Hyper-Local Real Estate Market Data Allows Agents To Truly Be The “Area” Or Neighborhood Experts
This is the era of “big hyper-local data,” a time when brokers and agents are empowered more than ever to be the trusted local source for real estate market data.
According to a study in Realtor.org, 92% of home buyers said knowledge of the local real estate market was one of the skills they looked for in an agent.
Want to show that you are the neighborhood expert on your website?
You can do that by providing massive amounts of in-depth, hyper-local information. Here are some examples of the real estate market data you can add:
- Recent property sales
- Trends in homes sales: charts that show buyers and sellers the direction of the market over the past several quarters
- Trends in home prices: very informative charts. Buyers and sellers want to know, are prices trending upward? Flat? Down?
- School data: according to Realtor.com, one in three home buyers would move into a smaller home if it meant a better school district. A broker or agent can illustrate school district boundaries on their website. And even more valuable, allow their consumers to filter properties by School Attendance zones.
- Municipal boundaries: taxes and services are all about where you live. Show buyers the different municipal boundaries.
- Neighborhood demographics: a family wants to live where there are other families. Retired people want to live near other retirees. Show data on age, income, education, etc.
- Cost of Living indices: one town can be a much more expensive place to live than another. Point out how far $1,000 will go in Town A compared to Town B.
- Crime statistics: how safe is this neighborhood? Maybe the entire county has issues, but the statistics can show specific areas that perhaps have low crime rates.
- Flood zone maps: last year was a record year for flood damage in the US. This would be a valuable resource to show and attract buyers.
Not only can agents show real estate market data for the county. They can drill down to the zip code and more importantly, down into the specific neighborhoods and subdivisions they are farming.
Real estate data APIs feed info to agents
The power of brokers and agents to provide a wealth of information has made a quantum leap.
Advances in data science have enabled national aggregators to gather millions of bits of hyper-local information from resources such as public records, and other sources.
These real estate data companies (disclosure: my employer is one of them) filter, sort, and warehouse this data on their servers. Then using a Real Estate Data API (Application Programming Interface), the companies “feed” pieces of this information to a local broker or agent.
All the broker or agent has to do is add a few snippets of code on their website. It’s that simple.
The agent doesn’t have to go out and gather this information for themselves. They don’t have to keep it current.
But the most important benefit is that consumers now can find this critical data on their local broker’s website. Says Christopher Brooks with District Houston Realty:
Our brokerage site benefits from the use of real estate market data by becoming a trusted source for hyper-local real estate information. The Houston real estate market covers an enormous land area, so by offering hyper-local data, customers and clients receive valuable neighborhood-specific information for their buying decisions. Recent homes sales data helps sellers understand pricing expectation in their local market.
This breakthrough offers tremendous advantages for agents. For one, it creates a new resource to attract leads. Consumers don’t need to go to a large national real estate portal for this data. They also don’t need to roam all over the web trying to find it.
Real estate-related websites are also discovering innovative ways to help brokers and agents with hyper-local data.
Remzy.com (which has been written about previously on the blog), for example, is a service that “Connects brokers and agents with off-market homeowners.” Founder David Marc Harris explained that he uses real estate market data to provide a tool for agents to find properties they know their buyers would like, but are not for sale at the time.
An agent knows a lot about the buyer they are working with. When options and inventory are low, we help agents keep their buyer shopping. Keep them in the game.
The Remzy website does this by closely examining detailed market data for a particular neighborhood that a buyer might be interested in. With a proprietary predictive algorithm, an agent can identify the homeowners who are more likely to sell.
Remzy created an effective way to reach out to a homeowner and start a conversation with them. The broker or agent selects that property. Remzy sends out a personalized offer letter via FedEx. If a homeowner is interested, they can call the agent directly.
The days of sending generic marketing letters to the whole neighborhood are over. This
data helps them take a much more targeted and professional approach.
He said his letters have a 100% open rate due to the FedEx overnight delivery.
Because Remzy has access to an incredible database of information about properties, “agents are able to conduct much better targeting.”
I read an article a few years ago that said something along the lines of Real Estate Tech 1.0 was about bringing data online. Then 2.0 was about creating platforms to help agents and brokers aggregate and organize the data. I think we’ve begun to rapidly move toward 3.0 where now tools are being created to analyze the data and provide buying and selling insights.
Can tech entrepreneurs and developers predict who is most likely to want to sell their home with relative accuracy? There are signals in the data, that when combined and measured against other datasets, can help agents win more listings.
Another website, SetSchedule.com, uses hyper-local real estate data to generate leads for brokers and agents and then goes one step further and actually schedule appointments. Founder Roy Dekel said his service…
Is the first artificial intelligence lead exchange system. SetSchedule began with a simple idea to find, connect, confirm and send listing appointments to real estate agents and brokers.
SetSchedule has several strategies for generating leads for brokers and agents. One of them, called SetValue.com, uses hyper-local real estate market data to give homeowners and buyers an opportunity to see estimates on the value of a property. The website gathers data from several automated valuation models to give a range of estimates. While engaged in this process, SetSchedule creates several lead opportunities to gather contact information from interested consumers. It then arranges for brokers and agents to speak with these targeted prospects.
“In a competitive landscape, data is power,” Roy noted.
Use real estate market data to enhance social posts
In addition, brokers and agents now have an incredible resource for content they can promote on social media. Competition for eyeballs on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest is intense. About 90% of real estate agents report they regularly promote themselves on social media.
Instead of just listings, how great would it be to post charts showing the latest home sales activity in a particular neighborhood?
Or a chart with a trend line showing the direction of prices?
An upward swing can prompt a surge in phone calls or inquiries.
The great benefit of those posts is that the reader has to go back to a broker’s website to see the chart for further details. That visitor becomes an agent’s lead. Not someone else’s.
“The company and our agents both frequently use the data on our Facebook pages, our direct mailings to potential new clients, and in our listing presentation materials,” said Chris Saunders, marketing director with Roy Wheeler Realty in Charlottesville, VA. “It is a valuable and necessary aspect of our business at this point.”
The other benefit of adding large amounts of hyper-local data is for search engine rankings on Google and Bing. Adding relevant, real estate market data can help move a website up in the rankings. Sure, many of the top keywords for large markets are hard to beat.
But adding more of this local content to a website and aiming for less popular keywords, even neighborhood-specific keywords, could pay off in better rankings.
This advancements in big data technology have created a major breakthrough for local brokers and agents.
“The data on our website is extremely useful in bringing more traffic to our site and keeping their eyes on our pages longer. Our agents love being able to refer to the data, which instills a lot of trust and rapport with their clients,” added Saunders.
Take advantage of this tremendous leap in data technology. Don’t just tell prospects you are the agent with local knowledge. Now with real estate data API feed for displaying in-depth market data, you can SHOW them.
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