Public Real Estate Data A Neccesity To Overcome Seller Concerns About Negative Perceptions

public real estate dataPublic real estate data can be a major selling point when it comes to talking to listing prospects about perceptions on “good” and “bad” neighborhoods.

Here’s an amusing story that illustrates the point.

One writer talked about how the city he lived in appeared on one of those lists as “Worst Places to Live in the US.” The reseseach said unemployment was high. There were quite a few crimes. Lots of abandoned stores and office buildings.

But then, one day, the writer came across another list of “Best Places to Live in the US.” Guess what? His city appeared at the top of the list. That’s because the methodology used in the study was based on highest median income per household and fastest increase in property values.

Funny story right?

But when an agent approaches a potential seller who lives in an area that might not have the greatest reputation, it’s not very funny.

That home seller is concerned. Worried about losing value on their home. Perhaps they need to relocate quickly because of a new job and might be dreading the idea of their home languishing on the market for months.

This is where public real estate data, on your website, can be a major, selling point and a major way to alleviate that seller’s fears.

With today “big data” capabilities, aggregators of public real estate data such as Home Junction, gather an incredible amount of hyper-local statistics.

Recent property sales, market trends, school data, cost of living indices, crime statistics, and much more.

In fact, Home Junction has more than 1,000 data points that they aggregate.

Public real estate data can change perceptions

Here’s the big advantage for real estate agents.

Using Home Junction’s proprietary “Slipstream” real estate data API (Application Programming Interface), an agent can add a widget on their website to tap into this giant warehouse of data.

Now comes the best part. That agent display that data down to the micro-level – not just the county or city level, but right down to the neighborhood or subdivision level.

When it comes to providing public real estate data, you can’t get any more hyper-local than that.

Here’s a potential strategy.

An agent can approach a homeowner and show them the public real estate data resources they provide on their website.

They can tell the homeowner: “You know Mr. and Mrs. Seller, according to my real estate market data, I can paint a very appealing picture to potential buyers for your property. (Oh, and by the way, I’m the only agent in this area with this wealth of public real estate data).”

For example, according to the data on my site:

  • School data – you live in a very appealing school district. From the school data on my website, I can show how there are top-ranked schools in your neighborhood. That information can include student/teacher ratios, number of students, student demographics and much more.

With my geospatial data, I can also point out the latest school attendance zones to illustrate how this property falls within the boundaries for these particular schools, including top-notch private schools and charter schools.

  • Rising Property Sales – here’s another key point. Sure, there might be some parts of the county that are depressed and not doing so well. But, in researching the public real estate data on my website, I will feature charts next to your listing showing how the number of home sales in your neighborhood is actually increasing.

I can point out to any potential buyers that not only is your home in a desirable neighborhood, but they better act fast if they want to grab a home here.

  • Home Value Estimator Tool – here’s more data the Seller will appreciate. An agent can add a Home Value Estimator Tool (AVM) on their website that will give a reliable estimate of what a particular property is worth. Included with that data, is a chart that compares a property to the market in general. The comparison will be based on Size of the Property, Price, Price per Square Foot and Age.

So, for example, the results might show that this particular home is in the upper percentile for square footage and age of the home, indicating this is a fairly new house and very large house compared to others in the area. That’s certainly a big plus as well.

  • Real estate maps – Mr. and Mrs. Seller not only will I provide a great array of positive data about your property, I can illustrate some of the key neighborhood amenities on a map in relation to the location of your home.

Take that Whole Foods store by the way. According to the map alongside your listing, it’s only 1.5 miles away. So is that great magnet school for the arts. There’s also a famous sushi restaurant over here and a very popular pilates studio right down the street.

And, let’s not forget that huge public park that is just 2 miles away.

How about access to roadways? According to the maps provided, this property is just two blocks away from the interstate. That’s huge when it comes to making a home appealing to commuters.

Paint a picture with real estate market data

Like an artist, with Home Junction’s public real estate data and geospatial technology, an agent can pull up a number of different data points to paint a very pretty picture of a home for sale.

That picture will be a huge relief to a homeowner.

It will also be a convincing argument to choose that agent – the agent who walks the talk and backs up their marketing with solid, reliable information that answers every concern a buyer might have.

After all, geography matters. So does reality.

We can see from the story above how perceptions can be twisted the wrong way.

Don’t let a misleading rap for an entire area cause problems for a specific property.

Provide this resource of accurate public real estate data to show owners how that information will help overcome any negative perceptions about their home and their neighborhood.

Real Estate Data Providers Can Make A Big Difference With Difficult Homes

messy houseReal estate data providers can be a real lifesaver when it comes to prepping a home for sale, especially when a seller is strapped for cash or not the tidiest.

Sure, every broker and agent would love to see a seller upgrade that ancient kitchen.

Or, for a homeowner to remodel an ugly bathroom.

But how willing are sellers to dish out the money for upgrades?

Also factor in today’s marketplace, where it’s hard to find a reliable contractor.

Who charges reasonable prices. And happens to be available during the right time frame.

Normal prep costs, such as painting and minor repairs, can run into the thousands. About $3800 in most markets.

But what about major improvements?

According to a recent article in Realtor.com, the national average cost to remodel a kitchen is $20,000.

To upgrade a bathroom, a seller will have to spend $9,000 on average.

A new roof? Expect to pay $20,000 on average.

Replace the floors with wood floors – $4,000. Laminate floors will be about half that cost.

Not too many sellers are eager to part with that kind of money. They expect the agent instead, to perform miracles.

So what can an agent do when they have a home with a kitchen from 1950, a crummy bathroom, worn out floors or a leaking room?

One strategy is to turn to real estate data providers such as Home Junction.

Real estate data providers offer a different view of a property

Because while the home might not be in the best shape, the real estate market data tied into that property could be the catalyst that turns that old horse into a Preakness winner.

Home Junction is an aggregator of millions of bits of data that is all relevant to the purchase of a property.

The company has gathered detailed, in-depth information from a number of sources to create detailed, in-depth datasets about properties, neighborhoods and schools.

Say for example, Mr. and Mrs. Lazy Homeowner don’t want to bother fixing the shutters hanging sideways near the front windows.

Or, they don’t really want to clean the rug in the living room with all the wine stains.

They use the bathrooms every day to get ready for work. Why should they clean them for an open house?

When an agent takes a potential buyer to a property like this, they know they have a challenge.

But that’s where the real estate data providers can be a lifesaver.

Sure, Mr. and Mrs. Reluctant Homebuyers, this house does need work.

But, have you seen the latest chart on my website for Recent Home Sales. They are trending up. Like Space X rocket trajectory upward. You might reconsider.

Yes, the house is not pretty.

The agent knows the young couple have a young child with one more on the way.

