Enhancing The Open House Handout With Real Estate Databases

open house artReal estate databases can turn a golden opportunity into a platinum opportunity when it comes to open houses.

For years, meeting potential buyers at an open house has always been one of most reliable, time-tested ways to generate leads and new customers.

There are not too many instances in real estate, in fact in any aspect of business, where a potential customer takes the time on a Sunday to drive across town to see you.

There is a debate going on about this practice. In this digital age where buyers now don’t want to get in their cars, a huge percentage look for homes online from their living room.

But for many agents, open houses still work. Very well indeed.

In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors, sellers that were surveyed said in 2009 about 59% of the agents they used held an open house. In 2004, that number was 49%.

And of course, sellers do love to see those open houses as well.

So why do so many agents still use the same old one-page sheet printed out from the MLS listing to give to visitors? The one with the basic MLS info – square footage, key attributes like wood floors, types of utilities, etc.

Add real estate databases to impress and persuade

In 2017, with the resources that are available out there, why not step up your game?

Integrate real estate databases and a home value estimator tool. There’s a big opportunity here.

Let’s start with the real estate databases.

By teaming up with national and credible real estate database providers such as Home Junction Inc., a broker or agent can add a widget to their website which gives them access to an enormous bank of hyper-local information.

That information includes school data, recent home sales, home price trends, demographics, cost of living indices, crime ratings and local business listings.

Here’s a simple idea.

Print a second page for any open house handouts. Heck, just use the other side. Include key info from your hyper-local real estate databases.

Now, let’s take Mr. and Mrs. Aloof Buyer. They walk into the open house. They do their best to appear disinterested and display their look that says “we’re just curious and don’t bother us.”

They might be serious buyers. They might be semi-serious. Or, they might just have nothing to do that day and decided to stop by on their Sunday drive around town.

Doesn’t matter. You got something that could just tip any one of them into becoming buyer (and a seller).

Give these visitors the handout. The serious ones have probably already reviewed the basic information on the website.

Now, here’s the kicker, show them Page 2 with real estate databases provided by Home Junction.

For example, recent home sale trends. Point out, for example, home sales in this neighborhood or marketplace are booming. It’s a hot area. If you are truly interested in a property around here, you better move fast.

It’s the law of scarcity. A powerful law that can turn a looker into a buyer, a reluctant shopper into someone who is certainly very interested in making a move, not only to live there, but perhaps as an investment property.

Do the same with home prices. Show the charts for home prices in the area. Point out how those prices are trending upward.

Gee, this home is priced slightly LOWER than other properties in the area, a visitor might realize.

Better grab it.

Home Junction also provides a valuable Home Value Estimator tool, just like those available on the national real estate sites.

Included in that tool is a percentile comparison (shown below).

home value estimator

For example, the home estimation tool crunches the real estate data and spits out how that property compares to other homes in the market for several critical factors – Size, Price, Price per Square Foot, and Age.

Show the results to visitors. Perhaps this home is in the lower percentile for prices per square foot. That’s a bargain.

Or, maybe this is a relatively new home compared to others in the area. That’s a big selling point.

Promote the home estimator tool to all visitors.

Optimize return on investment in open house

You are the local agent. They are going to trust your insight into the local market. They are also going to trust the information and tools you provide about that market on your website.

Let’s recap what happens when those visitors leave.

For one, they will have a two-page handout with in-depth analysis of that property. If they visited other open houses and other agents, they will be impressed with the information you provide compared to the others.

That will go far in looking for properties…and selling their property if they already own in the neighborhood and are looking to upgrade or purchase investment properties.

Secondly, every visitor will now realize that your local real estate website has a home value estimate tool just like the national sites.

Why bother going to those sites anymore to check out the value of their home or other properties or other relevant data such as property sales? This local agent has the same features on THEIR SITE.

Consumers would rather deal with a local agent, someone who LIVES in the area, then a national site based thousands of miles away in another part of the country.

Brokers and agents invest quite a bit of time and money in preparing for open houses. There’s the printing, marketing, advertisements, e-mail blasts, social media posts, signage, balloons, snacks, etc. etc.

Make sure you maximize that opportunity to get a return on that investment. Stack up the info. All it takes is one customer.

When it comes to open houses and frankly any home presentation, for buyers and sellers, real estate databases on your website can make a difference, an effective, hyper-local difference.



Be The Source Of Local Home Sales Data When The National Data Is Released

national real estate dataHere’s one simple tactic agents can use with hyper-local home sales data to impress customers, competition and the media.

This tactic will impress buyers and sellers.

This tactic will establish an agent as the local agent with local knowledge.

This tactic is very easy to implement (because other people do all the work).

Here it is. Every month the National Association of Realtors releases their Existing Home Sales Report.

Those releases cover the latest home sales data and then compares it to previous months and years.

The report also mentions median existing home prices, average time homes are on the market and breaks down activity for single family homes, condos, townhomes, and co-ops.

They also examine regional activity for the Northeast, West, South, and Midwest.

