Property APIs Can Help Buyers And Sellers Involved In Renovated Properties


Property APIs can be a real asset when helping home buyers who are considering a fixer-upper.

With the abundance of all those “fix and flip” shows on TV, it seems like half the world is now looking for a fixer-upper.  In fact, according to one recent study, about 30% of buyers are willing to spend time and money renovating a home with flaws.

What a great thrill it is to take an old, worn down property and turn it into a suburban Taj Mahal.

Of course, experienced real estate professionals know, there’s TV land and then there’s reality.

Fixer-uppers can be very challenging.

As we all know, most of the time renovations cost more than anticipated, take longer than anticipated and encounter many unanticipated challenges (like starting to repair the drywall and finding mold or rusted, broken plumbing behind it, etc.).

Home buyers are treading dangerous waters. According to one study in Houzz, people spend on average about $34,000 on renovations after they buy a home.

Of course, there can be huge swings in those numbers. No agent wants to see their client continually dip deep down into their savings for repairs.

Property Data APIs help with decision-making

One way to help home buyers when they are considering a fixer-upper is to offer them information surrounding a property in general to help them justify the purchase…and know there is a silver lining with all that blood, sweat and tears.

With a Property Data API embedded on their website, an agent can point out all the positive attributes of a LOCATION…and the wiggle room it provides in terms of upgrading that property.

A Property Data API is basically a software program that lets an agent tap into a giant warehouse of hyper-local data acquired by national aggregators such as Home Junction.

Home Junction has developed numerous sources for information that is super-relevant to home buyers and owners.

The company then gathers all those millions of bits of data from those sources. It then filters, sorts and organizes the information into a feed than can be installed on an agent’s website.

That agent can choose just the information for the neighborhoods they are farming. What’s great about Home Junction’s Property API is that the data can be pared to not just the zip code or city level, but all the way down to a specific neighborhood or subdivision.

Real estate data API provides hyper-local facts

That information includes:

  • Recent Property Sales
  • Trends in Home Prices
  • Charts on Market Conditions
  • School boundaries
  • School information
  • Municipal Boundaries
  • Neighborhood demographics
  • Neighborhood amenities
  • Transportation hubs
  • Cost of Living indices
  • Crime Ratings
  • Home Estimator Tools
  • Market data on how a property compares to others in their market in terms of Square Footage, Price, Age and Price per Square Foot.

This is extremely valuable information every home buyer needs to know. This is especially true for a buyer who is not only about to sign up for a sizable home loan, but is also about to plunk down a significant amount of money to restore that property.

Even with spending tens of thousands of dollars on a home, perhaps market data will show there is still a big cushion for return on investment compared to homes of similar size in that market.

Use the data to help owners of sub-par properties

Conversely, an agent might have a homeowner as a potential client who is about to list a less-than-ready property, for whatever reason.

Again, with access to that valuable local real estate market data, an agent can let a homeowner know there is real value in their property and its location, even if the rugs are stained, the kitchen is outdated and the bathtub in the guest bedroom has sunk into the crawlspace.

The agent can prevent that homeowner from leaving money on the table.

Much of the repairs for a home can seem nebulous at times. Uncertain. Who really knows the extent of the damage? Even contractors will tell you they don’t really know until they start digging into the issues.

But a Property API provides hard data. Facts.

That data can be reassuring.

Thanks to TV, fixer-uppers are the hot thing right now. Many people have ventured into fantasyland thinking they can be the ones to salvage a house and transform it into a dream home.

But sometimes dreams can become nightmares.

An agent with a large databank of local market information from a Property API on their website can bring their clients back to earth and give them a better understanding of the facts affecting any rehabbed property.




How Real Estate Data APIs Can Help You Build Better Community Pages On Your Website With Updated Market Data

community info pages

Real estate data APIs can add more impact to pages provided by agents about neighborhoods.

Real Estate Data APIs give you an advantage in a saturated real estate market where you need to do everything you can to stand out in the eyes of potential clients.

From networking to newsletters, there’s always something agents can do to generate interest.

However, what if you are overlooking one of the most impact-heavy, yet inexpensive real estate marketing ideas: Community Pages on your website!

This can be a little time-consuming to set up, but in the long term these pages will prove useful. But here’s the key. Who has time to keep that page up-to-date?

Real Estate Data APIs keep your site current

With tools such as Real Estate Data APIs, you don’t have to update the information. The data feed does it for you. Here are some valuable data feeds you can add to a community page.