But if you check the school data on my website (provided by Home Junction’s proprietary school data API coding), you will see that Charming Middle School down the street is a top-rated school with a fantastic ratio of students to teachers.

Back at his or her office, the agent is able to show the couple the demographics of that particular neighborhood.

The information (provided by Home Junction’s real estate data API) shows this particular neighborhood has lots of young families with children. Plenty of friends for their children to play with. Plenty of moms and dads to meet at the local park.

Check out the Home Value Estimator on the agent’s website. The results show that particular home is in the lower 20% range when it comes to price per square foot. If you want to live in this neighborhood with those great schools, this house is a bargain.

Agents don’t control condition of the home, but can control the data picture

As agents know, the home buying experience is an emotional one. If a couple walks into a home and sees walls marked by crayons, a towel rack barely hanging from the bathroom wall and a kitchen with puke-colored cabinets, it’s gonna be a tough sell.

But those items can be repaired. Those are cosmetic factors. Items an agent will try their best to get out of the minds of buyers.

Or, they might be talking to sellers who need to get out a home quickly or don’t have the funds to replace those ugly kitchen cabinets. Or maybe they are sellers, who tried their best, agreed to paint the walls, and the crayon marks still show through.

Those crayon marks are only a small part of the picture.

There’s a bigger picture out there. The picture you paint with the information you gathered from real estate data providers such as Home Junction and embedded on your website.

The numbers picture. And boundaries as well. All those datasets that come together to show this is a desirable property in a rising sales marketplace.

Priced below other homes that recently sold in this market. With a low crime rate. In the right school attendance zones. Located in an area with a low tax rate compared to other areas that are within city limits.

This data is so powerful, an agent could almost print it out and tape it over the crayon marks on the wall and say, “Which image is more important to you? Those red scribble marks or this chart showing property sales moving quickly in this community?”

There’s emotion and there are facts. When emotions are running in one direction, real estate market data can help counter those feelings and point them in another.

That’s why in this day and age, before you encounter your next Mr. Messy Homeowner,  it’s smart to get in touch with real estate data providers such as Home Junction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brokers And Agents Can Now Add A Critical Flood Zone Map To Their Websites

flood zone map

After 2017’s year of record-breaking disasters, real estate brokers and agents can now become an even more valuable asset for local consumers by adding a flood zone map to their website.

The real estate market data company Home Junction has implemented its data aggregating technology to extract these valuable flood zone maps from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and can now include these boundaries in their data feed for real estate agents. This information can appear as a text notice of a flood zone or geo-spatially as a boundary on a map.

If you recall those images on television of the flooding in Houston alone, brokers or agents can certainly see that consumers are going to be concerned about the location of their property in relation to waterways and floodplains more than ever before.

According to the National Centers for Environmental Protection, Hurricane Harvey caused flood damage to more than 200,000 homes and businesses in the Houston area. The estimated cost of the devastation is a whopping $125 billion.

Last year, massive floods also destroyed properties in Louisiana, Missouri, Arkansas and southern Illinois when rivers reached historic levels and levees were breaches. In California, heavy rains there caused the Oroville Dam spillway to overflow and 188,000 people had to be evacuated.

“Today buyers need to know if the property they are considering is at risk,” said Ed Kim, Senior Vice President with Home Junction. “Any real estate company that adds a flood zone map is going to provide an incredible resource for their marketplace.”

Home Junction researchers obtained the floodplain data using its advanced “slipstream data technology” to parse a flood zone map down to the zip code, neighborhood or subdivision level. This enables local agents to provide these boundaries for the neighborhoods they are farming.

The company has gathered this boundary data for 2,300 counties, where flooding may be an issue.

For years, the national approach to flooding was to focus on flood-control projects such as dams, levees, seawalls, etc. However, property damage to homes still occurred and in many instances development still took place in high-risk areas.

To mitigate this problem, Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The concept behind the program was to identify at-risk areas to reduce flood damage with community floodplain management ordinances and to prevent development in high-risk locations. The agency then also provided flood insurance to homes that could possibly be flooded if a catastrophic storm took place, which as we’ve seen does happen, even in areas once considered safe.

A flood zone map adds boundaries for different levels of risk.

For example, in Special Flood Hazard Areas, home buyers need to know flood insurance is required. This may be true for some properties even if they are not located in the 100-year floodplain.

The company also has a flood zone map for homes in the 500-year floodplain, where flood insurance is not generally required. But consumers will know there is some degree of risk in those locations.

Adding a flood zone map is just one more tool that Home Junction can provide to a broker or agent to enable them to truly display in-depth knowledge of an area.

The company already aggregates and distributes data feeds for school data, property sales, market trends, real estate demographics, crime statistics and cost of living indices.

They are also experts in boundary data polygons. The company provides school district boundaries, school attendance zones, municipal boundaries and much more.

This is the 21st Century. We are at the next wave in the Information Age.

We are also experiencing a time when major weather events are taking place. Catastrophic storms are creating situations where hundreds of thousands of people may be stuck with damaged homes. Many in the Houston flood did not have flood insurance.

In this day and age, if a broker or agent really wants to be a neighborhood expert, they will need to back up that strategy. Not just with talk, but with detailed real estate market data and a flood zone map for the areas in their target markets.

 

 

 

WordPress Realtor Sites Enable Agents To Quickly Optimize Photos Of Neighbhorhood Amenities

wordpress realtor sites images

WordPress Realtor sites can give brokers and agents a BIG EDGE when it comes to using neighborhoods to sell a home.

In a recent blog, we talked about how some agents are using the latest apps to help educate and persuade prospects about a particular community.

Using an Uber or Lyft app, agents are arranging for drivers to take prospects on a tour of a community, making sure they view all the top amenities.

A real estate agent shouldn’t take the chance that when potential buyers drive around a community, they will miss a key amenity, like a school or a park, that could influence their decision.

They are doing the same with apps such as Open Table to make reservations for prospects at popular local restaurants, to give them a flavor of the town.

After all, neighborhoods sell.

We also talked about being sure to tap into hyper-local public data providers such as Home Junction that gather and store massive amounts of information that is important to home buyers – school databases, market trends, graphs showing changes in home prices, demographics, boundaries, crime statistics, etc.

WordPress Realtor sites are best for uploading photos

But here’s another key fact- neighborhood images sell.

In addition to home listing images, why not add a bunch of photographs about key neighborhood amenities on your website?

And one of the best platforms to do this quickly and easily is with WordPress Realtor sites.

Why are WordPress Realtor sites such a big deal?

Three words – ease, speed and SEO (search engine optimization for rankings).

Let’s start with ease.

WordPress is the most popular web platform in the world.

Why? It’s not because it’s a big complicated thing like a Facebook or Amazon website.

It’s because it’s easy to use. No coding required. Ready right out of the box.