For extra measure, the researchers will throw in some facts about mortgage rates from Fannie Mae.

Tie in local home sales data with national news

Then the NAR economist will add some analysis. Such as this one in the latest release:

“Closings were down in most of the country last month because interested buyers are being tripped up by supply that remains stuck at a meager level and price growth that’s straining their budget,” said the economist.

“The demand for buying a home is as strong as it has been since before the Great Recession. Listings in the affordable price range continue to be scooped up rapidly, but the severe housing shortages inflicting many markets are keeping a large segment of would-be buyers on the sidelines.”

“The good news is that sales are still running slightly above last year’s pace despite these persistent market challenges.”

Certainly very interesting information. So interesting in fact, that you will see those national home statistics read by newscasters on the major TV networks. You will even see that home sales data reported by regional TV broadcasters. Local newspapers will be sure to pick up this information as well.

It’s a fact. Everybody loves to hear how home sales are performing.

Make your own observation about local home sales data

This is where hyper-local home sales data comes into play and makes a powerful statement about your value as a broker or agent in your particular marketplace.

Sure, the national information is important. It will catch the attention of many home owners and every home owner to be.

But here’s where an agent can swoop in.

With your own hyperlocal real estate feed, from reliable providers such as Home Junction, you can provide insight into a place where it matters, your target neighborhoods.

Because after all, Jim and Jan Homeowner don’t really care what happens in Manhattan, NYC if they live in Manhattan, KS.

You can cite the statistics from the NAR report. But with your local home sales data, you can point out how in XYZ neighborhood, prices are escalating even faster than the national average.

Or, with local home sales data trend charts, an agent can show how property sales are flat in an area, and the national increase has not hit this neighborhood yet.

In fact, you can offer consumers an insight into their particular zip code or even dig down to the neighborhood level.

Tease them with the information and offer to show them an in-depth report if they call you or fill out a lead form.

Or, let them know the full search functionality for local data is available on your website.

Play up the contrast between national real estate data and your local data on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.

Contact a business editor at the local newspaper. They are always looking for a local angle to national news. Offe to make a comment about local conditions.

A website visitor is not easy to generate. These are effective ways to get them to your site. Perhaps while there, they will start browsing through listings. And turn into a buyer.

For sellers, perhaps it’s just enough to convince them that you are the go-to agent in that area.

Act like an economist. Cite the NAR economist’s remarks. Then make your own. After all, you are in essence a real estate economist in your town when it comes to real estate. Show people how nobody knows the current state of their neighborhood better than you do.

As an added bonus, let consumers know there is a full array of tools for them to research all the relevant information they need about a neighborhood. There’s school information with enrollment figures and student/teacher ratios. There are cost of living indexes. Demographics breaking down the profile of who lives in the area. Even crime statistics.

National home sales data is attention-getting information. You see it all over the media.

Provide contrasting local home sales data with a local analysis to show everybody that you as an agent, know their particular neighborhood where it matters most.




How To Be Recognized As THE Local Real Estate Data Statistician

real estate data statisticsHere’s a strategy on how you can use real estate data to establish yourself as the leading local property statistician in your target market.

Let’s face it, people love statistics.

Since the first caveman threw the first rock, people have been recording statistics.

Take sports for example. People eat this stuff up. How many hits has Derek Jeter managed to blast out of the infield? How many passes has Dan Marino completed? How many basketball shots did Michael Jordan take and make during his incredible career?

Statistics get attention. And they have a beautiful way of cutting through all the b.s.,  noise and hype.

There are three huge advantages of using statistics.

  1. Clarity – sure, people can sit in a bar and argue all night long about who is a better ballplayer, but that argument is easily settled when you pull out the statistics on the number of home runs, runs batted in and overall batting average. Those numbers are an acceptable means of measurement. The same is true of home prices, sales trends, etc. Someone can claim a market is hot, but where’s the proof?
  2. Perspective – statistics also give people a sense of perspective, a way to compare one entity to another. Maybe ballplayer 1 and ballplayer 2 are super popular one season, but when you dig into the numbers, you can see one player was great at getting on base, but could never cross home plate. While the other player may have a lot of strikeouts and a low batting average, but still managed to drive in more runs. It’s a way to contrast and compare that humans can comprehend. A way to measure apples to apples. Ditto for properties. How does this current market compare to last year? Are home sales rising since the last quarter? Is it time to list a home for sale?
  3. Honesty – in this day and age of fake news, fake advertisements and fake information flowing all over the internet, this attribute is more important than ever. Sure, someone can claim Joe Shmoe is the greatest ballplayer since Babe Ruth, but when you dig into the statistics, you can see it’s nothing but hype. The hype that is perpetrated by a player’s agent for a multi-million, multi-year contract. Same goes for homes. What is hype and what is real? Numbers don’t lie. And the last thing a home buyer or home seller wants to hear are lies and hype.

All those qualities of actual, hard numbers apply to real estate – Clarity, Perspective, and Honesty.

An agent can offer those numbers with a hyper-local real estate data widget embedded on their website.

