A real estate agent’s ability to show school boundary data can have a significant impact on home buyers… and their status as a resource in their target neighborhoods. Consider these statistics from a recent survey by Realtor.com:
- 91% of home buyers with children said school boundaries were important or very important to them
- 73% of home shoppers overall said school boundaries were important to them
- Younger buyers, even without children, ages 18-34 years old, said school boundaries were a major factor for them
Naturally, people with children will be concerned about local schools. The key issue here though, is where are they going to find information about those boundaries and other relevant school data? For a local agent to add this information to their website is an effective way to gain prominence in a local marketplace. School boundary information affects all buyers. As you might imagine, that is a big task.
One challenge is that school boundary data changes. As the number of students attending a school change, or a new school is built, those boundaries will shift. In addition, those boundaries are going to be different for different grade levels. Elementary, middle and high schools will all have different parameters. Lasty, school attendance zones can shift between districts. To sum it up, keeping up with all these changes can be quite a challenge.
Then you have the school data itself. The location of the school, contact information, principal’s name, enrollment numbers, student/teacher ratios and other key information that parents want to know. Then, there is the added benefit of school information that has an impact on the overall marketplace. For example, a home located in a good school district will generally have a higher value than other districts. All home shoppers, not just those with children, will want to know this information.
In addition, a home located in a neighborhood with good schools will also do better in weathering market downturns which will inevitably take place over time. A home shopper will be relieved to know that even though they are paying X price for a property in one community, if the market dips in home prices, their property will probably be less affected than other neighborhoods. Then there is another factor that can be comforting for any buyer.
Things happen. Perhaps a couple looking for a home is worried that one of them might need to relocate in the near future because of a promotion or change in employers. An agent with relevant market data can point out how the overall school district or local schools will have a positive impact on resale value. Not only on resale value, but also on selling time frames. An agent with local market data can show how homes in this neighborhood tend to sell quicker than in other markets.
We all know Schools are a big factor in any real estate equation. Unfortunately, keeping current with school boundary data can be very challenging without the right tools.
Utilizing School Boundary Data Available from National Aggregators
Fortunately, in this era of big real estate data, there are real estate data providers such as Home Junction that can provide this information to brokerages and individual agents. Agents can simply add a school data API which will feed their website with all the relevant school information a parent would want to see.
An API (Application Programming Interface) is just a few snippets of computer code that can be inserted into the structure of a website to provide this information. The agent can decide where they want this data to show. They can show this data in one section of their website called “Information About Local Schools.” They can display this data alongside each individual listing. They can promote this information in their “About Us” page, which home shoppers will review when looking for an agent.
We live in a visual age. People want to see information quickly. Images and videos are very popular with web visitors. So, a savvy agent would also integrate this boundary information into a map-based application as well. Show properties pulled from the local MLS on a map and then display schools on that same map. Use a feature that filters school by a distance radius.
In terms of marketing, providing this school boundary data gives an agent a big edge in their marketplace. Promote this information in direct mail pieces. Post a note about this information on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts.
Same goes for emails. Use this school boundary data information as a way to generate email subscribers. Let your prospects know when there is a change in local schools. Or, use this data to point out how homes in a neighborhood with strong schools are selling quickly or at a higher than average levels.
An agent can point this information out in handy charts that condense the data into an easy to comprehend visual displays. Again, very powerful visual assets for any website. When it comes to listings, how impactful would it be for an agent to make a presentation to a homeowner and point out all the different ways they will promote the value of their property in relation to local schools? Any homeowner would love to see this extra effort (and powerful strategy) to promote their property.
The value of a school district and individual schools is nothing new. They have been an important factor in the real estate business since the first school was ever built. However, the ability of a local real estate agent to display vital school boundary data has changed dramatically. Now by teaming up with a data aggregator, an agent can become the local school expert and resource on this key neighborhood amenity. This allows them to compete with the large mega-portals for leads.
There’s your lesson for today. Add school boundary data to your website and immediately go to the head of the class.