The platform was first designed to make it easy for the average person to start a blog.

All they had to do was sign up and they could start loading content.

Today, that sounds like a given. But when WordPress first started, it wasn’t.

As you can imagine, such an easy tool like this caught on like wildfire.

WordPress became so popular, that the developers decided to provide the basic coding in their platform for businesses.

Boom. Millions of business adopted this platform. Some of them include Bloomberg, Variety, MTV News, The New Yorker and Tech Crunch.

Naturally, something this popular and effective should be adopted by the real estate business as well.

That’s why companies such as Home Junction have created WordPress Realtor sites specifically for brokers and agents.

They can set up a broker or agent in just a week with a fancy real estate website with an incredible amount of bells and whistles – lead generation forms, massive photo galleries, neighborhood data, etc.

The beauty of a WordPress Realtor sites is that once they are set up, it’s easy for the broker or agent to add information. They don’t need a coder. A webmaster. They can do it all themselves.

Agents can upload new listings, photos, etc. with basically the same ease as loading a post on Facebook.

Load images quickly on WordPress Realtor sites

But back to selling the neighborhood.

With WordPress Realtor sites an agent can easily add a bunch of images on their website that sell the neighborhoods they are targeting.

Maybe XYZ neighborhood is located near an incredible park. Put those images up on the website.

Maybe the Happy Caddy Golf Course has a prestigious clubhouse. Put those images up on the website.

When talking to home buyers, don’t just send them a link to a property. Send them a link to a photo gallery showing all the neighborhood amenities. That’s powerful.

Research shows that when people look online for homes, they spend more than half their time looking at images.

Now let’s talk about speed.

Things change in neighborhoods. New schools get built. Cool restaurants open. Old retail areas are knocked down and replaced by exciting new stores.

All of these amenities are great tools to use.

With WordPress Realtor sites, a broker or agent can be one of the first in their marketplace to display photos about neighborhood changes.

Say a Whole Foods is under construction down the street. Take a photo. Put it up quickly on your WordPress Realtor site.

Blast a link to the page with that photo out on social media – Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Many,  many people are going to be interested in a new Whole Foods, Dick’s Sporting Goods store, or even a new yoga studio.

The big advantage here is that you are the first agent to get this information out to home buyers.

Its’ like being the local newspaper or TV station that breaks a story.

People are going to be interested in your particular social media posts more than others (which is not easy since 91% of agents report they use social media).

Let’s talk about SEO. If an agent keeps loading interesting posts about a neighborhood, that is going to attract the attention of people in that neighborhood.

Attracting people to your website gets the attention of Google and Bing. Their algorithms are set up to measure this. The thinking behind this strategy is that if this website is posting relevant information that is attracting visitors, then it must be a good website. Google and Bing will then reward that website with higher rankings.

It gets even more complicated.

Say for example a Whole Foods is opening up in your town. An agent posts some photos of the Whole Foods store under construction with some text about the new store. Google and Bing will index that story in their search engines.

When local people start to hear about this Whole Foods store opening up and they do a search on Google and Bing, guess whose website is going to show up higher in the Page 1 rankings? That’s right. That agent’s website.

Same goes for the Happy Caddy Golf Club. If many people visit those pages with those clubhouse images on there, then Google and Bing will push that website higher. Many of those visitors are likely prospects to move into that golf community. An agent has the advantage in that they are going to visit their website FIRST before any others.

Amazing how a few images can possibly result in a million dollar sale. (Conversely with listings, think about how you can show a seller how you market their golf course community better than others).

If an agent is able to do this on a regular basis, people are going keep looking at their posts for new updates. Over time, that’s going to give that agent top of mind awareness as the agent who knows the marketplace.

Talk about local knowledge.

As a broker or agent, you need all the help you can get in selling homes.

Use the easy image capabilities of a WordPress Realtor sites and put those pictures of neighborhood amenities working for you as well.

 

 

How To Use Neighborhood Data, Uber and Open Table To Show Off Local Amenities

neighborhood data and amenities

Use amenities in the community and neighborhood data to add impact to your presentations.

Neighborhood data and the attractiveness of a community can sometimes be the main catalysts to a deal on a home.

Are you familiar with the latest strategies to best promote community amenities?

Because some real estate agents are getting very creative when it comes to selling a neighborhood.

Here’s one idea that’s floating around.

When prospects come to an area, how about booking an Uber or Lyft ride for them to show them around? You can do that remotely with you ride app.

Oftentimes, many homebuyers never get a chance to really visit an area where they might be moving. There are time constraints, deadlines, etc.

Then there’s the other issue of unfamiliarity. People moving into a neighborhood might not know the best places to go. Or they might miss that one crucial area, say a park or other amenity, that could really be the impetus to make a move.

If the agent can’t give them a tour themselves, then book them a ride on Uber or Lyft. These car services can pick people up wherever you want and take them wherever you want them to go.

Have an Uber drop them off in a cute downtown area. Give them time to explore the trendy restaurants, coffee shops and retail stores. Soak in the location.

Then arrange for them to be picked up again.

Or, if the regional mall is the place to be, send them there.

Perhaps the local golf course has an incredible clubhouse with long views overlooking the 18th hole. Don’t want to miss that if the prospect is a golfer.

Lots of towns now provide very exciting water parks. They are massive. Some are indoors for use during the winter. Many are practically mini-Disneylands.

Why not arrange for an Uber to transport a family there?

The smiling faces on the children might just be the touchpoint that gets this couple to say “We want to make an offer.”

To really impress the prospects, you could spend a few extra dollars and order UberLUX – where the car that pulls up to pick up your customers is a Mercedes or something similar. Talk about pulling on the emotional levers.

Book a reservation for prospects at a top restaurant

There are other tech tools agents are using to sell a neighborhood.

For example, say a husband looking to relocate is coming back to town with his wife to view a property.

Using web apps like Open Table, you can book them a reservation at a top restaurant in town.

Frankly, many people might not want to have dinner with an agent, or any salesperson for that matter. Don’t take offense.

If you pick the right restaurant in the right area, you don’t need to be there. All the amenities will make your case for you.

Imagine that couple enjoying a succulent meal with a few glasses of fine wine. Then going for a stroll outside in the downtown area where the trees are lit with beautiful lights, the sounds of soothing music pours from a few clubs and beautiful old buildings portray a town with an interesting history.

That couple might just knock on your door later that night and ask, “Where do we sign?”

Neighborhood data is the other critical high-tech app

There’s another new technology out there that every real estate broker and agent should be using to facilitate how neighborhoods can be a key selling feature.

That tool for real estate agents is neighborhood data.

In the past few years, there have been incredible advances made in “big data” technology. Data aggregators such as Home Junction have the ability to gather and store an incredible amount of real estate market data of all types.