In this day and age of big data technology, where you can store a thumb drive that holds 64 gigabytes, the equivalent of an encyclopedia in your pocket, data is more accessible than ever.

By partnering with a national data provider such as Home Junction, a broker or agent can easily embed an API that allows them to tap into a gigantic warehouse of real estate data, or in other words, local statistics.

How to compile real estate data statistics

There’s a wealth of data available on:

  • Local schools – enrollment, student/teacher ratios, demographics
  • Property sales – charts showing the latest trends in a marketplace for home sales. Not just the county, or the zip codes where properties can vary greatly, but down to the neighborhood level.
  • Demographics – who lives in what area and what are they like? Demographic data gives you an idea on local incomes, education levels, gender, etc.
  • Crime statistics – every parent is concerned about crime in their area. Here’s a way to avoid any opinions or hype and to give hard numbers on the safety factor of a particular area.
  • Market trends – someone can say a particular neighborhood is “hot” or in “high demand” all day long, but if they can’t back it up with actual data on home prices, well, how credible is their assertion?
  • Cost of Living indices – a person might make a remark to give the impression that a particular area is “way too expensive” but when you pull out the stats, maybe that is not actually the case. Sure, it seems like everybody in that area drives a Mercedes, but when you dig deep into the numbers, the stats show most of those people might actually be leasing those expensive cars rather than owning them.
home price trends

Sample market trend data.

Here’s the point. Sure people love sports. But at the end of the day, who hit a home run the night before is not that important compared to what a consumer is about to spend on a house.

By using Home Junction real estate data, you can establish yourself as the local real estate statistician with all the relevant facts about properties in your target marketplace.

Social media is a perfect medium for this. The great thing about these platforms is that they are free. The bad thing about social media is that it’s free to everybody else to flood with inane information.

To stand out, you need to post content that counts.

Post regular market stats on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

Consistent content has a powerful impact. Put a note on your calendar to post new real estate data every time it comes out on your data feed.

People will notice. Over time, they will start to look forward to reading your posts about local real estate statistics. They will turn to you for a realistic picture of the marketplace.

Because after all, you are not talking about their favorite ballplayer, you are talking about where they live or where they are about to invest a large portion of their paycheck.

As we said, people love numbers. They believe in numbers. They will trust people who provide them with those valuable numbers.

Add real estate data to your website and you can knock it out of the park when it comes to promoting your brand as the broker or agent with real, trustworthy local knowledge.



Real Estate Data Is The Honey That Attracts, Not Repels Customers

real estate honeyTimes are a’ changing and the use of real estate data may be more important than ever.

Why? Take a look at what is happening in several boroughs in New York State.

The residents there have become fed up with super-aggressive real estate solicitors.

Apparently, home prices in that area have skyrocketed.  Disreputable agents are climbing over each with overzealous marketing campaigns to try to find more sellers.

People talk about having agents walk in their offices and drop five or six brochures on their desk every day. Mailboxes are stuffed. People are approached on their front porches. Daily.

Residents there have had enough. They actually contacted state legislators who created a “cease and desist” zone where residents can sign up for a “Do not contact” list.  Real estate solicitors are not allowed to bother them anymore. There could be severe penalties. It’s gotten that bad.

Don’t think this practice doesn’t just take place in New York. Probably happens all over the country. Especially in markets that are overheated.

What’s the result? People get turned off by real estate professionals, which ends up throwing the reputable ones in the same basket. The trusted agents who will greatly assist a consumer when they do decide to sell.

This could be a future trend. Certainly one that agents need to be concerned about and to monitor in the event there are grumblings in their marketplace.

Real estate data is a powerful magnet

There’s a lesson here.

It starts with the old adage, “You can attract more flies with honey than vinegar.”

Naturally, we’re not saying home buyers and sellers are insects. They are people. Who deserve not to have their privacy violated.

What we are saying is that you will attract more customers by offering the right product to help them, rather than harass them.

One of those products is hyperlocal real estate data.

After all, what is the role of a real estate agent? One of their main responsibilities is to be an “information resource.”

An agent can approach consumers in one of two ways. They can constantly bug them about why they should be selling their home or buying one (and giving the agent a big fat commission check).

Or, they can act in a consultancy position. Provide consumers with a big helping hand to lead them through one of the most complex, expensive and nerve-wracking decisions they will make in their lives.

Providing local, relevant real estate data is one way to be THE RESOURCE for consumers.

Add real estate data on your web site showing recent home sales, charts with trends in prices, school information such as rankings and student/teacher ratios, demographics, crimes statistics, cost of living indices, municipal boundaries, tax districts, and more.

school data

Local school data.

That’s the “honey” that will attract buyers and sellers.

You can promote that honey in a number of ways.

On social media, share recent developments in the local marketplace. Perhaps sales reached an all-time high last quarter. Post a link that goes back to your website showing a chart with housing trends.

Send out a direct mail piece (not every day) with local real estate data stats (and the web address to find out more information).

