Neighborhood Amenities Map Shows More Ways A Home Is A Good Investment

neighborhood amenities map There’s more to a home than bedrooms and baths and a neighborhood amenities map can point out the extra value.

In every neighborhood, there are always at least a couple houses with bonus features that could be a great asset, but only if the value was uncovered correctly.

When a client is looking to invest in a property, their first instinct may be to look for the cheapest, or most basic house they can find in an area.

But an agent can use a neighborhood amenities map and local real estate data to show them sales and pricing trends which reflect the fact that certain features just make better selling points.

Here are some examples.

Neighborhood amenities map adds extra value

A new home owner who works in town may not care about commuting to a big metro area. But a potential buyer later on sure might.

More and more people, especially Millennials, are seeking employment in urban areas. Commuting will be a big factor for them.

Looking for a home that is within a short driving distance to the major city areas, or close to public transit can turn into major dollars later.

With your local real estate data tools and geocoded map software, show your client the difference in sale prices between a house near the city or bus stop, and a house further out of the way or out in the suburbs.

Real estate market data points out position in marketplace

A single person might not need a 2,000 square foot home, or a statuesque multi-story home. Not only would it be too much extra space, but the excess number of rooms also requires heating, cooling, maintenance, and dusting.

However, your real estate data tools will uncover the number of families moving into the neighborhood who would be excited to find a great property with enough room to grow.

Depending on where you are, you may also be able to show a growing population of retiring “baby boomers” who will pay top dollar for a single-story house that they can get around easily. Check the neighborhood demographics. Perhaps this is an area that attracts older residents.

Middle-aged home buyers might also be more comfortable knowing there are people their own age in the community.

A home value tool can also point out how a home is positioned in the market in terms of Size, Age, Price per Square Foot and Price. Maybe an owner with a big home that is relatively new should be looking at asking for a higher price. Words every seller loves to hear.

School data can do the selling for you

It would be impossible to talk about features that make good real estate investments without mentioning highly-rated schools.

Even if the buyers don’t have school age children, there are advantages to showing them the advantages of being located near a top-notch school.

Properties in the best school zones are hot commodities, as research shows parents moving into the area will pay top dollar to get their kids near their best chance at a good education.

Your local real estate boundary tools will show those important school attendance zones pointing out the schools that children will be attending.

Perhaps the school is average. It’s always possible with a change in principals or other personnel that it could be a hot school in the future.

Either way, being located near a school is huge. Parents will pay as much as 20% more to be located near one.

Point them out on your neighborhood amenities map.

Opportunities near desirable neighborhoods

While some buyers  may automatically pass up listings in a hot neighborhood due to pricing, your real estate data tools may be able to show a property in the area nearby that needs some work – and provide an estimate of how a renovated home may reach the price range of other homes and be a nice increase in value.

Some buyers who are looking in the trendier neighborhoods aren’t the DIY type, leaving a potential gold mine sitting on the market waiting for a handy home owner to see all of its possibilities.

According to some, building unique features into a home isn’t a great idea because not everyone will be interested in a home theater, six-car garage, pool, or pizza oven.

However, your real estate data tools will show the higher price range of homes with a little something extra. An investor, who is willing to wait a little longer for the perfect buyer to fall in love, could potentially see a big profit!

Everyone has a different opinion when it comes to good neighborhoods, good schools, and desirable home amenities.

But with your neighborhood amenities map and real estate market data, you can point out some very appealing opportunities to potential buyers.

 

 

Home Sales Data By Zip Code Can Act As A Mental Trigger With Home Shoppers And Sellers

home sales data by zip code

Homes sales data by zip code can provide brokers and agents with information that can be just the spark to get a potential home buyer or seller to act.

As every agent knows, buying or selling a home is a major, mind-wrenching decision for the average person.

Their faculties get pulled in all directions by national news, emotions, uncertainty, input from family members and a number of other persuasive factors.

With all that noise going through their heads, real hyper-local market data can bring them back to earth and give them a solid overview of properties in their town.

Part of that package is Home Sales Data by Zip Code, even down to the Neighborhood Level, that can really help consumers feel confident in their choices.

Because those facts have impact.

Home Sales Data by Zip Code can create impetus

Marketers have known for years there are certain psychological behaviors that can be prompted by outside stimuli, or what they refer to as “triggers.”

A simple example would be someone who is hungry and driving down the road when they see a McDonald’s truck drive by with a picture of a Big Mac on the side. That image might trigger them to pull into the next McDonald’s they see.

That’s an easy example. But here are a few more sophisticated triggers and how using home sales data by zip code and neighborhoods can get people to purchase something a little big larger than a hamburger.

Take the concept called “Fear of Losing Out.”

Humans are basically hard-wired for “loss aversion.” We are more afraid of losing something rather than taking an risk and benefiting from a potential gain. This is why many people, especially young people, tend to under-invest because they are afraid of losing what they have.

Conversely, people also are concerned about missing out on something beneficial as well.

Say for example you provide home sales data by zip code on your website. The agent can send updates to potential buyers letting them know that home sales are increasing in a particular neighborhood they are interested in.

If they really want to be in that neighborhood, perhaps its time to get serious about making an offer. All the available inventory will soon be gone. In other words, they will miss out.

For home owners who are thinking about selling, when they see real estate market data showing how many of their neighbors are selling their homes, that might prompt them to finally give you that listing.

If Neighbor Jane just sold her home for a nice price, Home Owner Joe certainly doesn’t want to miss out on that heated demand for homes on his street.

Many agents do this now with letters. However, what about sending out graphs, charts and maps showing a bunch of neighbors who have just sold their homes in the area, along with charts showing a spike in home sales.

Geocodes can point out amenities next to listings

An agent can also use local amenities in regard to the concept of missing out.

For example, use geocodes, the location software that integrates a map with MLS listings. With that powerful tool an agent can point out how a home has just become available across the street from a:

a) beautiful Park

b) Whole Foods Store

c) popular Golf Course.

If the potential buyer doesn’t grab that home right away, someone else will.

The same effect can be created when you use home sales data by zip code and neighborhoods to point out trends in prices.

Displaying pricing data in a visual chart is a compelling way to accomplish this.

Visual images are effective. They get right to the point. All a home shopper or seller has to see is a trend line indicating prices are steadily rising in that neighborhood and they get the point.

Time to buy/sell.