Tapping into various sources – county records, business listings, school databases, etc., Home Junction basically does all the legwork Their techies gather a massive amount of information that is important to home buyers – including neighborhood data.

The big advancement in technology is that a local broker or agent doesn’t have to have a gigantic IBM server in the back of their office to store all this stuff.

All they need to do is embed a few lines of code from a real estate data API into their website.

After that, they have access to a gigantic warehouse of data.

Slice and dice that data for each area you are farming, either by zip code, city or even down to the subdivision level.

Post that data on your website where you want it.

That neighborhood data could be:
Market trend data
• Recent property sales
School databases – this is obviously critical – school rankings, enrollment numbers, student/teacher ratios, contact information, etc.
School attendance boundaries – again, very important to families
Business listings in proximity to a property
Boundaries – county and municipal, which means taxes and other governmental impacts, such as zoning restrictions etc.
Demographics
Crime statistics
Cost of Living data

Now picture this ideal scenario.

An Uber driver pulls up to the curb. He’s driving a shiny new Cadillac Escalade.

Your prospects get in the SUV and he whisks them off to a popular, Zagat-rated Italian restaurant nearby. One where there’s a month-long waiting list to get in.

A dinner reservation is already arranged for the lucky husband and wife.

They enjoy a fantastic meal.

While they dine, they look over the MLS information you provided to them about the property they are considering.

In that packet, are several printouts of neighborhood data extolling the benefits of the community.

That data can also be tailored to match the particular needs of that couple.

If they have children, then check out all this information gathered from your school data API about the local schools.

Not just public school data.

But information about private schools, religious schools. All schools.

There’s also information about charter schools and magnet schools.

And that’s current data. Not stale or outdated.

Say the couple is older. Well, perhaps your Demographic data shows that the property they are considering is in an area where many of the people are over 35. Perhaps a large number of college graduates, just like them.

They’ll like that picture.

Here’s the icing on the cake. The data desert if you will.

Home Junction also offers geospatial integration of this neighborhood data. For example, you can show all the businesses that are located within a certain distance of a property in question.

Perhaps the wife loves yoga. Well, here’s a very popular yoga studio located just one mile away from the property.

A broker or agent can also integrate all of this key data onto a map. So they can pull the property from the MLS listing and then show the schools, businesses, boundaries in question, and illustrate this data on a map.

Print out those maps and put them in the brochure.

Very strong visual impact.

After digesting that fine dining and all that key information, the couple feels great.

The town looks great. The food at this restaurant tastes great. The neighborhood data is great.

As an agent, you are basically letting the neighborhood sell itself.

Be the agent using these new high tech resources, such as Uber and Open Table, combined with a massive amount of neighborhood data from Home Junction, to make an impressive, 21st Century presentation about community amenities.

Real Estate Market Data Is One Of The Three Pillars Of Effective Presentations

real estate market data logicReal estate market data is one of three factors that any broker or agent must include in their discussions if they want to influence a buyer or seller.

Don’t just take our word for it. Ask Aristotle or Socrates.

If they were alive today, they would tell you these are the basic elements of persuasion – emotion, logic, and presentation (the speaker themselves).

After all, at the end of the day, that’s the business real estate professionals are engaged in – persuading a buyer this is the right property for them. Or convincing a seller they are the right agent for them.

Back in ancient times, great thinkers such as Socrates recognized the importance of these factors. If you think about, in those days without TV, iPads or Netflix, basically all they had to do was sit around and debate one another.

After hundreds of years of yakking back and forth, those three factors still remain the keys to making a case for any sales pitch. Or frankly any discussion.

Many people tend to focus on emotion. Why not? That’s what’s lights people up.

This property is “fantastic” or your kids will just “love” this neighborhood or this community is part of an “incredible” school district. All hot buttons to pump up a prospect.

Real estate pros obviously know the power of emotion. We’re not going to discuss that here.

However, one problem could be depending on emotion alone. That’s when a salesperson thinks they can just wing it with words and enthusiasm. Not smart.

The second pillar is the speaker themselves.

How do they present themselves?

Are they confident? Well-spoken? Do they enunciate well?

Do they appear honest and sincere?

Are they knowledgeable about the local market?

Do they dress like a professional?

What is their body language like? Does their posture denote authority and integrity?

There are many facets of being an effective presenter.

Speaker presentation is a whole study within itself that we won’t touch here either.

Again, another danger is that just because a salesperson dresses to the nines and has a bright set of choppers, they might fall into the trap of thinking they have all the factors of influence covered.

Real estate market data provides the proof

Because here’s the third critical piece. Facts. Proof. Logic.

That’s the part where we come in.

You can really fire up a prospect with colorful descriptions of a kitchen or all the schools in the neighborhood.

An agent can appear open and reliable with their body language.

But how are they supporting all their claims?

One could argue (get it) that logic, facts, and data are more important now than ever before.

This is the era where consumers can search for just about anything in the world from the smartphone in their pocket.

This is also the era where anybody and their brother can post fake news online.

It’s a time when consumers are more skeptical than ever.

They can recognize the stereotypical salesman in the loud suit. They know many of the headlines and statements floating around out there in the digital and real world are bogus.

In essence, consumers today not only have their own B.S. filters turned on, they have the means to verify facts as well.

So, when it comes to logic, who will be the winners?

People armed with real facts. Genuine real estate market data. And lots of it.

Buyers and sellers know this real estate market data is out there. They are going to be persuaded by those brokerages and agents who can provide it to them.

Integrating property data with a website is easier than ever

That’s where data from aggregators such as Home Junction comes into play.

Home Junction gathers billions of bits of national real estate data from all across the country. They gather it from a variety of different and credible sources.

School data. Property sales data. Market trends. Boundaries. Demographics. Crime statistics. Etc.

Think of the power you as a real estate agent or broker can have by providing this data to home buyers (and using it to market properties for home sellers).

An agent can make all the emotional statements they want. That can get people excited about a property.

But when they back up those statements with reliable real estate market data, then a few things happen.

For one, that agent instantly gains credibility with the consumer.

“This is someone I can trust,” a buyer might think. “They not only talk a good game, they also walk the talk by providing proof to back up what they are saying.”

Secondly, by presenting this huge warehouse of local real estate market data, the entire transaction process is accelerated.

After all, according to a recent survey of home buyers, about 50% of them said deciding on the “right home to buy” is a major concern for them.

When a consumer sees the breadth and depth of the real estate market data you offer, they will instantly realize, “Wow. This agent has all the answers to the questions I have about this property. I don’t have to go out on the web and dig this stuff up on my own. It’s all right here on their website.”

Data gives agents an edge with social media

Here’s another benefit of using logic to persuade – social media.

