Erica Christoffer is a multimedia journalist and contributing editor with REALTOR® Magazine.
5 Ways to Use Real-Time Data to Get Business
In real estate, old data is as good as yesterday's news—it's a day late and might make you a dollar short.
July 11, 2016
Brokers and agents should get in the habit of using up-to-the minute data to drive business decisions. To do that, you need to access multiple data sources to get a snapshot of market and the position of your company.
1. Dig deeper into that list of homes.
When examining a farm area, whether by ZIP code or city boundary, it’s helpful to know how fast homes turn over for resale. One area may average six years while another averages 10. You can also examine mortgage status, home equity, number of children in home, home owner's age, and more. A company like SmartZip can help by compiling this sort of data to make predictions about markets and help you target your advertising dollars.
2. Find out who’s buying.
Baby boomers? Millennials? Single women? And where? Are there any bubble areas? What types of properties are hot? A tool like REALTORS Property Resource®, populated with MLS data as well as public records, will provide insights on buying trends, and the tutorial videos will walk you though how to use it. Collect this sales data in your own company, too, so you get a better understanding of your typical buyers.
3. Keep tabs on social media.
LinkedIn is a great place to learn who in your sphere is changing jobs, getting promoted, or looking for work. “A new job triggers a reason for a person to buy or sell a property,” says Jon Loomer, senior product specialist at Hubble, which provides real-time reporting systems. “When you get that notification that a customer has changed jobs, get on the phone and congratulate them.” Rapportive is a Gmail plugin that shows your contacts’ social media profiles right inside your inbox so you can see their most recent tweets, Facebook statuses, and LinkedIn updates.
4. Know your own site’s web traffic.
It’s important to get a baseline number on your daily web traffic. After that, keep an eye on conversion rates, says Sam DeBord, managing broker of Seattle Homes Group with Coldwell Banker Danforth. Understand how visitors typically find your site, what they click on, and what listings they view. Then look at your conversion rate to see how many request additional information. If they’re bouncing off certain pages or lingering on specific blog posts, then you’ll get a better idea of what you should do more of to convert more leads.
5. Monitor agents.
Brokers can track company performance with RPR's Market Data Tool, which provides a deeper dive into market conditions, agent productivity, and market share to help with strategic business decisions. The tool compiles multiple MLS data into a single branded report and offers comparisons between office locations.