Real Estate Plugins Can Take Your Geo-Farm Strategy To A Much Higher Level

geo farm real estate plugins

Real estate plugins offer technological advancements that can be a game-changing enhancement to an agent’s geo-farm or niche farming efforts.

Consider this analogy, using actual farming as an example.

I have a friend whose relative owns a farm. Acres and acres that must be fertilized, harvested, etc.

Now to work a farm, you used to deploy a horse and a plow. Then came along tractors.

Now, in this day and age, that whole process has been upgraded thanks to improvements in technology.

Oh, this farmer still uses a tractor. But this tractor is amazing.

Farmers need to drive their tractors in very straight lines to maximize the yield for each row of crops.

His tractor does all of that on its own. It’s a self-driving tractor. Guided by GPS satellites. Goes in a perfectly straight line, row after row.

All the farmer has to do is sit back in a very comfortable driver’s seat, read a book and listen to satellite radio in his air-conditioned cab.

That technology is a game-changer when it comes to farming.

Now, let’s take the “geo-farming” strategy that many agents use.

Sure, there are regular strategies that agents have practiced for years to work a certain neighborhood or subdivision.

Direct mailers. Involvement in the community. Sponsorships of events or sports teams. Active participation in local organizations including churches and synagogues plus Rotary and Lions clubs.

But this is 2019, where tractors and cars drive themselves. There are also tech advancements for agents when it comes to geo-farming.

Real estate plugins supply market data

One of the key facets of farming a neighborhood or subdivision is in-depth knowledge of that neighborhood or subdivision.

A recent study of consumers found that three-quarters of those surveyed believe local knowledge is one of the most important characteristics they look for in a real estate agent.

As we said, this is 2019. Just like self-driving cars and tractors, there have been tremendous advances in real estate technology as well.

One of these key advances is the use of real estate “plugins.”

Plugins as you may know are basically ready-made packages of software that people can add to their websites to instantly provide new features and functionality.

With the WordPress website platform for example, there are more than 30,000 plugins that have been developed for webmasters to add to their sites.

Home Junction, a real estate technology company, has developed several real estate plugins based on their experience for more than a decade working with brokers and agents.

Those real estate plugins can instantly give agents a big digital boost when it comes to geo-farming an area or niche farming.

A whole suite of relevant plugins

Here are a few of them:

Market Updates: one way to stay on the radar of residents in your target market AND reinforce your brand as the realty firm with extensive, in-depth local knowledge is to send periodic updates on market trends.

Use charts and graphs to show the number of homes sales and direction of home prices.

Send those charts in mailers and email campaigns. Post those charts on your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

Set up a lead generation form giving residents access to in-depth market reports.

Here’s the key. This real estate market data can reside on an agent’s website. Not on someone else’s website, but your own website.

This can easily be done with market specific real estate plugins. With layers of hyper-local data supplied by data aggregators such as Home Junction.

Home Valuation Plugins: everybody loves to receive updates on the value of their most valued possession – their home.

With a Home Valuation feature on your website, you are sure to attract local residents who want to check out the latest estimate on the value of their property.

Yes, you need to emphasize these are only estimates. But that’s a great opportunity to offer up a formal CMA for those who are interested (and perhaps very close to making a decision to list their property).

Providing a Home Valuation tool is almost like a DRIP campaign. But this time if will be the residents who will slowly be moving toward a listing. They will regularly visit your website to see the latest estimates and the general movement of prices in their neighborhood. The more they visit, the more they are probably moving toward making a decision toward selling. You want your name in front of them when they do.

There are other real estate plugins you can add to enhance your geo-farm capabilities.

They include:

  • Pocket Listings
  • New Construction
  • Points of Interest
  • Neighborhood Demographics
  • Crime Ratings
  • School Data
  • Spatial Match (geo-spatial mapping showing properties for sale and neighborhood amenities)

Boundary data on your farm area

Another important service offered by data aggregators is the gathering of geographical coordinates for boundaries.

Boundaries will help you delineate the neighborhoods and areas you are targeting.

Boundary data will also help you show municipal and county boundaries.

And boundaries are super, super important when it comes to that all important question of where children in those neighborhoods will attend school.

That includes school attendance zones. These zones are different for grades and they are also subject to change.

Providing that information on a website alone would establish tremendous local knowledge in the eyes of many parents. And trust.

All of this targeted information for the neighborhood you farm can be displayed on your website. As we know, more than 90% of home buyers now use the web when searching for homes.

Not only will they see this in-depth information about the neighborhoods they are interested in, but so will Google and Bing. This could have a very positive effect on your rankings on search engines for keywords relevant to the neighborhoods you are farming.