In a survey of agents by the National Association of Realtors, about 91% of them said they use social media to promote themselves.

As you can imagine, there’s are a lot of posts flying around out there on Facebook and Twitter.

Sure, people will be interested in new listings.

But they will also be paying attention to any information about the housing market in general.

Which is more persuasive:

“Hey folks, the market is hot right now. Give me a call if you want to grab a house.”

Or, “I just posted the latest Home Sales Data chart on my website. Click here to see charts on the market trends in your neighborhood.”

Logically, the data is going to win out.

Not only that but looking at that chart is going to have a deeper psychological effect on that consumer. Research shows visual images have a bigger impact than verbal cues.

It’s true. Seeing is believing.

People will be more compelled to act after reviewing those charts and data on your website. They may decide to buy that property sooner or choose you as their listing agent quicker.

Your job as a real estate broker or agent is to make a case for buying or listing.

Emotion is important. Enthusiasm about a property can be contagious.

Displaying that emotion with sincerity and effective body language is effective.

But what have you done to support the logical part of your presentation?

This is the era of big data. The mega-real estate websites provide local neighborhood data and school data.

But with Home Junction, any broker or agent can now do the same on their website.

Don’t just take our word for it. Ask Aristotle.

Adding a gigantic warehouse of hyper-local, important real estate market data to your website is going to make you a powerhouse of logical persuasion.

 

 

 

 

School Data API Helps Sellers Justify Higher Prices

school data apiUsing a School Data API is frankly one of the quickest and easiest ways to defend home prices.

First of all, where kids go to school is a hot button with home buyers. It’s near the top of the list of their concerns. It’s emotional. It’s a major cause of concern and worry.

Secondly, data shows that people are willing to pay more for homes in top school districts.

In fact, according to one study, more than 50% of home buyers said they would be willing to spend over their budget to get in a house with great schools.

Breaking those numbers down even further, 9% said they would they would be willing to go from 11% to 20% over budget and 21% said they would go from 6% to 10% over.

What would those surveyed give up for a great school district?

About 60% would skip a pool and 44% would forego an extra room in the house.

It’s obvious, the quality of schools is a powerful, persuasive asset when it comes to home seekers.

School Data API provides instant school data expertise

So how do you as a real estate professional address this concern?

How do you as an agent in a crowded field of other agents, persuade a seller that you are the best choice for them to emphasize this school district selling point?

There’s a very simple answer.

Add a School Data API to your website.

Data aggregators and software developers such as Home Junction use “big data” technology to create national school databases that have just about everything a home buyer would need to answer their questions about schools in a particular area.

The beauty of a School Data API is that the agent does not have to go out and dig up this local school information on their own.

Who’s got time for that?

Secondly, even if you did find your local school data, how are you going to keep it updated and current?

Third, and this is a critical point, there are websites that already exist that are sources of hyper-local school data. But why would you want to send home buying prospects to other people’s websites? You risk losing them to other agents or national mega-lead generation websites.

Heck no.

Simply add a School Data API to your website by inserting a few lines of code (Home Junction will assist you) and make your website the local resource on school data.

All relevant school data on agent’s website

This is what that School Data API will be able to show:

– location of the school

– location of the school relevant to the location of a property pulled from the local MLS listings

– school district boundaries

– school attendance zones (this is supercritical)

– school attendance zones outlined geo-spatially on a map in relation to property addresses

– school enrollment figures

– school rankings

– student demographics

– student/teacher ratios

– dollars spent per student

– name of the school’s current principal

– private and public schools

– the religious denomination of private schools

– school website address

And more.

Now that’s a local school database.

Imagine approaching a seller and telling them, “Look. I know your home is located in a desirable school district. But I’m not going to just tell home buyers, ‘By the way, schools are great here.'”

At that point, pull up an example of the massive amount of data supplied by the Home Junction API.

“No, Mr. and Mrs. Home Seller, I am going to show that home buyer this huge amount of key school data, to drive the point home about why their children should attend this school. And that’s why they might have to pay slightly more for a home in this district.”

Everybody knows home prices in northern California, particularly the San Francisco area are high, practically insane.

Well, guess what? A recent article in the San Francisco Chronicle pointed out that many families were willing to pay $200,000 more for homes that were in popular school districts.

That just goes to show the power of schools.

That also illustrates the power your School Data API can have on how you attract home sellers and buyers.

Use School Data API as source for social media posts

Think of the many opportunities you can create to promote the fact that your website offers this hyper-local school data.

Nearly 91% of agents say they post on social media.

With your ability to tap into Home Junction’s national school database, you have something of value to post.

With your School Data API, you have a wealth of critical school data to draw upon for interesting content.

For example, say you are farming a certain neighborhood or subdivision.

Post a notice on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram about this school data you now have available on your website.

Pull out little snippets of school data from time to time.

Say, for example, the school’s ranking changes. Or the student/teacher ratio gets smaller. Maybe there’s a new principal.

Keep pushing this school data out on social media. You will establish in the minds of your audience that you are the go-to source for local school information.

Use this data in your email blasts as well.

Test various phrases for the subject line.

For example, “Click here for latest update on school data for Got To Be There Middle School.”

That will catch the attention of parents. Not only potential home buyers, but also people who are thinking about putting their homes on the market.

You can accomplish this all with an embedded school data widget.

(By the way, Home Junction also offers a wealth of other real estate market data such as Recent Home Sales, Market Trends, Demographics, Boundaries, Cost of Living Data, Crime Data, etc. There’s also a geo-spatial component that puts all this data together on a map. For example, the map can show school district boundaries for homes for sales from a local MLS database. And Home Junction has an IDX to tap into MLS databases as well).

This is the digital age. The age of “big data” technology.

Computers now have the ability to tap into a huge national school database.

All you need to do is add this simple School Data API to provide that school data on your website.

 

 

 

Why Add A Real Estate Data API To Your Technology Budget

real estate data api

When brokers and agents figure their budgets for technology, are they dedicating anything to one of the most important tools they can use – a real estate data API.

“A what?” some agents might ask.

Let’s face it. This is the technological age. Yet, according to a survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors in 2012 on what people spend on technology, the investment seems relatively minor.

The survey found on average, agents spent $848 in the last 12 months on technology. Sounds somewhat impressive. But that doesn’t even cover the cost of the new iPhone.

Brokers spent $1,410. Not much more. That’s maybe two laptops.

Again, this is the tech age. A time of incredible advances in how agents can reach out to consumers – smartphones, tablets, websites, email, social media.

Used to be an agent made a point every few years to spend money on a nice car to drive prospects around.

Now it’s a smartphone or a tablet.

And, unfortunately, a person needs to keep those devices up-to-date.

Every year, new gizmos and gadgets are introduced with faster web access, better screen resolution, incredible photographic capabilities and a new slew of bells and whistles.

