To begin, to all of our valued customers and followers, the staff at Home Junction wishes you well and hope you and your family are safe during these difficult times. Home Junction has taken several steps for the protection and safety of our employees.
If any brokers, agents, lenders, or other real estate-related companies would like a review of their websites for ideas on content, marketing or design to alleviate some of the stress during this trying time, feel free to give us a call for a free site evaluation.
When business is slow, during holidays and situations such as the one we are currently in, it might be smart for a company to take that time to re-evaluate their strategies and see where they can make improvements. One thing we do know, when this crisis does end, everybody is going to be very busy with a surge in activity. So now might be a good time for a strategic review.
And, it’s always smart to consult with experts outside your firm to get an objective evaluation. Through this, you can see which opportunities you may be missing or find areas where you can enhance the services you provide your customers. Then, once things start to go back to normal, you will come out of this crisis feeling stronger and prepared to take on the next steps for your real estate business. Consider some of these real estate data strategies offered by Home Junction:
Automated Value Model (Home Value Estimator Tool)
One thing that homeowners are always interested in, no matter the circumstances, is the value of their homes. In fact, in the past 30 days, more than 8,000 people have gone to Google and typed in the phrase: “What is my home worth?” Thousands of people have typed in variations of that sentence as well.
Now, we know the major real estate portals offer home value estimates. But did you know that the same technology is available to local brokers and agents? These automated valuation models for local agents tap into many of the same sources, such as public records, and other historical pricing data as the big portals. The data is then organized and weighted to provide estimates of the value of any given property in a certain timeframe.
The advantage of using an AVM is that it provides a computer-generated estimate in seconds. The other benefit is that it creates an opportunity to offer a homeowner a more in-depth CMA and basically start a dialogue with a prospect. This is a very powerful tool and a very effective way to attract visitors to your website. It’s also a powerful tool to promote in email campaigns and on social media. And, when circumstances change, you can bet homeowners will be very curious to see the latest calculations on property values. You want to be the local broker that provides that valuation tool to them.
Another strategy to review or ask for advice on involves geo-coding technology on your website. What sort of mapping features does your site provide? Do you have accurate boundary information for city and county limits or school districts? How about school attendance zones?
These zones are super-important to families. School attendance zones are complicated. A zone for an elementary school could be much different than a zone for a high school. And these zones can change due to changes in enrollment, etc. Providing current and accurate boundary information puts that broker at the top of the list for hyper-local knowledge. Home Junction has GIS (Geographic Information Systems) specialists on staff to guide you through this process.
This might also be a time to review your IDX and your data feed for MLS information. Are you satisfied with your MLS feed? Is it fast? Reliable? Accurate? Does it update frequently, for example, 12 times a day? As we mentioned above, is it integrated with mapping technology on your website? Finally, what other information do you provide along with that MLS listing that consumers want to know?
- School Data
- Recent Home Sales
- Pricing Trends
- Neighborhood Demographics
- Crime Ratings
- Consumer Price Indices
How about points of interest? As you know, today’s home buyer doesn’t just want a home, they want an appealing neighborhood as well. Even though amenities may not be able to be enjoyed to the fullest extent now, buyers want to know where the nearest grocery store and coffee shop are located. These amenities add value to a home.
Take parks for example. Studies show a property that is in close proximity to a park can be 20% higher in value than surrounding homes. Home buyers want to see these amenities. They could just be the catalyst that gets them to make an offer. Homeowners will also love to see you how you use their proximity to a park, golf course, or train station to promote their property.
Each MLS has their own set of rules and regulations. If you need assistance, contact the experts at Home Junction. We have extensive experience with different MLS services across the country and meeting their specific criteria.
Moving Forward, Together
This country has faced difficult challenges before. We will get through this current situation.
Feel free to contact our expert staff with any questions or if you are interested in our free real estate website evaluations. Our team has many years experience in real estate technology and property data collection and processing. There’s no need to leave your home or office. We would be glad to offer a virtual review of your website and provide suggestions on how you can strengthen your position in your marketplace.
From Home Junction, stay safe, we are in this together.