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.
- 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.