“Real estate fundamental remains entangled in a lattice of continuing demand, tight supply and disciplined financial underwriting,” said George Ratiu, a senior economist with Realtor.com, “Accordingly, 2020 will prove to be the most challenging year for buyers, not because of what they can afford, but rather what they can find.”
CNBC even went so far as to say this could be the lowest inventory in the past 38 years for most buyers. For agents, that’s certainly frustrating. For one, mortgage rates are still at historic lows. The experts predict they will stay within the very attractive 4% range. That’s an enormously positive factor for buyers. Basically, money is cheap.
The other frustrating factor is that all of a sudden, the largest demographic group in the country – Millennials, is now tired of paying rent and want to purchase a home. A starter home. Great. Realtors now have a huge base of buyers with access to super low interest rates.
There’s one thing missing. Properties to sell to them. As we all know, and experts are reporting, houses in the low to mid range are very scarce. But they are out there. And at some point an agent wants to position themselves as the one to call when homeowners in those homes are ready to sell. Or, can be persuaded now is the right time to sell.
Home Value Estimator Plugins are Like a Magnet
This is where a property valuation tool can be a powerful asset for brokers and agents. Here’s one big reason: In a market where a certain segment of homes is in high demand (or frankly an appealing neighborhood that is high demand regardless of the price ranges), homeowners are going to constantly want to know the answer to this question.
“What is my home worth today?”
And if you have the information, they will come to you for the answers. It’s that simple. What is even better is that local agents can compete with the big real estate portals now when it comes to home estimates. Maybe most agents haven’t noticed this. But this is a MAJOR development that levels the playing field for local agents. They now have the SAME RESOURCES as the large mega-real estate websites and now, even banks that have gotten into the home estimate game.
They use this tool for one big reason – it works. That mega portal that begins with the last letter of the alphabet used this tool to virtually put themselves on the map. And now they dominate that map, on a national scale. But when an agent adds a home value estimator plugin on their website, they can compete and even dominate their local marketplace.
Because they have one enormous advantage. They are local. They know that marketplace. They live in that marketplace. They personally interact with people in that marketplace. But like any tool, you need to use it to make it effective. It’s not going to do the work for you. Promote the fact that you now have a home value estimator plugin on your website.
Promote Hyper-Local Data
Go micro. Promote that fact that you offer a home value estimator plugin for “$$$ Neighborhood.” Use this tool to follow price trends in “$$$ Neighborhood.” For example, write something such as “According to my home value estimator plugin, I see the latest calculations for home values on your street have risen by X% in the past six months. Click here to see the latest estimates of what your home is worth.”
Naturally, you want to include a caveat that these are only machine-generated estimates based on data from a variety of sources. You also want to present an opportunity to provide a more detailed CMA. Emphasize the fact that you are familiar with their neighborhood. You know the type of properties that are hot.
Or the features in high demand, e.g. waterfront property or homes located close to the train station. You know the schools, the neighborhood, the parks, the best restaurants. Create a specific landing page offering this home value estimator plugin for a specific neighborhood and run promotions, such as Google pay per click ads, directing homeowners to that page. (Include other relevant real estate market data as well).
Also add a link to your home value estimator plugin on other pages. Listing pages. Market data pages. Blog pages, etc. Ask people for their email address to use this tool. Or after they get results, ask for the email address and offer to provide them market updates on a regular basis or that CMA.
Sure, there is some apprehension within the real estate industry about home value estimates. But here’s the reality – consumers love them.
Home Junction Property Value Tool Creates Millions of Searches
In 2018, customers of Home Junction who provided this home value estimator plugin generated more than 1.1 million searches. More than a million. That’s quite a bit of interactivity between homeowners and agents. Activity that generates leads. Builds up email subscriber lists. Promotes brand awareness. Starts a conversation. Gives that agent top of mind awareness with potential sellers. Creates the perception that this agent has all the latest real estate tools on their website and access to solid hyper-local market data.
When a certain segment of the market is hot, buyers are constantly checking for the latest listings to pop up on the MLS. Conversely, homeowners are constantly checking these home value estimator plugins to see the latest calculation on “What is my home worth?” Also, agents can use this tool to constantly check on movement in prices in the neighborhoods they are farming. In addition, an agent can use this tool to contact past clients and let them know the latest estimates on the value of their property.
In essence, providing this information helps move people toward making decisions. And it does it for you automatically. When an agent provides (and promotes this tool) on their website, prospects come to them. Those leads can come from people that agents perhaps already met somewhere and have indicated they may be interested in selling their home. Many of them will use that tool (and keep that agent on their radar screen).
Or those leads can come from left field, out of nowhere. From a prospect who perhaps saw an ad promoting the tool, or a post on social media or even an inquiry on a search engine and decided to check out a local agent’s website for an estimate…instead of that mega-portal thousands of miles away.
Providing these estimates can just be the catalyst that move sellers to make a decision (to at least contact you for an in-depth analysis). When you have a situation when inventory is tight, the smart agent will use every tool at their disposal, such as a home value estimator plugin, to uncover those scarce listings in their target neighborhoods.