Make it known you and your website are the place for buyers and sellers to turn to when they are ready to act.

Many people interviewed in those New York boroughs acknowledged that most real estate agents are not annoying. But those few nasty real estate agents in New York still don’t get it.

People don’t want to be “sold.” They want to buy. And they want to talk to professionals with in-depth local knowledge who will help them make a decision, not trick them into selling or buying.

Let your valuable hyper-local real estate data create an atmosphere where customers want to reach out to you, not run away from you.



Real Estate Data Can Enhance Direct Mail And Improve Response Rates

direct mail real estateDirect mail may seem old fashioned, but when you add the new advantages available with real estate data, it’s smart to pull this strategy out of the marketing toolbox.

Sure, today it seems like all you ever hear about is social media. Even the President of the United States is enamored by his Twitter account.

The reasons are obvious. For one, it’s free. Secondly, it’s fast. All you need to do is post something and your messages instantly get served to the public on a platter of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram.

All those factors make social media seductive.

But is it the only effective way to reach people?

And what about its many flaws?

Don’t ignore direct mail. Most experienced real estate professionals know this medium can be super-effective for reaching the right prospects – both buyers and sellers.

What’s happens is that many people get lured into the ease of social media. But there are lots of holes in your marketing plans if you just depend on social media.

First of all, many of your prospects are not reachable through social media. They don’t follow you on Facebook. In fact, tons of people don’t even bother with Facebook. Or if they had an account, they got tired of it and never go there anymore.

Same with Twitter or Instagram.

Not only that, for the people who do use social media, the deluge of posts and information is absolutely overwhelming. It’s not a stream of information that is coming at web users today, it’s a deluge. A digital tsunami.

The information passes by an internet user so fast, experts say you have only THREE seconds to catch their attention.

Click rates on ads and posts are brutally low. A 1% click rate on ads or links is considered good.

Real estate data can create an enticing offer

Now, take the time-tested value of direct mail.

A recent study by Epsilon researchers found 98% of people check their mail daily. Talk about high touch. Just about everybody you mail to is going to see your message. You can target whoever you like, whatever neighborhood you want and how often you like (unless they request you don’t, which is unlikely).

There are no spam folders. No one is pushing your post down. People have to touch their mail and many actually enjoy doing so.

According to experts, the open rate for a mail piece is about 45%. That sure beats the web any day. And like anything, that open rate depends on the message on the envelope or post card.

Sounds great, but like any marketing campaign, how you do make it effective? How do you compete with all those other pieces of direct mail? How do you compete with other real estate agents doing the same thing?

Experts will tell you – the key to direct mail marketing is not telling people who you are, how long you’ve been an agent in the market, or how many homes you’ve sold. That’s all important, but it’s not the catalyst that will compel a consumer to act.

You need an offer. A way that will generate a response. An offer that answers questions. Solves problems.

With today’s advancements in “Big Data” technology, one of the best offers you can provide is a sampling of valuable, hyper-local real estate data. Data and statistics focused on a consumer’s particular neighborhood.

The first one’s a no-brainer.

Offer consumers a Home Value Estimator tool. You know the technology that made Zillow so popular? Guess what? Now local brokers and agents can offer the same feature on their websites.

Everybody wonders: “What is my home currently worth?”

Offering a way to answer this question is powerful.

Secondly, with a real estate data feed you can also offer to answer these related questions:

“How is my neighborhood trending as far as home sales? Are homes selling in my area? Is it flat?”

“What’s the current trend for home prices in my neighborhood? Are they increasing? Is it time for me to sell? Is it time for me to buy?”

A broker or agent can now easily acquire this information by just partnering with a real estate data provider such as Home Junction. These data providers have access to enormous databases of local information – tax rolls, boundaries, home sales, demographics, cost of living indices, crime statistics, etc. etc.

Use that information to make your direct mail pieces more effective. Give people a reason to visit your website, sign up for your newsletter or call you. Tailor the message for each particular neighborhood or demographic you are targeting.

Sure, in the past thirty years we’ve entered a new age of communication with emails, text messages and social media.

But don’t ignore a means of communication that has been around for centuries. People still read the mail. Their mailboxes are waiting for your offer. Make it a good one. Offer them valuable real estate data and information about their most precious possession.

Here are some tips and resources on direct mail marketing for real estate professionals.

One-Word Formula For Improving Your Real Estate SEO

real estate seoWe’re about to give you a one-word insight into part of Google’s secret sauce for real estate SEO (search engine optimization).

That word is “engagement.”

You need it to succeed on search engines and move your company up on the search results.

Now, by engagement, we don’t mean go out and ask your neighbor to marry you.

We mean how well people engage with your website.

And there are some very simple strategies you can do to boost that engagement.

So what does “engagement” mean when it comes to Google and Bing?

It basically asks this question, how well do visitors interact with your website?

For example, Google measures a factor called “Time on Site and Time on Page.” That means how long does a visitor stay on a page and on your website, in this day of “click and go.”