For the home shopper, they could miss out on lower prices today.

For the home seller, they could miss out on getting that high price for their property today.

Fear of missing out is a very potent persuader.

The power of other people

Another convincing trigger is the concept of “social proof.”

This is where people make decisions based on what other people are doing.

If a bunch of consumers are buying X product and then telling their friends about it, it must be a good product. If a local restaurant is always packed, consumers assume this must be a great place to eat. If readers see a museum has received a ton of positive reviews on Yelp, then that must be a quality place to visit.

An agent can use home sales data by zip code and neighborhoods for this technique as well.

With home sales and price trends the social proof is very obvious. (But it still might be smart to point this out to a prospect so it resonates with them).

If home sales in a particular neighborhood are trending upward, that’s obviously proof that other consumers out there see the value of buying there.

We’re not talking about the latest Air Jordan sneakers either.

These consumers have obviously made a HUGE commitment by putting down a deposit of thousands of dollars and obtaining a mortgage for hundreds of thousands of dollars. That’s certainly proof.

Obviously, the same effect applies to trends in home prices.

If their fellow home shoppers are willing to pay higher prices for homes in one neighborhood, other home shoppers are going to pay attention.

Sellers too.

Hyper-local data shows the true the agent with local knowledge

Another benefit to agents from providing all that home sales data by zip code, etc. would be potential testimonials.

When you sit down with a home shopper and show them in-depth, hyper-local market data, they are going to be impressed.

After they make the decision to purchase and move into the home, ask them for that testimonial. (And referrals).

Same with a listing presentation. When a home owner sees you used your real estate market data to help them understand market conditions and price their home correctly, they will be appreciative. Get that testimonial.

There’s your social proof. Rather than just hearing an agent tell them how great they are, when future home buyers and sellers see testimonials from other consumers, that’s also convincing.

Agents all know the value of referrals.

Adding this home sales data by zip code is just one more factor that can help paint that picture in the mind of shoppers and sellers that this agent is really on the ball.

Consumers today are very savvy. They can find answers to their questions with a few clicks. Hype doesn’t cut it.

But real facts do.

We’re obviously not suggesting you use the concept of “fear of losing out” to scare a shopper into buying a home or an owner to list.

Or to aggressively push a consumer into taking action because all these other consumers are making moves.

If you have the right tools, such as multiple segments of real estate market data, those triggers will happen on their own.

That’s human nature. You are just supplying  the right context for these mental triggers to go into effect.

Bottom line, let home sales data by zip code and neighborhood do the persuading for you.

 

 

Property Data API Can Address The Renting Is Better Than Buying Mindset

housing data apiA Property Data API is a powerful tool for clearing up misconceptions formed by information based on national markets and headlines.

Homes prices are going up, people are worrying about a correction and that is sending many people to the rental office.

There has been some buzz in the real estate world about a recent Freddie Mac survey, which showed that 78% of respondents believe that renting is a more affordable housing option than buying.

Additionally, in a 4% increase since the beginning of the year, 58% of renters who responded indicated that they have no plans to purchase a house.

While this information could certainly indicate a trend that is a bit disturbing to a real estate agent, there’s a little more to the situation than a headline can convey.

And as we know, markets differ. What’s taking place in Des Moines is not necessarily the same as Fort Lauderdale. And certainly no market is like San Francisco.

That’s why a Property Data API is a powerful tool to counter the rental mentality.

There are effective ways to use this tool to talk to clients about their options.

After the recession, we saw a huge increase in the demand for rental housing. Young people faced difficulties purchasing property due to low wages and tight credit. Families lost their houses due to foreclosure.

Rent prices soared in many areas throughout the country. For-sale home pricing dropped dramatically.

A large number of people, especially Millennials, lived through that time. Understandably, it might be making them skittish today as home prices shoot upward again.

Home purchase prices nationally are rising quicker than both wages and inflation. This trend, combined with higher mortgage rates, is currently making it a bit more expensive for individuals to purchase new homes and can be making many clients shy away from getting out of a rental situation.

But Freddie Mac president David Brickman has stated that while buying is difficult for many right now, even renting is pretty hard to afford these days.

Property Data API supplies facts about local markets

What’s a person to do?

First of all, it would be helpful for an agent to supply consumers with facts. The key here is local facts. Hyper-local facts.

And the key to local facts, is to have home sales data for individual markets, not only home sale values by zip code, but neighborhoods and subdivisions as well.

For example, a potential home buyer might be worried about buying a home in a certain area.

With your Property Data API, you can show that buyer a few local facts.

Perhaps home sales are rising. That’s an indication that other people are still buying in that neighborhood.

Social proof is a powerful persuader.

Showing rising home sales in a market is about the best testimonial you can get.  Better than word of mouth. Call it “Word of Wallet.” That data shows people are still plunking down money to purchase a home.

Conversely, if home sales are flat, then perhaps, the buyer can see that in this particular neighborhood, they can still find a decent home at a decent price.

Run a comparison on monthly mortgage payments compared to monthly rental payments and perhaps that consumer will be convinced they would rather own their home place instead.

Same goes for prices. With a Property Data API an agent can show trends in home prices.

If prices are going up, perhaps that’s an indication that a consumer better make a move sooner than later. If that trend continues, that home should be worth more in the future.

Again, if in that particular market prices are flat, then the home buyer can see there is still an opportunity to get into a home without paying an inflated price.

Each market will be different. Each market will have its own characteristics.

Show how amenities add value

With other data an agent can also point out other characteristics that support buying that particular home as a sound investment decision.

Use school data to show how great the schools are down the street.

Add a geo-coded plug-in to integrate listings with points of interest. Maybe a property is close to a park, which should give it a higher value, say 10% to 20%, than other properties.

Is a Whole Foods going up in the area? Also point that out with your Property Data API. That’s a sure sign that someone believes this is an up and coming area.

There are many programs in existence to help buyers, especially first-time buyers, find a path to home ownership. Not everyone is aware of things like FHA loans, USDA loans, and VA loans.

In addition to these programs offered by the federal government, potential buyers should also be encouraged to do some research into their local city or state programs for housing grants and first-time-buyer programs.

While home ownership does come with some extra work and potential costs compared to renting, point out how that owner will be in possession of a valuable asset which can make a difference in their future.

For example, adding upgrades and improvements can help owners sell later at a profit.

