30,000 available. That’s a tremendous number and variety of plugins and a testament to the popularity of adding these off-the-shelf enhancements.

Some of the most popular plugins for WordPress are SEO-related.

Those plugins were built to advise users on how to optimize a page for rankings on search engines.

For example, an agent might write a blog about a particular neighborhood they are farming.

After they write the text, the SEO plugin will offer advice on how to optimize that blog for rankings on Google and Bing.

The plugin might suggest:

– adding targeted keywords to increase the density of that word.

– reducing the number of targeted keywords (Google and Bing don’t like excessive or unnatural overuse of a keyword, commonly known as “keyword stuffing.”)

– creating a title and meta description for the blog (this text will be the words that appear in the search engine results. The more relevant, the more likely a person will click on them).

– placing relevant keywords in the URL address of the blog

– adding images

– inserting keywords into the description of the image and the alt text field for the image

And more.

In essence, it’s like having an SEO machine at your disposal, guiding an agent on how to maximize that page or blog for the market they are targeting.

There are real estate plugins that will also help with adding relevant content (and keywords).

We won’t go into them all here.

But adding a Property Data plugin for example, will enable an agent to instantly add a ton of hyper-local real estate market data to their web pages.

For a neighborhood they are farming for example, they can not only have descriptions about that neighborhood, but they can also add data on recent sales, trends in prices, demographics, schools, boundaries, crime ratings and cost of living prices.

All that hyper-local information related to that neighborhood will be noticed by Google and Bing.

As you can see, it’s a win-win with WordPress.

With WordPress Real Estate Themes, a brokerage or agent can make a quick move into a better strategy to compete for those coveted rankings on Google and Bing.


















Property Data API Can Make Your Brokerage More Data Literate

property data API

A Property Data API is a necessity for any real estate firm that wants to compete in the 21st Century.

In case you haven’t noticed, we are living in the era of Big Data.

Multi-billion companies such as Google, Amazon, and Facebook have all become enormous entities in our lives because of data.

Google built a $136 billion behemoth with 97,000 employees based on their data gathering and analytic ability. “To Google” is an everyday part of our language.

Which begs the question?

How data literate are your agents?

How well are you incorporating data in your company’s offerings?

Are you providing all the data you can to your prospects and customers?

Research company Gartner says soon 80% of companies will have specific initiatives to overcome their employees’ data deficiencies by 2020.

Property Data API provides real estate market data

property data API

Sample charts from a Property Data API.

Now, when it comes to data, there are several varieties.

There is internal data that is gathered from your website visitors such as lead generation conversion rates, clicks, time on page, etc.

Then there is external data about your marketplace.

This is where a Property Data API comes in.

As we all know, a real estate agent is basically an information agent.

One very important aspect of their job is to know their marketplace.

Now, previously, a savvy agent might be able to recite some recent home sale prices or information about local schools.

But in this era of big data, is that enough?

With a Property Data API, supplied by national data aggregators such as Home Junction, a brokerage can tap into an enormous database of hyper-local real estate information.

They can parse that information down to not just real estate data by zip code, but by neighborhood or subdivision.

Data on home prices, number of sales, square footage, age of the property, school statistics, age and income of local residents, crime ratings, etc.

That information can then for packaged into charts showing trend lines.

Or formatted to show rankings. For example, one property might be in the top 20% in a neighborhood for square footage but in the bottom 30% for price per square foot and the middle 50% percentile for age of the property.

A Property Data API can be used to provide home value estimates, based on recent sales, MLS listings, and other relevant data. (As we all know, homeowners love to see reports on the estimated value of their property. Which as you also know, creates a great lead generation opportunity for a formal CMA request).

The key is communicating the data

There’s more to data than just numbers.

This is where data literacy comes in.

First of all, one skill involves finding data. And that involves finding data that is trustworthy, accurate, relevant and timely.

Fortunately, there are data aggregators such as Home Junction that already fulfill this role.

With a Property Data API, a brokerage can add a feed that will supply them with a warehouse of hyper-local real estate market data. On the brokerage’s website, where they can promote their brand, capture leads and make the phones ring.

Then, it’s not only important to provide data to customers. It’s also important to be able to communicate about what those numbers mean.

Interpret the data for home buyers or potential sellers. Explain the trends to them. Write about the data on your blogs, you email updates or in your social media posts.

Present actionable insights. Point out the opportunities.

Perhaps the data is showing that historically for this particular neighborhood, this is a great time to make an offer on a property.

Or perhaps, this is not the best time to put that home up for sale.

This data can be extremely influential on the decision-making process of consumers. The more in-depth data you can show a prospect, the easier it will be for them to make a decision.

In addition, the more in-depth data (and analysis) you provide to clients, the more convinced they will be that this brokerage firm is truly the company with the most local knowledge.

That perception can go very far for referrals and repeat business.

One expert said that Data Literacy in the 21st century is what Basic Literacy was in the past century.

To advance themselves, as they moved from farm-based economies to an industrialized society, humans had to learn to read and write.

Now that we live in an information age, where a phone in your pocket gives you access to a gazillion bits of data, data literacy will be an essential skill.

Don’t be left behind.