The more information you provide to answer search queries about specific locations, the more Google and Bing see you as a valuable resource they should move up in the ranks.

As you know, high organic rankings are like gold. Free gold.

So, when was the last time you upgraded your website with new technology?

Just like that farmer in the GPS guided tractor, adding these advanced real estate plugins to your website will bring your geo-farming strategies into the 21st Century and give your brand a big competitive advantage.




Real Estate Plugins Offer A Quick Way To Upgrade A Website

real estate plugins

When a broker needs to update their website quickly and boost their agents’ marketing efforts, Real Estate Plugins from a reputable provider can help them make a quantum leap.

Real estate plugins are just what they sound like. Something you can plug into your website.

A plugin is basically a few snippets of code. Code that can be added to any page.

By adding real estate plugins, a broker can instantly make a massive improvement that their team will love.

That’s the easy part.

But finding the right plugins can be trying.

Real estate plugins from the right provider

Because here’s the challenge. On WordPress, the most popular Content Management Platform in the world, there are 30,000 plugins. Obviously, not all of them are specifically coded for real estate.

But many of them could apply to a real estate website such as lead generation forms, mapping tools or photo galleries.

We are going to make this process of finding the right real estate plugins from the right source very, very easy.

Talk to the experts at Home Junction.

The founders of Home Junction have been involved in real estate technology for more than a combined 50 years.

They know the business. They know the concerns of brokers and agents.

What’s also very important, the company specializes in real estate technology. (Unlike other companies that perhaps create dozens of plugins for every industry from chiropractors to insurance salesmen).

Because here’s a key issue. You not only want a plugin that is trouble-free, you also want real estate plugins that are continually upgraded and improved.

The web changes quickly. Software on the web has to keep up. That is one reason why even WordPress, for example, regularly offers upgrades.

But let’s get back to what you can do with those plugins.

Home Junction real estate data plugins

Take the suite of real estate plugins from Home Junction.

IDX – need a better way to tap into that MLS database? Consider an IDX from Home Junction. Our customers constantly rave about the efficiency and the speed of our IDX software. In fact, dashCAMm a company that pulls MLS data into a simple CMA, uses our IDX.

One reason – not all MLS structures and policies are the same. Not only between cities. There could be several different MLSs within a city. All with different formats and requirements.

Recent Sales Data – as you know, this information is a must for every broker. Recent Sales Data including charts showing the direction of any given market adds a whole level of information to any real estate website. Plus, this information is a great draw for email campaigns and social media posts.

Home Values – everybody knows that one way the mega-site that begins with a “Z” broke through to become a leading destination site for buyers and sellers – their home estimation tool. Well, guess what, that technology can now be provided right off the shelf by national data aggregators such as Home Junction. Add a few lines of code to your website, and you are able to provide home value estimates to consumers. Everybody who owns a home wants to know the answer to this question, “What is my home worth?”

Providing this tool creates tremendous branding and lead generation opportunities. People trust their local brokers in their neighborhoods more than some far away mega-portal. Now offer the same tools so local residents can find all their answers from a local resource.

Geo-Farms – as we all know, all business is local. Make that hyper-local. Brokers need hyper-local information by neighborhood, not just city or zip code, to truly establish their firm as the local resource. Agents will appreciate that hyper-local data for the specific neighborhoods they are farming. Brokers will truly empower their team members with this data.

New Homes – a big percentage of any home buying segment out there is willing to look at new homes as well as existing properties. You don’t want them going off and finding these new homes on their own. Provide that information for home buyers as well and offer to help them.

Pocket Listings – this is another important segment of any market. Offer a section on your website with this handy plugin.

As we all know, things move fast today. One year we’re talking about hybrid cars, the next it’s electric cars and now cars that drive themselves.

Same with real estate tools.

Savvy brokers can see there are ways to adapt technology quickly such as installing real estate plugins to keep their websites upgraded and stay ahead of the rest of the pack in their markets.



How To Use Real Estate Data To Write A Blog When You Don’t Feel Like It

real estate data for blogsIt’s okay for real estate professionals who write a blog to admit sometimes it’s just a big pain and that’s when real estate data can come to the rescue.

Let’s face it. For busy brokers and agents who manage everything from open houses to newspaper ads to home stagings, finding the time and motivation to write can be difficult.

Of course, that’s putting it mildly. Writing a blog on certain days can be downright agonizing.

Follow these simple tips from pro bloggers

Don’t fret. Here are a few tips to help you get something down on a page even when you find it difficult to write.

  1. Write as though you are talking to a friend

First off, this is the blogosphere, not a Nobel prize contest. Don’t try to be Ernest Hemingway or JK Rowling.