The best way that you can help potential buyers make this decision is to use your local real estate data tools to show property values and house prices in their markets, so they can make an informed decision based on local conditions.

And how they can use those monthly payments toward building owner’s equity rather than filling the landlord’s pockets.

Real estate agents should also take actions to get renters signing up for their online mailing lists. This is a great opportunity to provide them with local market data each week, or month, allowing a renter to jump on a property when they feel comfortable – either when prices stabilize or start to rise and a renter knows they must make a decision.

Buying a home is a scary proposition for many people. Certainly for first-time buyers. But also for veteran home owners as well.

But 2018 is not 2008. Lessons were learned. Safeguards put in place. People can no longer purchase a home with no down payment, no reported income and interest only loans.

A Property Data API, with real estate market data down to the neighborhood level, can present a clearer, rational picture for a specific area a person is considering…and overcome any sort of headline-grabbing hysteria presented on a national level.

 

 

 

 

How A Real Estate API Can Identify Those “Spillover” Neighborhoods Next To Hot Markets

real estate api

A Real Estate API can be an effective tool to take advantage of popular markets and paint a picture why neighborhoods nearby are the “next big thing.”

We all know and love those trendy neighborhoods. That’s the place people covet where the homes are pretty (and usually large), streets are clean, landscaping is immaculate, schools are great and it’s surrounded by chic restaurants and shops.

Residents of that area are fortunate to live there, but unfortunately for brokers and agents farming that area, it’s a challenge.

The inventory of homes for sale in those markets might be extremely low, or even non-existent. And when somebody finally decides to put their property on the market, they may have lost their minds when it comes to pricing.

Real Estate API can spot new hot markets

Fortunately for brokers and agents, there are effective tools, such as a Real Estate API, that can help them create a scenario to promote adjacent neighborhoods as the “next best place” to buy.

A Real Estate API is basically like a door to a giant library of relevant property data – recent home sales, trends in home prices, school information, school attendance zones, boundaries, neighborhood data, crime ratings, demographics, etc.

With a few snippets of code,  that door can reside on an agent’s website. On any page.

Of course, it would be impossibly time-consuming for an agent to amass all this data.

But there are national data aggregators such as Home Junction that gather all this information for you. They filter the information, organize it and segment it by geographic boundaries.

Those boundaries are key.

Because if you are working on “spillover” markets, you want data not just for that zip code, but parsed all the way down to neighborhoods or subdivisions.

When you have that neighborhood-specific data, you can do wonders.

For example, a buyer wants to purchase a home in Trendy Oaks. But as we said, it’s likely there aren’t any homes for sale or the price of that lone home on the market is in the upper stratosphere.

However, with your Real Estate API embedded on your website, a broker or agent can show home shoppers how Next Door Oaks is starting to heat up as a hot neighborhood as well.

With a data feed that display Recent Home Sales in a trending chart, a buyer can easily see how home sales are starting to take off like a rocket.

Another chart can show the same for prices (Better make an offer now!).

School data is a powerful persuader

School data can be another huge factor.

With current School Attendance Zone data, an agent can point out how that neighborhood also qualifies for children living there to attend the same school as Trendy Oaks children.

These zones are critical. And hard to keep up with.

They do change, depending on shifts in student numbers. They can also be different for different grade levels. While the children in one neighborhood can attend a middle school down the street, it’s doesn’t mean they can attend the same high school as the students do next door.

There’s other data as well that can be supplied by a Real Estate API.

Take neighborhood demographics. An agent can use that information to show prospective buyers how the ages, incomes, family sizes, etc. of people in Trendy Oaks matches these neighborhoods next door.

But what’s really cool, is that the average home prices are much less. At least for now.

Hey Mr. and Mrs. Home Shopper, time to make a move.

Use geo-coding to point out signs of gentrification

Other data points for “Places of Interest” can be the proverbial icing on the cake.

Naturally, Whole Foods, Starbucks, Trader Joe’s and all the cool shops and stores are going to want to be located near the hot neighborhoods.

With a geo-coded spatial plug-in, integrated with MLS listings, an agent can show buyers how certain neighborhoods are located relatively close to those trendy retail stores.

Or, they can point out on a map, how some new stores are about to pop up next to new neighborhoods. A sure sign that gentrification is taking place and that area is about to become more popular.

Conversely, a Real Estate API with this massive amount of hyper-local real estate market data can be a very persuasive tool when making a presentation to a potential seller.

This data gives you a powerful story to tell. Distribute all these positive neighborhood attributes out to homeowners on a regular basis via social media, direct mail and even phone calls.

Create top of mind awareness in homeowners that you are the agent with the local knowledge and the local data to back it up.

Perception is not reality. People might want to live in that hot neighborhood and think they’ll just have to wait until something opens up.

But with your Real Estate Data API supplying you with real facts, an agent can point out how there are other similar neighborhoods starting to blossom, and smart buyers will jump on board.

 

WordPress Real Estate Themes Can Help Your Website Stay Mobile-Fast And Google Friendly

wordpress real estate themes mobile

WordPress Real Estate Themes should get a quick look by brokers and agents for one simple reason.

Speed.

On the web, speed sells

For Google, speed is one of the critical factors that they will reward websites with better rankings for real estate related searches.

And where do you need to be speedy? Think mobile devices.

In recent blogs we talked about the big switch to mobile taking place in the webisphere.

According to BrightEdge research from last year, 57% of online traffic now happens on mobile devices – smartphones and tablets.

Only 43% is seen on traditional desktops.

For Realtors, they have to know mobile is big. When people are on the hunt for homes, they check their mobile devices regularly, even dozens of times a day.

Therefore if you want their business, and this is more than half the market, your website had better be mobile-friendly.

The text needs to be readable. Navigation needs to be easy to use. Images load correctly.

Not just on iPhones, but on Android phones. Not just on  cell phones, but on tablets too.

In previous blogs we mentioned this in detail and how WordPress Real Estate Themes are coded to be mobile friendly.

WordPress developers constantly provide updates so the software keeps current with mobile needs.

Therefore, the first goal of every broker and agent is to be sure their website is mobile-ready. If not, consider WordPress Real Estate Themes.

Before we go to the second goal, which is just as important, here’s a number to keep in mind.

That number is 3.

Because here’s the second challenge. Not only do you need a mobile-friendly website, it needs to load quickly.