Add tools such as a Property Data API from a national, experienced data aggregator and be sure your staff has the data literacy skills to present, analyze and interpret all that data for the benefit of your customers.






Real Estate Plugins Can Take Your Geo-Farm Strategy To A Much Higher Level

geo farm real estate plugins

Real estate plugins offer technological advancements that can be a game-changing enhancement to an agent’s geo-farm or niche farming efforts.

Consider this analogy, using actual farming as an example.

I have a friend whose relative owns a farm. Acres and acres that must be fertilized, harvested, etc.

Now to work a farm, you used to deploy a horse and a plow. Then came along tractors.

Now, in this day and age, that whole process has been upgraded thanks to improvements in technology.

Oh, this farmer still uses a tractor. But this tractor is amazing.

Farmers need to drive their tractors in very straight lines to maximize the yield for each row of crops.

His tractor does all of that on its own. It’s a self-driving tractor. Guided by GPS satellites. Goes in a perfectly straight line, row after row.

All the farmer has to do is sit back in a very comfortable driver’s seat, read a book and listen to satellite radio in his air-conditioned cab.

That technology is a game-changer when it comes to farming.

Now, let’s take the “geo-farming” strategy that many agents use.

Sure, there are regular strategies that agents have practiced for years to work a certain neighborhood or subdivision.

Direct mailers. Involvement in the community. Sponsorships of events or sports teams. Active participation in local organizations including churches and synagogues plus Rotary and Lions clubs.

But this is 2019, where tractors and cars drive themselves. There are also tech advancements for agents when it comes to geo-farming.

Real estate plugins supply market data

One of the key facets of farming a neighborhood or subdivision is in-depth knowledge of that neighborhood or subdivision.

A recent study of consumers found that three-quarters of those surveyed believe local knowledge is one of the most important characteristics they look for in a real estate agent.

As we said, this is 2019. Just like self-driving cars and tractors, there have been tremendous advances in real estate technology as well.

One of these key advances is the use of real estate “plugins.”

Plugins as you may know are basically ready-made packages of software that people can add to their websites to instantly provide new features and functionality.

With the WordPress website platform for example, there are more than 30,000 plugins that have been developed for webmasters to add to their sites.

Home Junction, a real estate technology company, has developed several real estate plugins based on their experience for more than a decade working with brokers and agents.

Those real estate plugins can instantly give agents a big digital boost when it comes to geo-farming an area or niche farming.

A whole suite of relevant plugins

Here are a few of them:

Market Updates: one way to stay on the radar of residents in your target market AND reinforce your brand as the realty firm with extensive, in-depth local knowledge is to send periodic updates on market trends.

Use charts and graphs to show the number of homes sales and direction of home prices.

Send those charts in mailers and email campaigns. Post those charts on your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

Set up a lead generation form giving residents access to in-depth market reports.

Here’s the key. This real estate market data can reside on an agent’s website. Not on someone else’s website, but your own website.

This can easily be done with market specific real estate plugins. With layers of hyper-local data supplied by data aggregators such as Home Junction.

Home Valuation Plugins: everybody loves to receive updates on the value of their most valued possession – their home.

With a Home Valuation feature on your website, you are sure to attract local residents who want to check out the latest estimate on the value of their property.

Yes, you need to emphasize these are only estimates. But that’s a great opportunity to offer up a formal CMA for those who are interested (and perhaps very close to making a decision to list their property).

Providing a Home Valuation tool is almost like a DRIP campaign. But this time if will be the residents who will slowly be moving toward a listing. They will regularly visit your website to see the latest estimates and the general movement of prices in their neighborhood. The more they visit, the more they are probably moving toward making a decision toward selling. You want your name in front of them when they do.

There are other real estate plugins you can add to enhance your geo-farm capabilities.

They include:

  • Pocket Listings
  • New Construction
  • Points of Interest
  • Neighborhood Demographics
  • Crime Ratings
  • School Data
  • Spatial Match (geo-spatial mapping showing properties for sale and neighborhood amenities)

Boundary data on your farm area

Another important service offered by data aggregators is the gathering of geographical coordinates for boundaries.

Boundaries will help you delineate the neighborhoods and areas you are targeting.

Boundary data will also help you show municipal and county boundaries.

And boundaries are super, super important when it comes to that all important question of where children in those neighborhoods will attend school.

That includes school attendance zones. These zones are different for grades and they are also subject to change.

Providing that information on a website alone would establish tremendous local knowledge in the eyes of many parents. And trust.

All of this targeted information for the neighborhood you farm can be displayed on your website. As we know, more than 90% of home buyers now use the web when searching for homes.

Not only will they see this in-depth information about the neighborhoods they are interested in, but so will Google and Bing. This could have a very positive effect on your rankings on search engines for keywords relevant to the neighborhoods you are farming.

The more information you provide to answer search queries about specific locations, the more Google and Bing see you as a valuable resource they should move up in the ranks.

As you know, high organic rankings are like gold. Free gold.

So, when was the last time you upgraded your website with new technology?

Just like that farmer in the GPS guided tractor, adding these advanced real estate plugins to your website will bring your geo-farming strategies into the 21st Century and give your brand a big competitive advantage.