If the content is interesting, obviously, they will stay longer. Google and Bing like that. It’s a signal to them that you offer relevant and interesting content.

(Remember, after all, Google and Bing base their own performance and rankings on how well they send visitors to a site that answers their search questions).

Another factor is how many pages does a person visit on your site? Again, if your site is chock full of relevant information, it’s obvious that a consumer will check out several pages as they look for answers.

Then there are referrals. If you like the content on a page and share it with your friends either by email or social media site like Facebook, the search engines will see that as another signal you offer valuable and relevant information for consumers.

Are you seeing a pattern here? Yes, Content is still King.

Google and Bing have hundreds of other factors they use in choosing where to rank a website.

Some of those include:

– how your page is coded (the beauty of a WordPress real estate website)

– how many sites link to your website (not easy to do and definitely easy to mess up if you use bad “black-hat” techniques)

–  and numerous other items such as “site speed” or how fast a page loads onto a person’s screen when they come to your website. Hint: if it takes too long, not good.

In fact, we can’t name all the ranking factors because, frankly, nobody knows all of them. And even if somebody claimed to know them, both Google and Bing are notorious for constantly adjusting and changing their criteria (the secret SEO sauce).

But there is one thing many experts will agree is a key factor – engagement.

Improve your real estate SEO with real estate data

So as a broker or agent you have your basic real estate website.

You get your share of “looky lous,” people who are not looking to buy a home and just daydreaming as they flip through your pages (and probably at a rapid rate. Remember “time on page?”)

That’s fine. Someday they might become customers.

Then you have your genuine prospects who will spend a legitimate amount of time on your site, looking for answers.

Naturally, you want more of these people. They take substantial time, energy and money to acquire. And search engines can certainly make a big difference in the number of qualified visitors you attract.

One way you can “engage” all visitors is by offering them more valuable information on your website. Answer more of their questions.

Sure, you will have your listings and plenty of photos and descriptions.

But what else can you offer?

What about in-depth, current and accurate information about various neighborhoods? That will attract every visitor’s attention.

Show visitors:

  • Recent home sale trends – are homes selling in this neighborhood? What are they selling for? Are home prices going up? (That might just turn a looker into a buyer or a seller quicker than they planned).
  • How about School Information? Show visitors the schools in those neighborhoods. Then point out the number of students, student/teacher ratios, school demographics, etc.
  • What about Crime Statistics? Everybody will check crime stats. That’s a major concern for every citizen at all levels of home ownership.
  • Demographics of the neighborhoods? One part of town might attract lots of college graduates. Or perhaps, there is a large group of middle-aged people living over here in this neighborhood. This gives buyers a feel for who their neighbors will be.
  • Price Index? Hmm, I wonder how prices for apparel, food, transportation in my town compare to prices elsewhere.

Now, as you read down this list of important content for home buyers and sellers, do you see the benefits as far as real estate SEO?

All of this relevant information keeps readers engaged longer on your website.

Stops them from flipping from one page to the next.

Perhaps entices them to bookmark a page or share a link with a friend.

Know who’s watching all this activity? Google and Bing. They are going to like what they see.

If your site meets their other criteria as well, the search engines may see this as another reason to move your website up in the rankings, especially if your competitors are lacking in this area.

Every real estate pro, and frankly every businessperson knows, higher search engine rankings are golden.

We’re not going to say that adding real estate data is going to improve your real estate SEO overnight.

But adding any kind of relevant data is going to help.

With massive data feeds from Home Junction embedded on your website, you can easily add quite a bit of relevant real estate data. All it takes is embedding some code. You don’t need to go out and find that data – Home Junction does that for you.

(And think of the marketing potential of telling the public about all this valuable content you now have on your site. It’s definitely a traffic driver. Check out Trulia. They just moved all of their neighborhood data up higher on their pages).

Want to engage consumers better on your website for better real estate SEO?

Provide more engaging content.




Real Estate Map Tool Can Help Buyers Who Need “Co-Living” Arrangements

co-living home buyersLet’s face it, living in urban areas or suburbs close to cities is getting incredibly expensive and using a real estate map tool is one way to help home buyers get into a home using a “co-living” strategy.

Yes, home prices and rental rates are going through the roof in some markets. San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles are seeing record highs for prices. Ironically, Millennials want to move to urban areas or close by more than ever. They are in essence, creating their own dilemma.

In addition, Millennials is most markets have held off the purchase of any property. They didn’t want to commit to a mortgage (even though, in another ironic observation, mortgage rates are near record lows, even if they have been creeping up slightly. A rate of 4% is still incredibly attractive to the 9% rates and higher we’ve seen).

But that is changing. Mainly due to skyrocketing rents. So how can a young person afford to buy a home? One solution that is a growing is a movement  called “Co-Living.”  What is co-living? It’s a concept that basically says, “I can only afford this place if I find a bunch of roommates.” It’s a movement similar to the days of college dorms where a group of young people will all live together under one roof.

What does this have to do with a broker or agent?

Many home buyers today are looking at properties with the potential to rent part of the property out to help cover the mortgage.