In fact not just quick, but hyper-fast.

Here’s the reality – Google researchers found that on average a consumer will abandon a mobile page if it doesn’t load in around 3 seconds.

What they also found is that many major websites that you would think would have their mobile-act together, were taking way too long to load.

Google sees from their visitor data that this is how web users are surfing. So Google is putting on a big push for mobile speed and in fact, they are warning major companies they had better get their mobile act together.

For one, Google is rewarding fast mobile websites with higher rankings.

Don’t be deceived into thinking that if your desktop site is fast, your mobile website will also be fast.

These are two different animals and Google is treating them as such. In fact, Google reported in the past two years they have developed separate and specific algorithms just for mobile websites.

As we pointed out, since more traffic is now mobile, you don’t want to be left behind in that race.

Check your mobile website.

Here’s a tool from Google to see if your website is mobile-ready.

https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly

Here’s a tool from Google to check out the Page Speed of your mobile website (and your desktop for that matter).

https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/

WordPress Real Estate Themes can help you be mobile-first

With Google’s new emphasis on mobile-first, it would be wise for brokers and agents to re-evaluate how they are going to keep up with this paradigm shift.

Many of you might think – “Geez, I just got my desktop website where I want it to be and now you tell me I have to focus on mobile.”

Yep. Well, we are not telling you this, Google is. (And most assuredly, so is Bing).

When you re-evaluate your Internet strategies, this might just be the time to take a look at WordPress Real Estate Themes.

The beauty of WordPress is that this platform is the leading content-management software in the world.

Nearly 30% of all business websites now use WordPress.

Secondly, experienced developers such as Home Junction already have pre-coded WordPress Real Estate Themes.

So you don’t have to build a real estate website with photo galleries, lead forms, listing pages, etc. As you may know, building a website from scratch can be costly and usually takes longer than anticipated.

Creating a WordPress real estate website can be done quickly.

WordPress real estate plugins instantly add great features

Next, because WordPress is open-sourced and so popular, there are literally tens of thousands of plug-ins (like Smartphone apps) out there to enhance a website.

Home Junction has developed a whole set of WordPress real estate plug-ins that are geared for home shoppers.

Those plug-ins include feeds for School Data, Recent Property Sales, Home Value Estimators and many others. All specifically made for Realtors.

In this technological era, things change. Fast.

Samsung just introduced a new foldable phone that looks like a regular smartphone…but then can be opened up to display a screen that is tablet size. (If you ever watched “Westworld” on HBO, you had to know these devices were coming).

Consider pre-coded, mobile-ready WordPress Real Estate Themes so you can keep up with these changes in the web world because these changes will be coming at you fast.

 

 

 

 

Real Estate Data API Can Help Save A Sale When A Client Ghosts You

A Real Estate Data API with hyper-local market data can be a lifesaver when it comes to a buyer who gets the jitters and is about to change their mind.

If you’ve been in the real estate business for more than a minute, you’ve probably experienced this situation.

Everything is going great, the buyer loves the house, the seller is motivated, and an offer is ready to be made.

But suddenly, the buyer starts to stall when it comes to providing financial information. Calls and voicemails go unreturned, and you start to wonder if your client has gotten cold feet and the deal is off.

What can you do, as a real estate agent, to help your client stick with a plan or be more decisive?

Real estate data API supplies facts, not feelings

So what are some of the reasons you might stop hearing from a buyer you thought was committed?

The main one is financial issues. All too often, shoppers overestimate their available funding, credit score, and potential loan amounts while making decisions.

They get swept along in the process, and when it comes down to hard numbers, the shock and realization set in. Staring at the total payout for a 30-year mortgage can do that to a person.

In cases like these, the buyer may be embarrassed or afraid to admit to an agent what their real situation is since they have already spent time and effort on them.

If you start to sense that there is insufficient transparency coming from your seller, it could be a sign that the deal isn’t happening.

This could happen regarding any number of issues – from home inspections to leaving their neighbors.

You may also start to notice that they are unenthusiastic about selling, and don’t seem at all happy or excited.

They may drag their feet on cleaning, packing, staging, paperwork, and other things. In this case, there could be an emotional component to their cold feet: a sadness or reluctance to leave their home.

Support your clients with market data

In the case of a financial issue, you can ward off inaction by encouraging buyers to be proactive about their finances before making any serious housing decisions.

Of course, they should get pre-approved for a home loan to find out how much they will have to work with. They should also meet with an adviser to talk about costs of home ownership, property taxes, and down payments, as there are many more costs involved in buying a house besides just the listing price.

As your clients look to you as the expert, you can gently and kindly steer them toward having these things taken into consideration before matching them with the perfect listing.

When working with sellers, your job is to be a good and unbiased listener if they need to process the fact that they will be moving out of their house.

You can provide both a listening ear and accountability at the same time – not to mention help them see all the positives of selling and help them get excited about where they’re going next!

real estate data API

Aside from emotional support, use hard data and facts to keep your clients on their path.

With a Real Estate Data API from national data aggregators such as Home Junction, an agent has the tools to point out the financial advantages of buying and selling.

Perhaps homes sales in their neighborhood are in a high upward swing. Or, show them home sales in neighborhoods next door and how those homeowners are taking advantage of a hot market.

Same goes for pricing activity. Show buyers and sellers the data on your website pointing to increases in home prices. Buyers need to move fast. Owners can cash out at a peak time in the market.

With a home value estimator tool from Home Junction, the buyer or seller can see where a property is positioned in a market based on Sales Price, Square Footage, Age and Price Per Square Foot.

Maybe a buyers is hesitant. Show them how this property is actually priced in the lower 10% for price per square foot and in the upper 30% for square footage.

Hmmm, that house looks much more attractive now, doesn’t it?

Local real estate data mapping tools integrated with an MLS can show them other real reasons why they need to make a decision and stick to it: highly rated schools near the property; shopping, transportation, and golfing nearby. Maybe a train station down the street.

Some clients won’t settle for “just talking” and have to be shown the numbers in order to be impressed!

It’s not just you

If a deal falls through, an agent may be tempted to wonder if they did something wrong.

Chances are they didn’t.

The recent NAR Confidence Survey Index from August shows 76% of contracts settled on time.

The reasons for delays mostly centered on financing (36%), appraisal issues (18%) and home inspections (17%).

