A real estate market API can be a powerful tool in helping agents generate positive reviews in the 21st Century. Why is this important? Because in case you haven’t noticed, online reviews are the new referrals (don’t get us wrong, traditional referrals are still super valuable). But check out these statistics from BrightLocal:
- 85% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as personal referrals.
- 73% of consumers said they trust a business more if they have favorable reviews.
- 57% will tend to visit a business’ website after reading a positive review.
When it comes to the real estate business, these numbers are incredibly significant.
First of all, those little remarks, maybe just a few sentences or two, on a website such as Yelp, Facebook or Google can have a major impact on a consumer’s decision-making. Just like a referral letter or phone call. Second, the research shows, people believe and trust those reviews. They carry weight in the mind of today’s online consumer. And we know, most consumers today start their real estate searches online. Thirdly, very importantly, if an agent has a positive review, it is very likely a consumer will visit their website.
In this day and age of hyper-competition online for the attention of visitors, that is immensely important. It takes time, money, and effort to get consumers to visit your real estate website as opposed to the mega-portals or a competitors website.
But if an agent can generate some positive reviews online, those few little sentences could just be enough for today’s consumer to visit that agent’s website. And that could result in a request to ask for help in buying a $500,000 home or listing their $650,000 property. It’s a game-changer!
This is the digital era. People gather their information differently. When we shop on Amazon, most of us check out the reviews. When we go on TripAdvisor to find a restaurant, we look at those reviews. When we need auto repairs, we check out Google Places for reviews. Why not make sure your real estate company is winning the review game as well?
Real Estate Market Data API Provides Valuable Information
Here are a few tips and some strategies on how you can use a real estate data API to generate favorable online comments.
A real estate data API is basically a door to a warehouse filled with hyper-local data at the neighborhoods you are farming. The beauty of this tool is that the door resides on your website. An API (Application Programming Interface) is basically just a few lines of code provided by real estate data providers such as Home Junction. When you insert that snippet on your web pages, you can establish a feed for information that a home buyer wants (and home sellers would love to see used to market their home). That information includes:
• Trends in Home Prices
• School Attendance Zones
• Demographic Data
• Cost of Living Information
• And much more…
When starting a conversation, this real estate market data can be a powerful tool to attract buyers and sellers and help them make a decision. A decision we all know is one of the biggest financial decisions a person will ever make in their lifetime. We also know people will appreciate any hard, statistical facts you can bring to the table to help with that decision. That information can also help later on when asking for referrals.
For example, you can still use your real estate market data API to ask for referrals after the sale. After a home buyer closes the deal and has the keys in hand, check back with them. Before you ask for them to submit an online review, experts say it’s smart to start with an open-ended question such as:
- “How do you like your new home?”
- “Was I able to help you find the home that you wanted?”
- “As an agent, did I meet or exceed your expectations?”
Naturally, you want to make sure the customer was satisfied with your services before you ask for a review. Generating positive feedback helps “prime the pump” in the consumers mind to perhaps take the next step and agree to supply a review for an agent.
It’s also important to ask at the right moment. As anybody in sales knows, timing is everything. If the consumer is wrapped up at the moment moving into their new house, this might not be the best time to ask for a positive review. They are busy. Someone can tell you all day long they will write a review or provide a referral, but the timing might not be right and they could be distracted with other tasks. Make sure the window when you ask is a good one.
Next, be sure to make it easy to provide an online review. Send the customer a link. That link could be to your Google Places page or Yelp. When on Facebook, send the consumer a link on Messenger so they can conveniently click on it when they are on Facebook and easily post a review. Some experts suggest you use incentives (although the review sites do not like this). But as you know, many times you have to give something to get something.
Here’s an idea. Use the information supplied by your real estate data API to send a customer an update on market conditions. You could send them a chart showing how home prices have increased in their area. That is sure to put them in a favorable frame of mind as they realize you helped them buy at the right time. You can also use the Home Value Estimator Tool from Home Junction. Show your customers how their property now has an estimated increase in value after they purchased it. Who wouldn’t want to hear that good news!
When they receive that information, again, include a link asking for a positive online review. Because here’s one more statistic that is critical. Nearly 70% of customers who were asked to provide an online review said they would be willing to do it.
As we discussed, those online reviews are golden. They literally could be money in your bank. Don’t take them lightly. Be sure to get the right tools, such as a real estate data API, so you have every means at your disposal to get that coveted online referral.