All the features you believe make you a better real estate agent. (And come on. Admit it. Most of the time your current device is operating just fine. But you just have to have that new Google Pixel with the cool portrait mode like they show on TV).

Include real estate data API on tech wish list

These new inventions are wonderful.

But every broker and agent should be asking themselves this question as well: What about the content you are displaying and promoting on these devices?

What are you investing in that?

How are you using the latest technology to upgrade information on your website?

What are you doing, tech-wise, to improve the way you appear as a resource to home buyers and sellers?

Because the other amazing technology that’s related to the real estate business is the aggregation of hyper-local information.

Remember the days when it took five IBM computers to hold one gigabyte of data?

With advances in big data technology, a single agent is now able to tap into a gigantic warehouse of terabytes of hyper-local data about their market area.

And display this incredible wealth of information on their website with a simple real estate data API (Applied Programming Interface).

The great thing is, companies such as Home Junction, do the coding to develop a real estate market API. Not the brokers or agents.

All they have to do is to integrate this coding into their website.

And then the magic begins.

A huge database of relevant info for home buyers

That single agent can offer:

  • School information such as student/teacher ratios and demographics of the student body
  • Recent property sales data – including trend charts
  • Boundary information – showing school attendance zones, city and county borders (which is critical for taxes) etc.
  • Local business information – integrated with geo-spatial data showing the distance of these businesses from certain properties
  • Demographics – age, education, income
  • Crime statistics
  • and more.

That data can be parsed by counties, cities, zip codes and even down to the neighborhood or subdivision level.

So, with your new devices, you can send out a quick note on Twitter from your Samsung Galaxy 9. Or add a post on Facebook while sitting on your couch with your iPad.

But according to the same survey, 9 out of 10 real estate agents are also doing the same thing.

The big question is, what unique and informative item are you posting on social media?

Again, investing in information, like a real estate market API, has a huge payoff.

Think of the power of sending out a post announcing the latest data on property sales in the county. Or in a neighborhood you happen to be farming.

Think of the power of sending out a link with a chart on local home pricing trends.

Same goes with email.

Brokers and agents go through a lot if trouble enticing consumers to sign up for email, knowing some of them will eventually turn into buyers or sellers.

But what are you going to send them via email to catch their attention?

With a real estate market data API, you have a wealth of ideas to draw upon for social media posts and email blasts.

What you don’t want to do, is point out valuable real estate market data that sends a prospect to somebody’s else’s website, even if it is not an agent.

Put that information on your own website with your own real estate data API.

Sure, investing in the latest shiny new device is practical, and frankly, exciting.

But be sure to set aside a budget to upgrade your position as a resource for real estate market data.

Because in that same survey, brokers and agents noted they “Value tools that make them look technologically savvy to their clients.”

Consumers don’t care about how you reach them. They care about what you are providing for them.

When a mother seeks information about the latest schools her children will attend, she doesn’t give a hoot if you provide that data from an iPad or an Android. She just wants the data.

So what’s your investment in big data technology?

Now is the point in time to add a real estate market API to your technology budget.

Secure Your Real Estate Website Using SSL

Over the past few years there has been a considerable push on the web to get all website traffic encrypted. You may have heard of HTTPS vs. HTTP or SSL vs. non-SSL. Or maybe someone told you that your website needs to be secure. But what does all of this mean for your Real Estate website and what can you do about it? We’ll cover some of the basics to help you better understand the important details of securing your website and how to go about making it happen.

You need to have a secure website. A secure website encrypts the information being passed between your users and the website itself. This helps prevent hacking, fraud and other issues caused by “the bad people”. The web browsers themselves are pushing for websites to be encrypted. Chrome is now informing users when a website is not encrypted by labeling websites as such in an effort to encourage website owners to upgrade.

Search engines are also starting to favor websites using HTTPS in their search results and this trend will grow in the coming months.

How to Encrypt Your Real Estate Website

There are many options for getting your website on HTTPS and the first place to start is your website hosting provider. SSL certificates are installed on the server hosting your website so you’ll need to contact the host or company in charge of your website to help you get started. Sometimes your host will have free SSL encryption options available but many times you’ll need to pay for a certificate. The cost of certificates varies but the average website certificate costs between $29 – $99 per year. Each year you may need to renew and have a new certificate re-installed so be sure to ask about how renewals work when talking to your provider.

Home Junction Makes It Easy!

If you have a Real Estate website powered by Home Junction, you may already have an SSL certificate. Most new websites we sell include an SSL certificate and encryption free of charge automatically. You don’t need to do anything and when we launch your site it will be encrypted free of charge.

If you’ve been a customer for a while your website may or may not already be encrypted. If you visit your website and you see a green “Secure | https://” at the beginning of the address bar, it’s already encrypted. If not, rest assured that you’re probably on our list of websites that needs to be upgraded automatically in the coming months. There are a few older websites which cannot be upgraded to SSL due to platform limitations. If you aren’t sure if your website supports SSL and don’t see the “Secure” message in your browser’s address bar, please contact support today to ask about upgrading.

Real Estate Market Data Is One Way To Overcome Frustration With Lead Generation

real estate market dataReal estate market data can be a critical factor in determining the number of leads an agent can capture with their website.

This is important for several reasons.

For one, the lack of leads is a major source of disappointment for many agents.

According to a survey of real estate agents conducted by the National Association of Realtors, 72% reported they were unhappy with the number of leads their websites were generating. That’s horrendous.

For brokers, only 36% were satisfied with the number of leads. Again, a horrible number.

Another question was posed to brokers and agents. How would you rate the return on investment on your website?

Only 12% said “Excellent” and only 25% said “Good.” Not an admirable percentage at all.

It’s apparent. Agents are not getting the leads they need.

That’s understandable. For anybody in sales, you can almost never have enough leads. Because that’s what fills up your bank account.

Naturally, everybody in real estate who sells something wants more leads from the agent to the mortgage broker to the moving company to the remodeling company.

But an important factor to consider is that the landscape real estate lead generation has changed over the years.

Real estate market data necessary for agents serious about leads

As a real estate broker or agent, what changes have you made?

Take real estate market data for example.

There have been incredible advances made in data aggregation, or “Big Data” in the past decades.

For one, data storage continues to drop in price and increase in capabilities.

Used to be one gigabyte of data storage was a big deal.

Now you can get 64 gigs of storage on your smartphone.

Today, people talk in terms of terabytes – the ability to store…of data, like it’s nothing.

Secondly, the ability to not only gather “big data,” but to transmit it has grown tremendously.

Remember the old days of the squeaking AOL modems hooked into a landline phone? In those days, you were lucky to be able to transmit a photo without waiting at least 10 minutes.