It’s a smart strategy. The rental market is super-hot right now. If you own a home or condo in a decent location and can offer an attractive rate in an attractive area, you will get inquiries from renters.

This is where a real estate pro can paint a picture of how a property can be a good source of income.

Offer real estate map tools to help buyers attract renters

One of the best ways to paint that picture is a real estate map tool, such as a  widget offered by real estate data providers such as Home Junction.

Sure, you can tell a home buyer this is a great location.

But why not SHOW them how that property is an ideal location on a map embedded on your website? Get the wheels spinning in the buyer’s head on how they can also use this information to attract renters.

For example, with the real estate map tool, an agent or broker can point out a prospective property pulled from MLS data.

Then, with the real estate map tool, they can start displaying amenities within certain distances of that property.

Maybe it’s a coastal town and the property is located ten miles away from a beach.

Or perhaps it’s a hipster type town and the home is located three miles from downtown.

There’s a cool bookstore over here, just a mile away. Love Starbucks? Here are two within a five-mile radius. Like yoga, here are two places within two miles. Sushi restaurants, hip clubs, coffee houses – point them all out. in relative proximity to the home for sale.

Some of these amenities can have as much drawing power as a refurbished bathroom or a kitchen with upgraded appliances.

Alternative transportation is a big plus with Millenials. According to AAA, many young people are actually delaying the purchase of an automobile. They prefer public transportation or even commuting by bicycle. (Another way to be able to save enough money to purchase a property).

Use the real estate map tool to show home buyers how they can show renters that from this location, there are many amenities that are “bikeable or walkable.”

You don’t need to get in a car to purchase a gallon of milk. Ride your bike.

Tell them about the parks nearby. Paint a picture of the home buyer riding their bike through a wooded area or walking their dog along a river bank.

Paint a picture of a home buyer telling potential renters the same thing.

Same goes with train stations and bus stops. Few people want to drive into an urban area – roads are more congested than ever. Tolls are higher than ever. Parking a car in a city for a week eats up a day’s pay.

Transportation amenities are golden. With a real estate map tool, you can point out all the commuting amenities.

How about schools? There are quite a few single parents in society. They are all looking for inexpensive places to rent. Great schools would be an enormous draw and in fact, the main draw for them.

Provide a feed on your website with current school data. Show buyers a comprehensive overview of schools in the area with student/teacher ratios, school demographics, etc.

The challenge of convincing consumers today to purchase a home might seem enormous in current conditions. Inventory is low. Prices are high. Millennials are still reluctant to take out a 30-year mortgage.

But real estate pros know challenges come with the territory. They key is to be able to adapt to market conditions and use the right tools to address those conditions.

What’s encouraging, is that today, with big data and geo-spatial technology, real estate pros have an incredible array of inexpensive real estate data tools at their disposal. Tools they can display on their own website (and make sure they keep their clients or generate their own leads).

Some consumers will want to consider “co-living” as a home buying strategy. That’s fine. You can help them. And with a real estate map tool integrated into the local MLS, you will have the best resources at your disposal to assist them.






Real Estate Data Is Perfect For Starting A Conversation On LinkedIn

real estate on linkedinReal estate data can be a powerful asset when it comes to creating popular and attention-getting social media posts.

Most people are obsessed with Facebook. With more than one billion users, Facebook certainly dominates the social landscape.

But as many of you know, Facebook can be kind of frivolous. You will see all sorts of content posted on Facebook – cats jumping, dogs talking and people engaged in crazy pursuits. After all, it’s a site for friends.

The same can basically be said for Instagram as well. Pinterest-  who knows, there certainly seem to be a lot more recipes than anything else.

But for those serious about doing business within their community, nothing beats LinkedIn. That’s why the site attracts 433 million users worldwide. Their stats are jaw dropping.

People on LinkedIn don’t want to see cats doing flips or dog leaping for Frisbees. They want to see interesting, business-related content.

That’s why adding a hyper-local real estate data widget to your website gives you a fantastic way to communicate on LinkedIn.

Nearly 62% of people who use LinkedIn say they have been successful in using this platform to translate online interests into offline discussions.

Data providers such as Home Junction can provide local agents with a doorway to an incredible treasure chest of interesting local information.

Real estate data can help you start a LinkedIn conversation

For example, an agent can post a notice about the latest Market Conditions. Include a chart showing Home Sales Data and the direction they are taking. Are home sales going up in a town? Flat? Dropping? Doesn’t matter. Every local business person will be interested in this.

Same with prices. Show charts portraying the latest direction of home prices. Every business person wants to see where prices are going, not just for their home, but also as an indicator for the local economy.

Go deeper. Post demographic information. Many local business leaders would love to see the median incomes in their area are on the rise.

Or perhaps, post a blog about how the number of people with bachelor’s degrees has risen. Give LinkedIn members a pie chart with an entire snapshot of the level of education in their marketplace.

Show the local cost of living index.

This is powerful stuff. The type of content that gets shared and liked. Many business people have acquaintances who are perhaps looking to relocate to your area. They will pass this information on to them.