In fact, don’t even think of your blog as any type of fine writing.

Think of it more as a conversation.

Pick a topic and then write about it as though you were telling a story to a friend.

Don’t worry about finding the perfect word, or the right descriptive sentence. Frankly, your readers don’t care.

They just want to get to the essence of what you are trying to say. So talk to them by writing the way you speak.

  1. Make just one or two points

People are busy. The attention-span for web users is beyond limited. Think in terms of seconds, not minutes.

Don’t try to write a dissertation on all aspects of real estate in modern-day America.

Just pick one or two key points. That’s all you will have time to present and all readers will want to know.

If you have multiple topics in mind, pick one or two and save the rest for the next blog. You will always need ideas for blogs. Just don’t use them all at once.

Real estate data will provide plenty of topics

  1. Use real estate data to add credibility to your blog

Here’s where real estate data can make your blogging life much easier.

By partnering with a reliable real estate data provider such as Home Junction, you will have access to a wealth of data about the communities in your marketplace.

Data on Recent Homes Sales, Sales Trends, Demographics, Crime Stats, Cost of Living Indices, etc.

Pick one and write about it.

Use the data you get from Home Junction to back up your commentary.

Point out how home prices in XYZ community are starting to rise. Or, let people know that homes are selling like hot cakes in ABC town over here.

Maybe there are some interesting demographics about a particular community. For example, you may notice that many people in the P&J subdivision have doctorates. Perhaps a bunch of professors from the local college are all flocking to one area.

Another item to point out are what types of homes are selling. Perhaps high-end homes are selling in one area as opposed to home sales in the county overall. Compare one community to another.

(By the way, you can point out how consumers can visit your website and use your Home Valuation Tool to see find their own estimate on the value of their home. This will give them tremendous insight into the status of properties surrounding that home and their particular marketplace. People love this functionality. Why not? It provides credible real estate data on the most expensive thing they own.)

  1. Show, don’t tell

Are the words still not coming to you? That’s fine. Add pictures.

Use screenshots of charts to provide images that elaborate on the real estate data you are discussing.

People love images. That’s why Instagram has a gazillion followers. Instead of trying to think of how you can add more paragraphs to the page, think of adding screenshots of different data charts.

Show the trend line for recent sales in one community. Or the direction of home prices in another community.

An image says a lot. And that’s a lot of words you don’t need to add in your blog.

real estate data charts

  1. Get the content on the page, then take a break

Here’s something that might surprise you – not even Ernest Hemingway could write a great page of text on the first try. In fact, he’s famous for admitting “First drafts are ____________.” (You fill in the blank).

Rather than squeeze your brain hoping for the right words to get out, just start typing something. Anything.

Eventually, things will start to flow.

After you write your first draft, go take a break. Do something else.

Then come back and edit what you’ve written. The second draft will be much better.

Rewrite again if necessary. Read the text out loud. Proofread what you’ve written one more time and you are probably ready to publish.

(If you use a WordPress real estate website, all of this writing, rewriting and posting images is much easier to do. With WordPress, you can also add plugins that will help you optimize that page for the search engines like Google and Bing. WordPress provides so much versatility for real estate professionals in this day and age that it really should be the platform of choice).

Bonus tip: Be passionate

This tip should really be number one but we made it last because we want it to be the icing on your content.

As a blogger, you don’t necessarily need to be a wordsmith. Especially if you are a broker or agent.

People don’t expect you to be a whiz with a keyboard. In fact, if your writing is too lofty or verbose with big fancy words, you will turn people off.

But what you can do to put zing into your prose is to be passionate. Show enthusiasm.

Get excited about a new subdivision opening up in your area.

Use a real estate map plugin to show where a new school is being added to the neighborhood.

Let your feelings jump up and down on the page (figuratively, of course).

For example, perhaps your local real estate data plugin indicates home prices in one particular neighborhood are finally starting to rise after years of being stagnant.

Maybe you know a bunch of homeowners who live there. You know they have been waiting anxiously for their properties to appreciate like other neighborhoods. Get psyched up. Be the provider of good news (positive real estate data). Act like a cheerleader for their properties.

As you can see writing a real estate blog does not have to be a big chore. Follow these tips.

Remember to:

  • Make your writing seem more like a conversation with a friend
  • Get the words down on paper, no matter if they don’t totally make sense or the writing is sloppy
  • Provide some images or screenshots
  • Show enthusiasm about properties, neighborhoods and recent data updates
  • Refer to that bank of hyper-local real estate data offered by providers such as Home Junction to make the whole endeavor a whole lot easier


The Great And Scary Benefits Of Using Real Estate Plugins

real estate pluginsIf you are a broker or agent and don’t use a WordPress website, you are basically missing out on real estate plugins and thousands of other cool features (many free) that you can provide to visitors.