Today, everybody is hooked into the high-speed internet. That’s a big pipeline to transmit all that big data.

Here’s the bottom line.

Sure, brokers and agents are frustrated with the number of lead their websites are generating.

But what have they done to make their websites more in tune with the times?

For example, taking a step to tap into these massive big data pipelines of real estate market data.

Data aggregators such as Home Junction have made it incredibly simple for brokers and agents to beef up their websites with all sorts of hyper-local information.

  • Property sales data
  • Market trend data
  • School information
  • Population demographics
  • Crime statistics
  • Local business listings
  • Home value estimations
  • Market comparisons

Home Junction has created an API that basically enables a broker or agent to embed some simple coding into their website and then pull in the data they want, customized to the markets or neighborhoods they are targeting.

Here’s the key point. If you want to attract more leads, you need to provide the type of information that attracts consumers.

Consumers constantly search for property data

Brokers and agents today should have the mindset that they are more than sales agents.

They should adopt the persona of being information resources.

Because, after all, that’s what consumers want.

Somebody who can answer their questions. And there are a lot of questions.

Consumers today know, this data is out there and available.

So, are you going to be the place they turn to?

And not with some anecdotal responses such as, “This area has great schools.”

Instead, the real pro will answer that question by pointing to an area on their website filled with local data on the middle school their children would be attending.

For example:

  • Number of students enrolled in the school
  • Student/teacher ratios
  • Demographics
  • Contacts at the school
  • And much more.

Now, think about the lead generation possibilities with this real estate market data tailored to any local neighborhood.

Consumers want information about schools, market trends, property prices, etc.

Do you have these answers on your website?

That’s what real estate market data from providers such as Home Junction will provide.

Need to know what your home is worth? They can also supply an agent with a Home Value Estimator tool (just like the mega-sites).

Curious about how this neighborhood compares to another neighborhood?

Here’s some real estate market data that helps you gauge one community over another.

Want to know if a particular area is safe for your family?

Here are the local crime statistics.

Enticing people to visit your website with this data, is the same as promoting an open house and putting up signs and ads inviting people to attend.

When consumers come to your website seeking answers to their questions, are you taking the opportunity to ask them for their contact information?

Home Junction also offers real estate WordPress themes that are built to help you maximize the way you capture leads.

Get an edge in social media

Here’s another key development regarding real estate lead marketing that has taken place in the last decade – social media.

What a great way to reach out to buyers and sellers.

It’s all free!

There’s are plenty free channels:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • And more

What a fantastic tool for agents!

The problem is, according to that NAR survey, 91% of agents are engaged in marketing on social media.

That’s nearly 100%. Nearly every agent out there is also using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest to reach out to buyers and sellers.

How are you going to stand out in this sea of agents on social media?

By offering consumers answers to their questions with real estate market data on your website.

Take this scenario. Which post on Facebook is going to generate more leads?

“Hey, buy a house from me.”

Or:

“Thought you might be interested in the latest data on trends in home prices in ABC neighborhood.”

Same goes for email marketing. Email is a fantastic way to reach out to prospects with the click of a mouse.

Certainly beats designing a mail piece, going to the printer, waiting for the printer, picking up the mail piece, taking it to the post office and waiting for the postal worker to deliver your message.

The thing is, like social media, you are not the only one using email marketing.

Consumers today are bombarded by emails. They get tempted to subscribe to them by some special offer. And then their inboxes become cluttered with an endless stream of pitches.

It’s a battle to get your message to stand out above the others.

Actually a two-part battle.

One, you want a consumer to get enticed by the subject line so they open your email and not just skip over it.

Secondly, you want them to be persuaded by the content in the email so they click on a link back to your website.

The “buy a home from me” approach is not going to cut it.

The subject line with “See these charts on the rise of property prices in __________ town” will catch their attention.

With the internet, the way a consumer can reach out to an agent is incredible. They can fill out a contact form that will be sent to an agent at any time of the day or night, regardless if the agent is in their office or sitting on a chair at the beach.

But persuading a consumer to fill out that contact form, amidst all the clutter and noise out there, is far from easy.

That’s why you need the tools of the 21st century, like real estate market data, to optimize your efforts when it comes to lead generation. Don’t get frustrated. Get busy.

 

 

 

 

 

Real Estate Market Data Is An Effective Way For Brokers To Dazzle Top Talent

real estate market data

Real estate market data plug-ins are a a sure-fire way to impress and entice agents you might want to bring into your brokerage.

Why? Because in this digital day and age, providing advanced online assets is a surefire way to win the talent game.

We’re not just telling you this. Agents are saying this.

According to a survey by the National Association of Realtors, a number of agents were asked this question: Do you want your broker to expand the amount of technology they offer you?

A whopping 45% said yes. About 24% said no. Another 32% said they had no opinion which probably means they don’t really know how technological advancements can make them more effective.

Some of the hi-tech those agents wanted were CRM databases, better computers, faster internet, more professional websites, etc.

Here’s one key item they also requested: cutting edge technology.

The ability to offer real estate market data is empowering

The savvy broker will know this request doesn’t just mean providing an agent with a clunky new desktop computer.

Sure, there are plenty of devices out there that can make an agent more productive.

And just like other business, that technology can give a brokerage firm an edge in the marketplace – not just with attracting agents – but also giving agents the means to generate more listings and buyers.

Agents can now show homes on their iPads. Drones can shoot aerial photos of properties from overhead. Listings can be updated by an agent sitting in a car with a smartphone.

But there’s more to real estate technology than just fancy gadgets.

There’s also the ability to disseminate massive amounts of data.

With advances in “Big data” technology, real estate market data providers such as Home Junction have the capabilities to aggregate an incredible amount of local information from sources all over the country.

They can gather school information, property sales data, the location of boundaries, geo-spatial distances between properties and key amenities in a community, demographic information, cost of living indices, crime statistics and much more.

Not only can companies like Home Junction harvest and store this data, with just a few lines of code, they can also feed this valuable information to a brokerage firm. And they can cater that feed to just their local marketplace.

That real estate market data can be broken into small datasets not just on a county level, but on a city level, by zip code and more incredibly, by individual neighborhoods and subdivisions.

Use data to attract agents

So imagine a broker is talking to an agent about joining their firm.

Imagine if that agent says they have developed quite a few contacts and knowledge about “Most Desirable Community.”

Now imagine a broker saying, “This is how we are going to support you. We are going to provide a feed on our website for consumers with the following information:

  • School demographics
  • Boundaries for taxes, school attendance, etc.
  • Demographics for that area – ages, income, education of residents there
  • Cost of living indices – how this area compares to other areas for prices of goods, etc.
  • Crime statistics
  • Recent property sales data – charts and graphs on home sales, prices, etc.
  • Business data – the type of businesses, eg, coffee shops, yoga studios, grocery stores in that marketplace
  • And much more.”

