How a Property API can be Used to Create Authority Symbols
A property data API is a quick way to create a persuasive marketing strategy for an agent to establish themselves as an authority in their market area. What do we mean by authority? In his landmark book, “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion,” author Dr. Robert Cialdini lists several techniques a person can use to effectively gain credibility with others.
Those techniques include:
- Social proof
We talked about some of these techniques before. About how a property data API that supplies hyper-local housing statistics can enhance reciprocity (give something, such as market reports, to get something, such as a completed contact form). Or can be used for social proof (testimonials, referrals, likes and shares as result of providing this valuable data). We also mentioned how this real estate data can help an agent establish themselves as an “authority” in their local marketplace.
But in this article, we’ll discuss a related concept – how to add “authority symbols” to your website, social sites and other marketing materials. After all, we live in a visual age. People love to read posts on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. But we all know posts are much more effective if you add an image.
Speaking of images – Instagram which is incredibly popular, especially with Millennials, and Pinterest, which is super-popular with women, are totally image based. And those sites continue to attract millions of followers.
Taking that same image-based concept a step further, why not use images or symbols to convince a consumer that you have credibility as a real estate agent? Those symbols can be powerful. Rather than read a long block of text, with an image, a person immediately creates a perception in their mind that this agent knows the real estate business. Those images can help a consumer, almost subliminally, make a decision quicker, sometimes within seconds, on choosing you to help them buy that $700,000 home or list their $5 million mansion.
Now do you see the power of those symbols? Almost think of them as the stars and badges that generals wear on their uniforms to denote authority. Below are basic suggestions for symbols. Some are obvious. But they are certainly worth mentioning. Conduct a visual assessment of your website and marketing materials to see how well you incorporate the power of symbols.
Creating Authority in Real Estate
Did you earn accreditation from a certain real estate training course? Be sure to make these prominent on your website. Don’t be modest. Consumers want to see these citation marks upfront. Don’t make it difficult for them to find this accreditation or hope they stumble across it randomly.
Perhaps you are a member of the local Chamber of Commerce. A local business networking group. Better Business Bureau. These symbols establish in the consumer’s mind that this is an agent who is involved in their community.
Same goes for any awards. Realtor of the Year. Local Real Estate Business of the Year. Member of the Top 30 Agents in the area. Whatever. Doesn’t even have to be real estate related. Maybe you received an award from the local Lions Club for your contribution to the community. Add it.
Perhaps you or your firm support local events. As we all know, many organizations frequently ask for donations from local businesses. And many times, they can only offer little in return such as perhaps mention in a brochure or a banner at the event. But why not leverage that sponsorship on your website? Add something such as “Proud Sponsor of the XYZ Annual Walkathon.”
Again, this shows the consumer that this agent is someone who is active in the community. This is a person who supports their local community. And in turn, this is a person who probably has a deep network of people in their community. (Many of whom might be buyers and sellers).
Even if you don’t have many authority symbols to add to your website, an agent can certainly establish authority by adding in-depth, useful and relevant content.
Where a Property Data API Comes In
A Property Data API is basically snippets of code that an agent can add to their website on any page they want. That snippet of code then taps into the database of a national data aggregator (such as Home Junction) that has sourced and organized millions of bits of relevant property-related data.
The data includes: home sales, trends in home prices, school data, new construction, neighborhood demographics, cost of living indices, crime ratings, etc.
An agent can order a data feed not just on the county, city or zip code level, but all the way down to the neighborhood or subdivision level. This is the type of relevant information that home buyers and sellers want. So provide it on your pages. That will establish your authority as the agent with local knowledge in that market.
But let’s take the strategy a step further in regard to image-based symbols. For example, instead of rows of type showing recent home sales, use charts and graphs. Place a chart on each listing page showing trends in sales and prices. Place a chart on your homepage indicating that you feature this important local information on your pages. Place those charts on your social posts, enticing consumers to come back to your website for more detail.
Get creative. Using some simple graphics, find an image of a home and then add an arrow pointing up to show that home prices in XYZ neighborhood have just gone up X%. Add a source note at the bottom for credibility. That’s an authority symbol. An authority symbol that will quickly register in the minds of consumers that you possess this important information.
Those data images tell the consumer that this agent has the helpful, in-depth information they need to make an informed decision about buying or selling. Also offer to provide reports to consumers with those graphs and charts and other hyper-local information.
The point is, in this visual age, pay attention to the symbolic-value of everything you do. A property data API can instantly provide an agent with plenty of credible, factual opportunities to create images of them as the real estate authority in their area of focus.