And if you aren’t working with a seasoned developer for WordPress real estate websites, you might be adding some features that could put your site at risk.

Last count, there were 52,000 plugins available on WordPress. More than two hundred show up in a search for real estate plugins alone. (Many others that brokers might want to add, such as contact forms, can be found in the general selection).

Plugins are basically like the apps you download for your phone. They are tools to help with lead capture, navigation, search engine optimization, photo galleries and thousands of other uses. In fact, there is basically a plugin available right now for practically anything.

One of the incredible aspects of WordPress is that it is an open-source platform. Which means outside developers are encouraged to create these bits of software that can be integrated into the WordPress platform.

Remember, WordPress started as a way to provide a simple tool for bloggers. And it caught on big time. Now 41.7 million new posts are published every month on this platform.

This platform is so successful that it has become one of the leading content management systems in the world.

WordPress is like the iPhone of website software.

Smartphones and iPhones are incredible devices. You can carry a phone in your pocket, surf the web from a coffee shop and shoot pictures and videos better than most cameras on the market.

But when you consider the thousands of apps that are available for iPhones and smartphones, then those devices literally become phenomenal. A device you must own.

Real estate plugins come in all forms

Same thing with WordPress real estate plugins.

Many plugins are free. Some are very cheap. Others cost more but are worth every penny. Many times you can try a limited version and then upgrade to a paid plugin with more features.

The founders of Home Junction Inc. have been involved in the real estate website business for the past 20 years.

They developed several powerful plugins specifically for WordPress real estate websites (and they also build those websites for brokers and agents)

Their most powerful plugin is a real estate data API that basically gives brokers and agents a way to add a vast warehouse of current and accurate real estate data.

That real estate plugin allows a broker or agent to add super hyper-local information, right down to the neighborhood level.

For example, on the Butler & Butler real estate website, you can look at several communities with homes for sale.

When you navigate to one of those properties, there are tabs for Area Information, Schools, Recent Sales, etc.

real estate website plugins

Home Junction fills those tabs with information that is updated regularly.

Take Area Info for example.

Click on the tab and you will see charts for changes in home prices for the past several quarters in specific communities.

That’s not for the county. It’s not for the zip code. It’s for that particular community. A community that an agent might be farming.

You can’t get more hyper-local than that.

Home Junction also offers a geo-spatial, real estate plugin that allows brokers and agents to integrate maps into their website.

We’re not just talking about a link to a Google map.

We’re talking about real estate map technology that is integrated into a local MLS database. When a broker or agent pulls up a map on their website, they can show the location of homes for sale in that area.

Then it goes further. In addition, they can also show which amenities – such as schools, golf courses, restaurants, highways, etc., are in proximity to those properties. That tool alone can significantly boost the price and appeal of any home.

As savvy brokers and agents know, home buyers don’t just buy a home, they buy the neighborhood (and the schools).

These real estate plugins help buyers get a true understanding of not only the value of the home, but also the value of nearby amenities and a current snapshot of market conditions.

That’s persuasive info.

Plugin security is a major concern

Now, as we said there are tens of thousands of plugins available through WordPress.

If you don’t have a WordPress real estate website, you should seriously consider adding one because you will have access to all these incredible tools and features. You can add an incredible number of new tools without hiring a coder to create them for you, at a significant cost and time delay.

With WordPress, a broker or agent can easily add content, write a blog or upload photos. It’s literally child’s play. What a relief right?

Here’s the next important factor to consider regarding real estate plugins.

Just like anything on the world wide web, there are people out there with good intentions, and there are people out there with negative intentions. There’s another group which consists of people who are a little sloppy with their coding and create plugins with security holes in them.

Every broker and agent need to be wary of the second two groups.

Frankly, most brokers and agents don’t have the expertise nor the time to investigate every plugin. It’s a tough job. You could search through thousands of plugins, read the reviews, check out the number of users and even see when they were updated last.

In addition, many hackers have a hobby of trying to punch holes in internet security. It’s important to keep all plugins updated to prevent any types of attacks. Also, some plugins can slow down a site or cause the site to crash frequently.

That’s why working with a seasoned WordPress real estate website developer is a smart move.

Get with the times. Jump on the WordPress bandwagon. And when you work with a company like Home Junction, you won’t need to worry.

WordPress websites and real estate plugins are a powerful combination.  It’s a winning strategy for any broker or agent, as long as they choose the right partner to guide them.