Then the broker can throw in these juicy nuggets:

  1. a) We’ll tie all of this data into a map, using our geo-spatial plug-in. That plug-in will be integrated with the local MLS listings so you can show buyers (and sellers) where a certain home is located (by a distance calculator) in relation to key amenities such as schools, roads, train stations, etc.
  2. b) We also have a Home Value Estimator tool that can be promoted for certain communities so that potential sellers can regularly check estimates on the potential price of their home and eventually become listings.

How’s that for technological support?

This is the type of “cutting edge technology” these agents are requesting.

Certainly more impressive than a $200 tablet.

It’s a tough world out there.

Businesses are demanding more from their employees than ever before.

But a business also needs to equip their employees (or agents) with the most advanced tools in the marketplace to be competitive.

It’s not just the old days of burning up shoe leather. It’s a new age of marketing through entities such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

This is an era when prospects can be reached instantaneously by email instead of snail mail.

The challenge is, everybody can have access to these consumer channels.

Arm your agents with valuable, relevant, hyper-local content so they have something to promote.

Give them the edge they need to succeed.

Because when they are successful, other agents will notice,

And that’s how you can use real estate market data technology to attract (and retain) the best talent in the marketplace.

 

 

How Real Estate WordPress Themes Can Help You With Organic Versus Paid Rankings

real estate wordpress themesWhen it comes to appearing on the front page of Google (or Bing) the value of real estate WordPress themes is critical.

Here are the strategies to consider.

Some people may scoff at the value of ranking naturally on Google when a home buyer conducts a search (referred to as Organic Listings).

They might say, “Oh, that’s no big deal. I can just pay a few dollars for pay per click advertising and make my way right up to page one, no problem.”

Yet, there are issues with that way of thinking.

For one, a real estate broker or agent has to pay for that click. And as most people are finding out when buying the most desirable keywords, eg “homes for sale in (your town),” those clicks ain’t cheap.

This is why Google is a bazillion-dollar company that has literally ripped ad dollars right out of the pockets of all those local newspapers that used to dominate real estate marketing for so long.

In fact, according to a survey by the National Association of Realtors, only 1% of homeowners look at newspapers for properties. More than 50% look to the Internet and as know, about 90% of them use search.

And as you know, nowadays they can look at Google from their smartphone, their iPhone, their tablet, their laptop and even their watch.

Folks, this is where the action is. This is the battlefield for all those consumers. This is where the fish are swimming.

So how are you taking participating in this arena?

Pay per click ads? Sure, they work. They can also get you to the front page of Google the next day.

However, you seriously should consider a strategy to increase your organic rankings as well.

Why? Because research has shown that organic rankings deliver solid results.

In one study, it was shown that organic results were more than eight times more likely to be clicked than pay per click ads.

There are two reasons for this.

  1. Credibility – Google ranks a website based on a number of factors. Those factors include content, site speed, links to the site, relevance, etc. So when a real estate broker ranks high on Page One for certain search terms, many consumers know that this company must be a reliable source of the answers they are querying about.

That high ranking is a seal of approval from Google.

(To be real, Google’s search algorithms are not 100% reliable. That’s why many times you will see some dumb results for certain searches. In addition, there are still a bunch of what are referred to as “black hat” practitioners who try to manipulate rankings using strategies that Google has deemed to be in violation of their terms. Generally, those people make it to Page One rather quickly, but they generally don’t stay there. Google literally has an army of programmers sniffing out sites that try to game the system illegitimately).

  1. Consumers Now Know the Difference Between Organic and PPC – one issue in the early days of the web, including Google’s early days, was that it was difficult to determine which websites showed up in the natural organic rankings and which websites showed up based on the dollars they were paying per click.

Many a consumer dug into the rabbit hole of a pay per click advertisement thinking it was a natural ranking, only to find out the website was sketchy and trying all sorts of ways to manipulate them, like trying to capture their contact information for example. Many lead generation sites, that don’t actually offer a product or service but sell lead information, practice this strategy.

Google’s motto is “Do No Harm.” So they have gotten better at identifying their paid listings as paid. This is admirable since they are a public company beholden to shareholders.

In addition, consumers over the years have gotten better at identifying which listings are organically ranked and which ones are advertisements.

Here’s the point. Every real estate broker and agent should have some sort of organic strategy. That’s where a lot of the treasure is buried.

Real estate WordPress themes give you an edge

In this day and age, if you are going to be serious about organic rankings, you really should have a web platform that is one of the most popular and effective platforms for Google rankings.

That platform is WordPress.

WordPress was started as a simple way for bloggers to blog, and get their blogs to appear for web searches. It became so popular in fact, that the developers of WordPress created a version for business websites.

This is how the marketplace reacted. Just like everybody and their brother started working on apps once the iPhone was released, much of the same happened to WordPress.

Unlike the iPhone, WordPress is an open platform. That means developers are free to develop products for this platform. And they did. There are now thousands of themes and plugins for business people to choose from.

Many of them are excellent and can help you create a fantastic site without any custom coding and long time delays. But some are schlocky and poorly coded.

Home Junction is one of the reliable developers of real estate WordPress themes. The company didn’t start overnight and has a long track record of developing websites specifically for Realtors.

Brokers and agents can choose from real estate WordPress themes that really make home photos pop and provide easy navigation for visitors to find the information they want.

In addition, Home Junction has developed a slate of real estate-related plugins that can equip an agent with an incredible array of real estate market data, maps, home sale charts, boundaries and other features, all integrated into an MLS listing with their proprietary IDX applications.

WordPress coding is Google-friendly

Which brings us back to organic listings on Google.

If you are going to be serious about organic rankings, get out of that clunky old website.

Get into a website with the most user-friendly, search engine friendly design that makes it easy for a broker or agent to add keywords and content that they want to rank for on Google.

Sure, we get it. Perhaps you will never be able to rank in the top three for this keyword phrase “homes for sale in (my market).”

But with real estate WordPress themes, you have the ability to try different ranking strategies. With the right mix of keywords and content, perhaps you can rank in the top three spaces for “homes for sale in XYZ subdivision” which you are farming.

Or “equestrian homes for sales in (my market).”

The volume of search for those keywords might not be that high. But luckily, you are not selling wind chimes to these web searchers, you are selling homes in the range of $500,000 plus or minus. Just a few inquiries every month can yield incredibly big results.

We’re not dissing pay per click. Go ahead and buy that keyword phrase “equestrian homes for sale in (my market).”

But studies show you will do better with organic.

So don’t ignore organic, embrace it. In some form.

You can easily be on your way with one of the most Google-optimized content management systems in the world. With a site created specifically for marketing properties – a real estate WordPress themes from Home Junction.