Others may have an issue with committing to that mortgage, insurance and property taxes when they had a nice simple monthly rental payment before.

However, instead of building up wealth for their landlord, with your Real Estate Data API you can assure them that investing in a home is a solid financial decision to build their own wealth.

Because here are two other very important points that an agent can illustrate with a Real Estate Data API. Interest rates are a big concern. But those rates have been at historic lows. Waiting for rates to drop might not be a good idea because they could continue to go up. Show current homes prices and what the monthly payments will be for those prices.

Which brings us to the second issue reported by the NAR – low inventory. Show the real estate market data for the neighborhoods you are farming. Perhaps homes sales are dropping because homes for sale are scarce. Another reason for a reluctant buyer to make a move.

Adding this real estate market data and charts to a website alongside home listings, also lets consumers do their own research and convince themselves buying or selling is a smart decision.

Stay proactive by advising buyers to get their finances in order early, and use a local Real Estate Data API to show the financial benefits to help your clients from letting their emotions give them cold feet.

How A Real Estate API Can Keep Your Real Estate Marketing, New, Fresh and Engaging

real estate apiA Real Estate API is a valuable asset when it comes to content for one key reason – freshness.

As a broker and agent, you need a constant stream of new customers. Once your current customers are in their new home or out of their existing home and on their way to a new location, your service is done (until they need the same service a few years later).

Therefore, you need  a constant stream of new customers and new leads.

To attract new customers, you need a constant stream of new information to catch their attention.

You can’t keep up client volume with stale or sporadic marketing techniques – especially when it comes to social media.

So how can you ensure that you are consistently marketing to your target audience with fresh and interesting content?

Real estate APIs addresses the wants of different groups

Finding out exactly the type of information that would spark interest in your clients is the first step before spending time or money on the actual marketing actions.

Some are young families interested in the best schools.

A few are young couples looking for their first home.

Others are investors looking to rehab properties.

Maybe they have specific interests such as golf or hiking or yoga and want to live near those amenities.

When you know who you’re talking to, you can begin to create a list of both original and shared content to distribute in order to attract a specific crowd.

Measure your results

With a Real Estate API, a broker or agent has a wealth of data coming into their website. They don’t have to constantly look for updates on schools. They also don’t need to send prospects to other websites for local real estate market data such as homes sales.

Real estate data aggregators such as Home Junction do all of this work. All you do is add the Real Estate API, which is essentially just a few lines of code embedded into your website.

They can post that data on different pages. Integrate it with MLS listings.

School Data next to properties for sale. Perhaps a separate page on local Market Activity.

The same can be done with social media. Post a link to a chart showing the latest trends in Home Prices.

Definitely use that content to enhance email blasts. Don’t just send listing information. Show how the number of homes sold in on their market has changed.

Compare one market to another to show why now is the time to buy. Or show neighborhood demographics and average home prices.

Keep a close eye on your marketing results. What type of content are people clicking on? Which article resulted in more leads? Or phone calls?

Tracking results will help you see the type of content people want to read. The great advantage a broker or agent has over other businesses, is that just one solid lead can lead to a big commission.

Use local real estate data to generate topics

Whatever your content, it must be fresh and relevant.

By using adding a Real Estate API with hyper-local data, you have instant access to endless content ideas.

Has a popular local school been in the news lately? Share it.

Are home prices in a certain neighborhood skyrocketing? Write a blog about it.

What are the housing trends in your city? Create a social media infographic about them.

This data isn’t just useful for helping clients find what they’re looking for via your website: you can use the data yourself to bring the useful information directly to them via your blog, newsletter, and social media.

And the best part? As this information is always being updated, you’ll never run out of fresh topics to disseminate.

Manage your marketing hours effectively

If you don’t come up with a marketing plan and stick to it, you’ll quickly burn out and feel discouraged by throwing everything you’ve got at the wall and hoping something sticks.

Many top earners balance their time by setting aside one day at the end of the month to plan out and schedule all of their marketing content.

This could include writing blogs, creating social media graphics, and writing newsletters.

Tools such as Facebook, Mailchimp, and HootSuite allow you to schedule these things to go out on the day and time of your choice, freeing up a lot of your time that otherwise might have been spent hunched over the phone or computer.

While you are likely working with a team or under a firm, you should still cultivate your own brand to help you stand out from the pack.

Colors, logos, writing styles, and your own unique voice are all things that can make up your personal brand.

Every piece of information you put out to market your real estate business must be consistent with your brand.

When you create content such as social media graphics, be sure you are using the same fonts, colors, and types of images consistently or your audience will become confused and distrusting.

You don’t have to rely on Facebook and mass postcards.

Consider branching out and trying something different. Is your target market a Millenial? Use Instagram and Snapchat.

Is your target market a trend-savvy mom? Start creating home design boards along with local real estate market data on Pinterest.

Education-based marketing can be very helpful in service businesses, so consider a blog series based using local real estate data. Perhaps a YouTube video, or an online class or webinar.

Marketing your real estate business doesn’t have to be an endless source of frustration.

By making a plan and sticking to it, and getting fresh content ideas by using local data, you can set up your marketing to work for you: not the other way around.

Humans are wired to be attracted to anything new. New gadgets, new clothes, new TV shows or new recipes.

A Real Estate API is an automatic content generator that can help you attract new clients with new data.

New Home Construction Data Plugins Open Up New Opportunities For Agents

new home construction data

New Home Construction Data adds more resources to an agent’s website.

It’s wise to add a New Home Construction data plugin to your website for several reasons.

WordPress real estate website experts and data aggregators such as Home Junction provide these valuable plugins that give brokers and agents an added advantage in their marketing strategies.

With New Home Construction data, an agent can add a specific development to their website for the markets they are farming. Or they can build out an entire section of their website devoted to ALL new developments in the area.

That plugin comes with the capability to sort by area, developer or other important criteria.

And the process is very simple. The agent doesn’t need to go out and dig up all this information.

“Big Data” companies such as Home Junction aggregate all New Home Construction Data currently available. Then they filter, sort and organize the information.

All an agent needs to do is add a few snippets of code (a plugin) and in an instant all that information is automatically fed by Home Junction into their website.

It’s that easy.

But the benefits are tenfold.

New Home Construction Data makes agents a better resource

First of all, today more than ever, builders recognize they need to work with Realtors.

According to the National Association of Realtors, in this day and age about 90% of qualified home buyers have relationships with Realtors.