  • Recent property sales charts
  • Trends in home prices
  • School data
  • Neighborhood demographics
  • And much more.

All updated automatically.

Most people have static pages. Yours will be dynamic with true current real estate market data. That’s the magic of adding Real Estate Data APIs.

How community info pages position you as an expert

Because a real estate transaction – whether buying or selling – is such a major deal in a person’s life, it’s no surprise that potential clients are looking for the best agent with lots of local knowledge and experience to help them through the process.

Adding pages to your website to compile information on each neighborhood you target is a must to demonstrate that you are equipped with both.

If you’ve been a real estate agent for a decent length of time, you are already familiar enough with the local neighborhoods and communities to have a great start.

Get into your client’s shoes and think to yourself “If I were moving into the Sunnydale neighborhood, what information would I want to be able to find on this page?”

Some of the most useful data to research and compile might include the history of the city, demographics, schools, attractions and eateries, local weather, and major highway accessibility.

But to be really impactful, especially in this day and age of Big Data, you should also include a real estate data feed provided by a Real Estate Data API, showing updates on pricing and sales trends. That will catch people’s attention, both buyers and potential sellers.

How community pages enhance your client’s experience

As a potential buyer, the amount of research that these clients may want to do is seemingly endless.

If a buyer, during the course of their online search for hyper-local information, finds your website, they will be more likely to contact you after seeing what a wealth of information you have.

Even if you don’t end up being their agent, making a good impression can help influence them to recommend you to their friends and relatives.

As a potential seller, these clients need help finding out all of their home’s best selling points.

By using your community page and data tools, they can more clearly communicate to a potential buyer the right price, the local amenities, the schools, parks, highways, retail areas and hospitals, the job market, and the real estate market trends.

Community info pages enhance your SEO

SEO, or search engine optimization, is one of the most important commodities a business can have.

When Google or Bing likes you, results increase dramatically.

Search engines rank you more highly for having local keyword-rich, valuable, relevant local information.

Having well-written and highly useful community info pages on your real estate site will help drive more traffic toward your business.

However, there’s more to the equation. (Google has more than 200 algorithms it reportedly uses to measure websites).

Google also takes into account how often you update your web pages. They don’t like static pages that never change over months or years.

With Real Estate Data APIs, your pages are continually updated with fresh content.

Secondly, Google also measures time on site. Current information showing changes in market trends is more likely to draw more users who will stay on the page longer.

In fact, you can use your social media sites to inform prospects and the general public when you have updates on your community pages. That will create more visits and time on page.

Google and Bing like that. They may reward you with higher rankings. When it comes to generating leads, higher organic rankings are like money in the bank.

As everyone in business knows, if you can get to page one of the search results, you can become an unstoppable force!

Community pages make you THE HYPER-LOCAL AGENT

You know a lot about your city, and the communities within, but you should never stop learning and there is always something new for you to discover and enhance your practice.

You should look at the creation of community info pages as a valuable learning process, not simply a means to an end.

When you dig in to researching the history of your community and its landmarks, the school options, and the jobs and activities, you will firmly cement this information into your mind for future use.

Not only does your knowledge and expertise impress your clients, but it also provides complete context for you when determining listing prices.

With Real Estate Data APIs constantly feeding your website new insights into the state of the local market, you will be able to walk the talk about current conditions. And you can use that knowledge to drive more people to your website, hopefully that will generate phone calls or leads.

This is 2019. Static community pages are old school.

The technology is out there to make your community pages dynamic. And to disseminate real estate market data, not just on city or zip code level, but all the way down to the neighborhoods or subdivisions you are farming.

Working with data aggregators such as Home Junction, with one of the best Real Estate Data APIs available, you can now feed vital information onto your community pages, making them a true resource for buyers and a way to truly impress sellers.



Real Estate Forecast For 2019 Shows A Dip, But A Nice Rebound On Horizon With Still Low Loan Rates

real estate forecast

Despite all the uncertainty hovering over the economy, one real estate forecast for 2019 points to a silver lining for home sales this year and especially the following year.

One place where we like to review housing forecasts is the Mortgage Finance Forecast from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

After all, these people need to have their fingers on the pulse of the market as much as Realtors. If there aren’t many mortgages being underwritten, there ain’t going to be many home sales either.

But their outlook is promising.

Real estate forecast 2018 vs. 2019

For example this is how they see existing homes sales (including condos) per quarter for 2019 compared to 2018 (in thousands)

  • Q15,387 vs. 5,507 last year
  • Q2 5,553 vs. 5413
  • Q35,641 vs. 5,273
  • Q45,659 vs. 5,275 forecast, official tally not in

There’s an upturn predicted for EVERY quarter except for the first one.