Once you have this bevy of local data at your fingertips, you have assets that make it easy for you to reach out to other business people in your community.

Beef up your profile – tell people you now have awesome hyper-local information tools they might want to follow. Offer to answer their questions about the local market.

Join local business networking groups.

Create your own group as an administrator.

Join local groups with a common interest- say promoting a green environment. Or perhaps there is a local group filled with marketing people such as a local Advertising Federation organization.

This valuable local real estate data will give you the confidence to reach out to individual business people to network one-on-one.

After all, one of the keys to social media is not just the post you create, but the people you connect to. If you have followers or follow people who are not key influencers for your type of business, you might be wasting your time.

Create a target list of people you would like to interact with. When you ask to be connected with them, put in a note about how you would be glad to provide them with some local real estate data. Perhaps the person you are reaching out to is in a related field – a builder, mortgage broker, banker, landscaper, architect. They will see the value in connecting with you if you offer them something valuable.

Don’t just ask them to tell all their followers about you – give them a valid reason to share and like your posts. Research shows, people will share content if they think it will make them look good in the eyes of their followers.

When someone shares something, they are basically saying: “Hey folks, look at this information I just found about local real estate conditions. I thought you would be interested.” (And see how cool I am for providing it to you).

LinkedIn also has some premium services which allows you to send InMail (email messages) directly to people. Find those individuals who seem to have a high stature on LinkedIn. People with lots of followers.

Bottom line: if you have something interesting to say on LinkedIn, such as real estate data, people are more likely to spread the word about you. This will increase the number of your followers.

Those people are not just acquaintances. They are all prospects themselves.  Followers who are either homeowners who might sell their homes or potential home buyers. These are also people who know other people who are looking to sell or buy.

In recent years, LinkedIn has boomed as a social media platform. Just about anybody in any business will have a presence there. This is the networking tool of the 21s century. Work it.

They say you don’t sell on LinkedIn. You start a conversation. What a great conversation opener you will have with this in-depth, information that most people don’t possess

LinkedIn is for serious minded people. Get some seriously valuable real estate data to use as your content on LinkedIn and you will get people’s attention.


Real Estate Data Can Help You Quickly Become A “Thought Leader” In Your Market

real estate thought leaderA “thought leader” is a buzzword that continues to circulate in business circles today but with local real estate data, a savvy broker or agent can apply this strategy to set themselves apart in their niche markets.

By basic definition, a thought leader is someone who is seen as an authority in their field and carries considerable influence.

When it comes to thought leaders, most people will think of high-profile personalities such as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Seth Godin or Tony Robbins.

But the beauty of this concept is that you don’t have to have an enormous following to be a thought leader. You also don’t have to be a millionaire…a journalist with their own TV show…or the author of a best-selling book.

You don’t need to be nationally-recognized, a popular celebrity in your state or even a big-wig in a major city. The size of the sphere of influence does not have to be that large at all.

In essence, a broker or agent can become the “thought leader” in just their neighborhood. And they can achieve that status by embedding hyper-local real estate data feeds into their website.

The actual role of a thought leader is kind of vague. While the term was first seen in literature as early as 1887, the whole concept has been bantered about and applied in multiple ways with each decade.

But there are some basic characteristics that give a business person this coveted status.

Real estate data establishes authority

Here are some tips on how to achieve the mindset of a “thought leader:”

In-depth knowledge: this factor is a given if you are going to be a leader in any field. For real estate, you not only need to know the business, you need to know your marketplace. That means doing a deep-dive into all the information you can find about that marketplace.

One of the best ways to do that is to acquire a real estate data feed from credible data providers such as Home Junction.

This is a quick way to gain tons of expert knowledge. Imagine, with just a few lines of code, you can have access to an enormous database of hyper-local information.

That includes Real Home Sales, Home Sale Trends, Demographics, Cost of Living Indices, Home Value Assessments, School Information, etc., etc. etc.

Sure, lots of brokers and agents in your market have great websites, listings, fancy photographs, etc.

But you can go much, much further with all this real estate data. That’s a big step to standing out in the home sales field.

Credibility: sure, people can boast all they want about how they are experts in their area. But how do they back it up? BS only goes so far.

Thought leaders not only speak about their marketplaces with assertiveness, they back up their words and comments with facts.

In this era of “fake news,” consumers are more skeptical than ever. Showing actual real estate data to back up your comments is a major strategy when influencing people.

For example, an agent might attend a Rotary meeting or any kind of meeting for that matter. They might get up and talk about their years as an agent, the changes they’ve seen, blah, blah blah.

Now think about the agent who gets up to speak, touches on some of the same subjects, but then pulls out reams of hyper-local real estate data about recent homes sales or the demographics of the local area.

That person also displays big charts showing trends with Property Sales Data or a pie chart showing Cost of Living Indices for apparel, transportation, food costs, etc.

Who is going to be recognized as a true thought leader?