Builders recognize this. If they want to sell homes, they have to play ball with Realtors.

Secondly, NAR research shows that nearly 20% of home buyers will purchase a new home. That’s a big segment of any market.

Third, 35% of home shoppers surveyed said they would be willing to consider purchasing a new home as well as existing properties.

Many people, about 40% of buyers, don’t really want to spend time and money renovating a resale. A new home fits their needs immediately.

Naturally, a Realtor would be smart to establish a relationship with reputable builders and be sure their referral program is very, very clear.

So, we’ve established that a smart builder would be smart to work with a Realtor if they truly want to sell homes.

But there are other advantages for agents to add New Home Construction data to their website.

For one, the presence of this data shows that this agent really does know the areas they are farming.

This establishes the agent in the mind of shoppers as truly a full-service type of agent. Want to find the best home in this market? Well, here are the new developments as well.

Attracts more prospects

Next, for people who prefer buying a new home, which as we indicated is nearly 20% of home buyers, then adding an entire section of New Home Construction on an agent’s website is the honey that will attract them as a lead.

Why ignore this portion of the market? And, as we all know, at the end of the day, someone looking for a new home might be pleasantly surprised to find an existing home that nicely meets their criteria at a price they can afford.

Another advantage of offering New Home Construction data is that buyers can also get a sense of pricing in today’s market. You might show them an existing property they think is overpriced. But when they see comparables in a new development, they might realize that resale is a bargain.

Markets and attitudes change. According to the NAR, builders are now very eager to work with Realtors.

Take advantage of this climate and this easy technology.

A data aggregator can do all the work for you. They will work with you on integrating this information into your website.  On a regular basis, they will also update changes in the marketplace AND keep the information current.

Then when you take a home shopper to a new development, their agents can do all the selling and paperwork.

Attract this type of buyer to your website. Generate referral fees and promote your website as a TOTAL resource for information about ALL Real Estate in your market, including New Home Construction Data.

 

 

 

Real Estate Data Providers That Include Mapping Tools To Promote Value Of Amenities

real estate data providers

Be sure to find real estate data providers that also use mapping tools to help agents display local amenities that boost home values.

Real estate data providers such as Home Junction can provide much more than just facts and figures.

They can also tie all that data into something that touches home buyers emotionally (and owners looking to sell).

We’re talking about neighborhood amenities.

As a successful real estate agent, you need hyper-local real estate market data such as the number of homes sales, and pricing trends.

However, what about how local amenities can raise the value of a home? A quick study of your area can help you get an idea of pricing according to the types of businesses and other features in that area. Work with real estate providers that can supply you with this key information and help you display it visually.

These five types of local amenities have been proven to cause an increase in the value of properties.

Real estate data providers need to show value of amenities

It may seem hard to believe, but according to a recent University of Chicago study, living within half a mile to one mile of a Walmart Supercenter can raise the value of a home by 1% to 3%.

Other stores which offer the convenience and selection desired by the population might include brands such as Target and Whole Foods Market.

A nice brand new kitchen is always marketable. But if that’s not the case, the next best thing is a nice supermarket nearby. Most buyers prefer to be able to meet their shopping needs as close to home as possible, driving up prices in these desirable areas.

Walking access

Walkability is a big one when it comes to house values. If you can walk to your favorite park, store, restaurant, or school from your home, your property value could be $4,000-$34,000 higher than average.

However, since walkable areas like this are typically in downtown/urban neighborhoods, you do have to take that into account when looking at property values, as these areas are already going to be more expensive.

“Bikeability” is a similar factor as more Americans than ever are riding their bikes around town. More and more cities are investing millions in improving their bicycle infrastructure and building safe bike lanes.

To give you one example, in one area an average house price in a walkable area is $230,000. While an average house price 15 minutes away by car is $160,000.

This information is crucial for sellers who want top dollar for their property. Information from a reliable real estate data provider can help you justify the prices they desire.

Parks and  natural areas boost value

Parks, green spaces, and other outdoor oases can raise property values by as much as 20%. House Logic cited a study of over 16,000 property sales in Portland, Oregon that proximity to a golf course raised prices by over $8,000, while proximity to specialty parks and natural areas raised prices by $5,000-$10,000.

A report from the University of Washington indicated that a home adjacent to a park could realize a 20% increase in values. Within a quarter-mile, add 10%.

The human mind and body naturally thrive best outside of the concrete jungle, and many families with children see parks and green spaces as a big draw. So it’s no surprise that these amenities raise nearby property values by such a margin.

Sporting arenas in your city, especially for professional teams, can do a lot of great things for the health, vibrancy, and economy of the area – including boosting the value of homes nearby.

In fact, homes within a couple miles of a professional athletic stadium tend to increase in value by over $2,000. Construction of a new stadium can be a double-edged sword, however: the noise and traffic restrictions can cause values to go down temporarily until all is complete.

Additional buildings

The amenity boasting the biggest effect on your property value might be in your own backyard: an additional building. This could include a mother-in-law apartment, a guest house, a pool house, or something similar.

In some of the more popular and desirable parts of the country, one of these additional buildings can raise your property value by a whopping 40% or more.

Buyers should consider the fact that an additional building could provide a built-in stream of income by renting it out, as well as massive resale value down the road.

Bonus feature: mature trees

The presence of trees may seem like such a small detail, but when you dig into the numbers you may be surprised to see just how much of an impact they can have on the value of a house.

Having mature trees in the backyard can increase the house value by 2%, while having them in the front can cause a 3%-5%. If the house is in a desirable, higher-income neighborhood, this could even increase to 10% to 15%.

Past, present, and future house values are important for you to know as you help guide buyers and sellers through this process.

With the latest real estate market data, agents can show how these amenities are affecting values in any neighhorhood.

Real estate mapping tools integrate amenities with listings

If your listing has great amenities, show them off. Experienced real estate data providers such as Home Junction also provide real estate mapping tools that can tie in MLS listings with local amenities.

Don’t just tell buyers there’s a great shopping center down the street or a 40-acre park. Show them. Using geo-coding technology from Home Junction that can display a list of amenities near a property.

Or, with its SpatialMatch plugin and real estate mapping tools, an agent can actually show the listing on a map and then point out the amenities on that same map as well.