The forecast for 2020 looks very promising, where sales are predicted to take off like one of Elan Musk’s rockets.

(Ironically, the innovator has plans to send his massive Space X rocket to Mars the first years of the next decade. Sure shows an optimistic spirit. That enthusiasm might just catch on, since we know much of the economy is driven psychologically. Just saying).

The 2020 forecast for Total Existing Homes Sales (in thousands) is very bullish.

  • Q1 – 5,701
  • Q2 – 5,732
  • Q3 – 5,707
  • Q4 – 5,722

See the bump. The MBA says home sales will be 5,387,000 these first few months but predicts growth upward to 5,701,000 in the same period in 2020.

That’s cause for optimism.

To sum it up, here’s the total forecast for existing home sales per year in the next few years:

  • 2018 – 5,367,000 
  • 2019 – 5,560,000
  • 2020 – 5,721,000
  • 2021 – 5,848,000

That’s a very nice picture indeed.

2019 mortgage rates will increase slightly, but are still incredibly low

The outlook for mortgage rates which affect home sales is optimistic as well.

In 2018, 30-year fixed mortgage rates ranged around the 4.5% rate and trended upward.

For 2019, here’s the prediction from the MBA:

  • Q1 – 4.8%
  • Q2 – 4.9%
  • Q3 – 5%
  • Q4 – 5%

For 2020, the mortgage economists predict a slight bump averaging 5.1%.

Sure, many people start to panic when they see mortgage rates increase.

However, when you put a 4.8% interest rate in perspective for the rate in the past 40 years, it’s still a blessing with a big “B” for home buyers.

According to Freddie Mac, in January 1982, mortgage rates for 30-year fixed home loans were as high as 17.5%.

Ouch. Talk about burdensome monthly payments.

For decades mortgages rates hovered in the 7% to 9% range.

They finally broke into the 3.8% range in 2012.

Show that chart to any Millennial who might be concerned about mortgage rates going up.

Just point out, folks, “you ain’t seen high mortgage rates” like we used to experience in the old days.

The mortgage and real estate industry probably need to do a concerted effort this year to remind consumers how these mortgage rates are still at bargain basement levels.

A few decades ago, this writer remembers when his father told him about the 4% mortgage rate he paid in the 1960s. Wow, did that sound incredible compared to the 10% rates that were prevalent at that time.

Who would have ever thought incredibly cheap rates would drop to those levels again?

But they have. Millennials weren’t around in the 60s so they don’t realize just how good they got it.

One role of a real estate professional is to remind them.

Learn about lead gen and other upgrades

Sure, the real estate business had a nice boom going for a few years. A slowdown is inevitable. The market ebbs and flows just like the tide.

The tide might go out a little in the next few months. But the loan experts who monitor and forecast the markets closely see improvements coming quickly thereafter.

According to the MBA, keep your eye on the immediate horizon toward mid-summer. The winds are going to be blowing favorably and those home sales are going to be picking up once again.

One more point – when things slow down, business people tend to pull back on their marketing efforts. But McGraw Hill once conducted a study that found those businesses that stepped up their marketing efforts in a downturn actually did better than those who buried their heads in the sand.

And when the economy recovered, those aggressive companies were already up to speed and able to go full throttle

If you want  input on some smart real estate and mortgage lead generation, social media and other marketing strategies for 2019, contact the experts at Home Junction.

We have a giant array of proven marketing tools that consumers want such as:

  • Home Value Widgets (Automated Valuation Models) and plug-ins that are very effective for lead generation)
  • Real Estate Data APIs that can supply a vast amount of hyper-local data from school information, school attendance zones, recent property sales, market trends, neighborhood demographics, local amenities and much more. Great fodder for social media posts.
  • Geo-spatial boundary information and mapping capabilities
  • WordPress real estate themes that are search-engine enhanced to optimize content and Google and Bing rankings
  • WordPress real estate plug-ins to add super features to any real estate website
  • MLS API services and feeds that are fast, accurate and updated regularly to provide the latest listing info
  • SEO services to help improve free organic rankings for targeted keywords

It costs nothing to speak with one of our experts. The phone number is 858-777-9533.

But that call to learn the latest advances in real estate technology could just be the difference that gives your firm a competitive edge in 2019, and puts you in a great position for the rebound predicted to come.