It doesn’t have to be a room full of people either. You could be making the same presentation in front of two very important people, a couple who are seriously considering listing their $750,000 home with you.

Consistency: the next big factor to establish authority is to display yourself as an expert consistently over time. Thought leaders are not just one-hit wonders. They don’t just make a big splash one time and think they are going to ride that wave for the rest of their careers.

Real thought leaders consistently demonstrate their authority. They speak before different groups. They are quoted in local newspapers. They publish important information on their website and in their blogs. They continue to have compelling, fact-filled posts on social media sites. Their emails are always filled with interesting and informative content, not just fluff.

The beauty of real estate data feeds, is that there is a never-ending source of high-value material that an agent can access and share on a consistent basis.

Profit: because one of the other characteristics of a thought leader is that this is a person who actually profits from what they preach. This person is not an academic or a journalist. They are not theorists. A thought leader is someone who actually walks the talk. They have been able to use their authority to make a living.

With this in-depth expertise and data, they are able to offer top-notch service to their clients…and it pays off.

The influence and the information they deliver is real. It’s credible. It’s valuable. If it wasn’t, they wouldn’t be making money from it.

This strategy of constantly offering a  flood of valuable information will eventually lodge deep into the minds of consumers, prospects and influencers in the target area.

At that point, this agent will emerge as the “go-to” person in their field. The thought leader.  And over the years, that position has proven to provide a very high return on their investment of resources, time and dedication.
















How To Use Real Estate Data To Create Layers Of Persuasion

real estate data layersReal estate data can be like an award-winning photograph when approaching potential listings.

For example, in Photoshop, there is a feature called “layers.” With this function you can create different layers for an image to enhance different areas.

You might want to create one layer to boost the color. Create another layer to darken the background.

Then, when you have made all these adjustments, you combine all these layers into one incredible photograph, 100 times better than the original.

Same goes for real estate data. Use this valuable hyper-local to create an compelling picture on why you are the agent that is right to sell this person’s home.

Sure, many agents will have the same old spiel. Been in the market for x number of years, sold a similar house a few blocks away and possess local knowledge (without offering any proof).

But imagine another agent going in with a complete display of hyper-local data.

And this is key. This agent isn’t going to use the local MLS to show this information or other common resources.

They are going to tell the seller this is real estate data they host on their website. (Provided of course, by real estate data companies such as Home Junction).

Then pull out those persuasive layers one by one.

Real estate data can be stacked in your favor

Here’s how to use this wealth of hyper-local data to educate a seller on how you will tell a buyer about the many facets of a property:

Local Homes Sales Data – not only show the data, show the powerful charts and how those images attract buyers.

Recent Sales Prices – again, show those eye-catching charts.

School information – here’s a complete list of schools in the sellers neighborhood and how you are going to promote the fact that this property is located near some very appealing schools with great student/teacher ratios.

Demographics – the home owner probably didn’t even know this, but in their neighborhood, there are quite a few college graduates and professionals. That’s certainly a nice feature to promote.

Cost of Living Index – show the seller that the town they are in is less expensive then that other town up the interstate that so many people think is the place to live. Sure people want to live there, but when they see how expensive it is for basic items like food and clothing, maybe they will look for an alternative. The agent can point out, “That just happens to be your neighborhood, Mr. Homeowner.”

Number of home owners – maybe that neighborhood across the street is getting a lot of action and a seller might wonder how they can compete with those homes. However, with your hyper-local insight into the true profile of the neighborhood, you can use your real estate data to point out that the area over there has a larger percentage of renters, not owners.

Then show the home owner how you are going to pound home the point that his neighborhood has a much higher percentage of home owners, which represents a stable, attractive place to live.

Breakdown of Age Groups – another powerful demographic point to make is that Mr. Homeowner lives in a community that has an older population compared to surrounding neighborhoods. That has appeal to a certain segment of home buyers.

Local business amenities – an agent can tell a potential seller that they will point out how there is a great school down the street and a grocery store on the corner. But with your hyper-local real estate data widget, you can show the home owner how you can pull up amenity data that can be tailored to any preference.

Maybe a potential home buyer is a yoga nut. Pull up the local yoga studio on your local business widget and point out how close it is to the home owners property. Same goes with a golf course or sushi restaurant. This is how you personalize a sale.  An agent can show how they will customize the seller’s property for the appropriate home buyer.

Crime rate – the real estate data shows a low crime rate. Another powerful persuader.

This is the hyper-local knowledge that consumers want. Not told verbally, but shown visually.

An agent can constantly promote that data to a neighborhood they are farming.

Tell potential sellers in mailings and social media posts, “I have some valuable real estate data about your home I would like to share with you. Data that many other agents don’t posses.”

People like to hear about  price trends when it comes to their home. They will love to hear about the many pieces of information you possess that go into deep detail about the true value of their home.

Photoshop has the ability to turn a mediocre photograph into an awesome one.

With your own real estate data, you can create a number of layers to create an image in the mind of a seller.  An image that says you are an awesome real estate pro who is qualified to represent their listing.