Imagine how a golfer’s eyes will light up when they see Ye Old Duffer’s Club just a mile away. Or how a coffee aficionado will start to salivate when they see a Starbucks right around the corner.

Amenities boost values.

Find real estate data providers with real estate mapping tools and property data who can help you walk a client through a pricing discussion based on proximity to amenities such as shopping, restaurants, schools, and yes, even Mother Nature.

A Real Estate Data API Can Help You Provide This One Factor That A Super-Agent Attributes To His Success

Ryan Serhant, one of the top real estate agents in NYC, mentions this one reason for his success.

A Real Estate Data API can help you with a strategy that one of the top agents in the business cites for his success.

His name is Ryan Serhant. He’s the Superman of real estate in Metropolis (The Big Apple.)

By now, most people in the real estate biz know who Serhant is.

He’s one of the agents featured on “Million Dollar Listing: New York.”

Serhant is ranked 15th out of the 100 most successful sales people in NYC. He is a regular contributor about the real estate market on FOX, CNN, ABC, CBS and CNBC.

As you can imagine, New York is one tough market. Selling high-end listings in the NYC stratosphere is even tougher.

Doesn’t bother Serhant. Last year he sold nearly a billion dollars in properties.

So what does someone that successful do in their free time?

Write a book, naturally.

His new book is titled, “Sell It Like Serhant.” (Which is now the title of his own television show).

We don’t know all the tips and details in his book but we did notice something he said while being interviewed on CNBC.

Real Estate Data API provides data and assurance

Serhant said most sales people act too much like…well sales people.

“The biggest mistake most people make when they try to sell something, whether it’s real estate, hot tubs or tires is that they actually try to sell something,” he added. “A watched pot, never boils.”

He said the real key to sales is to work on the relationship with the client. Establish a rapport with buyers. Don’t just go for the sale. Find out not only what they want, but their concerns. Get them to trust you. And act in a trustworthy, consultative role.

In fact, Serhant boils his approach down to just one attribute: “Assurance.”

When someone is about to plunk down $3 million for a 1,500 square foot condo in a city where home prices are already insane, that person wants to be confident they are making the right decision.

Obviously, an agent can’t give them a 100% guarantee.

But a customer would certainly like to hear something more than, “Trust me. It’s a good deal.”

“It’s a matter of assurance. That’s what selling really is. It’s not convincing, it’s not pushing. It’s assuring,” he said.

That’s where a Real Estate Data API can be a very useful tool for brokers and agents.

With this property API, an agent is not just telling someone this is a good deal (or not a good deal). They present evidence.

Real estate market data provide real facts

real estate data API

A sample of the information supplied by a hyper-local Real Estate Data API..

With this tool, agents can show clients the numbers. Facts. Statistics. Real estate market data.

That data can include:

  • Recent Sales Activity in that Neighborhood
  • Trends for Home Prices
  • How that property compares to other properties in the neighborhood for Size, Price per Square Foot and Age.
  • School Data
  • School Boundary Zones
  • Municipal Boundary Zones
  • Neighborhood Data
  • Local Business Amenities Nearby
  • Crime Ratings
  • Cost of Living

Be THE hyper-local resource

National data aggregators such as Home Junction make adding all this real estate market data to a website very, very easy.

All a broker or agent does is embed that Real Estate Data API (basically a few snippets of code) into their website.

That code then pulls in all the property data requested and tailors it for each city, town, zip code or even down to the neighborhood or subdivision level.

When you watch Serhant on Million Dollar Listing, people can see all the characteristics of a successful agent – he’s got the thousand dollar suits, is driven around town by a chauffeur, owns a beautiful apartment and much more.

What most people don’t realize is that Serhant started in the business at probably one of the worst moments in American economic history.

His first day on the job was on Sept. 15, 2008, the day Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy and the subprime mortgage business collapsed. That catastrophe in turn dragged down real estate and the entire world economy with it.

As you can imagine, not too many people were in the mood to buy a million dollar apartment at that time. Prices dropped like the big ball in Times Square on New Year’s Eve.

To survive, Serhant had to scrape and claw his way out of that ditch in the most competitive market in the world. That certainly was no easy feat.

So, people might want to pay attention to what Serhant is saying.

Being reassuring to clients is certainly not rocket science.

But it does take discipline to hold back on pushing for just any quick sale.

And for savvy agents, it takes utilizing the best resources available on the market today. That would include a Real Estate Data API filled with hyper-local real estate market data.

Buy Serhant’s book. He obviously knows what he is doing.

As for the practice of assuring customers, get a Real Estate Data API embedded on your website to give clients the facts and the trustworthy assistance they want.

 

This Number Shows Why WordPress Real Estate Agent Websites Are The Right Choice

wordpress real estate websites

Want to hear a number that should make brokers and agents think about using WordPress real estate websites?

There are more than 1.1 MILLION new registered domains made every SIX MONTHS using WordPress. This platform must be doing something right when it comes to convenience and effectiveness to get that volume of usage.

As a budding star in the real estate business, you know that one of the first things you’re going to need is a slick, modern, and easy to navigate website that is simple to maintain and meets all of your clients’ needs for information.

There are dozens and dozens of website building platforms on the Internet. So it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the choices out there.

We’ll make it easy for you: here’s why we think you’ll agree that WordPress is the best website building platform for real estate agents.

WordPress real estate websites for agents are user-friendly

WordPress is a versatile and highly customizable platform built with advanced and constantly updated coding.

However, it can also be simple enough for anyone with basic computer skills to learn. Even if you hire a web developer to create the actual site for you, you still need to be able to log on to the platform and make changes and updates as needed, without having to ask for help.

Companies such as Home Junction provide ready-to-go, attractive real estate themes  so you don’t need to know coding to select an theme that works for your brand. (Anyone will tell you, if you create a custom theme from scratch, expect a long process that could be costly. Why bother? There are off-the-shelf WordPress real estate themes that provide all the relevant functionality an agent would need).

Pre-made themes allow you to have total control over the look of your website, and you can even switch to a new one if you get tired of the one you start out with.

This platform also boasts fast loading times, which increases the number of potential clients that stay on your site instead of clicking away.

This point is very, very important. One of the major factors that search engines such as Google and Bing use to determine rankings for search is site speed. If your real estate website is slow, the search engines see this as a negative user experience and will not reward your site with high rankings. Period.

Plus a pre-existing WordPress real estate theme should be designed to look great on every device from a desktop to a tablet to a smartphone.

That is a second, very, very important point. Google and Bing also know that most people use their mobile devices to search. Your site might look great on your laptop, but if it is all weird and jumbled on a mobile device, that will hurt rankings as well.

We are not just talking an iPhone 8 either. We’re are talking about ALL mobile devices and their various operation systems – iPhones, Androids, tablets. etc.

Although using a WordPress theme is fairly intuitive for anyone with basic skills, should you need any help along the way they offer a huge support system.

There are blogs, forums, and video tutorials that can help.

However, as most people know. Nothing on the web is as easy as it sounds.

As a broker or agent, do you want to spend your time selling homes or trying to figure out how to fix your website? If you use a company that develops WordPress real estate websites such as Home Junction, you will have the support you need.

WordPress is well-known with enormous market share

Tried-and-true is always a good way to go, especially if you’re not completely familiar with an industry.

A whopping 30%  of the Internet’s nearly two billion websites are hosted on the WordPress platform, and for good reason.

WordPress used to be known as one of the places to be to set up a blog and send your thoughts out into the void while running some flashy ads.

However, in recent years the site has made quite a household name of itself when it comes to choices for website development platforms.

From personal blogs to local businesses all the way up to huge globally known names like BBC, Harvard, and Mercedes-Benz, many of the websites you visit are built using WordPress.

The platform supports any type of site, from an eCommerce store, to a new social media outlet, to a local directory, to anything else you can dream up.

In the content management systems industry, WordPress is a juggernaut with a 60% market share.

They are great for any type of website, but especially for those using pre-existing content managing systems. Joomla, a competitor, comes in second with just 6.8% of market share: a stark difference.

Nothing does SEO like WordPress

Search engine optimization (SEO), is ultimately the whole point of having a website. When a potential client Googles “real estate firm in my town,” you want your site to come up on the first page – and ideally, in the first result!

Having your website optimized with search keywords and other tools will increase its standing with Google and other search engines.

Not all web development platforms are created equal when it comes to SEO. WordPress is a recognized leader in this regard and its founders specifically wrote the code to be search-engine friendly.

WordPress is also known for its staggering number of available plugins – 44,000 at last count.

These are types of software that can be installed onto your site to make it even more multi-functional.

There are plugins such as Yoast or All in One which help you optimize your website for search engines, and even analyze all of your content to give you suggestions on what to improve for better results.

Tools like this will help your WordPress website rise through the ranks and make it to the first page.

Then there are a large number of specific WordPress real estate plugins, many offered by Home Junction as well. You can use these real estate WordPress plugins to add School Data, Recent Home Sales and a Home Valuation tool to name a few.

These real estate plugins can make your website a powerful LOCAL resource for buyers. You can now compete on the same level as the big mega-real estate portals. But in this case, you keep all the leads. For free.

Numbers don’t lie. When you go with a widely-known content management system that is multi-functional, SEO-friendly, easy to navigate with a full package of real estate functionality already built in, it’s hard to go wrong.

Real Estate Data API Offers An Advantage With Expired Listings

real estate API

A Real Estate Data API can be a major asset when reaching out to expired listings.

And you will need an advantage to overcome all the other agents who are approaching the same homeowner.

Contacting an expired listing should be a slam dunk.

After all, here’s a homeowner who is ready to sell. Of course, they just had a reality check about their property and the current marketplace.

But bottom line, they are still want to place their home on the market.

Perhaps they priced the home too high?

Or their home has deficiencies, such as an ancient kitchen or ugly rooms that need to be addressed.

Hopefully, the homeowner will see that changes need to be made.

And they will be ready to list again.

But few things in life are easy

Especially when trying to pitch to a listing for a six-figure property in a crowded field of agents.

Many people will want to step in and represent that homeowner.

The homeowner will be inundated. There will be numerous phone calls, mailers and even knocks on the door.

Many agents will tell the homeowner basically the same message: “I’m the No. 1 agent in this neighborhood.”

Many will offer to send a marketing package to the homeowner.

How does anybody separate themselves from the others?

One strategy is to add a Real Estate Data API (Application Programming Interface) to their website. In laymen’s terms, adding a few pieces of software code.

Sure, many agents will claim to have local knowledge.

But what if you had a Neighborhood API on your website that displayed actual local knowledge in facts and figures?

Real Estate Data API feeds enormous amount of hyper-local info

That Real Estate Data API can upload dozens of datasets with in-depth information about that neighborhood.

For example, this highly relevant data could be:

– School enrollment and teacher/student ratios

– School attendance zones

– Municipal boundaries (taxes are a big issue today)

– Recent sales activity

-Trends in home prices

– Neighborhood demographics: ages, income, number of owners versus renters, etc.

– Crime ratings

– Cost of Living indices

And much more.

You can then create a powerful mock-up of how you will use that in-depth data to market their home.

Perhaps their property is located in a school attendance zone for one of the best middle schools in the county.

Perhaps this home is in the upper 80% of the neighborhood for square footage.

You could also run a comparison of one neighborhood to another, showing how that home is actually comparable to that popular neighborhood over there.

Geo-coding shows important amenities

With a Real Estate Data API that provides geo-coding capabilities, you can point out on a map how that particular property is located near a Starbucks, a Zagat-rated sushi restaurant or a Whole Foods.

Research shows those amenities boost home prices.

Use the geo-coding features to point out other amenities and how those amenities can justify a higher price.

For example, in one study of 16,000 home sales in Portland these amenities were found to have this impact on home sales:

Golf courses: $8,800 increase in average value

Natural areas: $10,000 increase in average value

Specialty park: $5,600 increase in average value

Urban parks:  $1,200 in average value.

Other studies have shown that nice parks can increase the value of a home by 10% to 20%.

Sure, other agents will send their marketing packages as well.

But as most marketing experts will tell you, to win a battle, the key is to have the biggest concentration of troops in the right place at the right time.

Think of all these data points as your troops.

Get ahead of the competition by presenting the most in-depth information.

Telling is not selling. The proof is in Showing the facts in your presentation.

Help the homeowners with their frustration.

Chances are they spent a large amount of physical and emotional energy preparing their home for sale. They might be exhausted by the whole process. And now they have start all over again to find a new agent.

Your Real Estate Data API and the extent you will go to market their property with all this hyper-local data, will make that decision easier for them.