Susha Roberts is a real estate writer and ghostwriter specializing in technology and trends. Connect with her at clippings.me/susharoberts.
Broker Tools: Connect With Tech-Savvy Sellers
A new plug-and-play AVM tool for your website will help give millennial sellers what they’re looking for and give you a way to start a relationship with leads.
August 28, 2017
If you think most millennials are still renting or living with their parents, think again. According to Onboard Informatics, a property data aggregator, more than 50 percent of the 80 million millennials in the U.S. are now homeowners.
Raised in an age of ever-changing technology, individualistic trends, and economic uncertainty, millennials—also known as Generation Y—are different than previous generations of home buyers and sellers. Reaching them will require a new set of tools: tech, data, and style.
For the independent broker and small-to-midsize brokerage, this can be a challenge. It takes techie skills and a lot of money to create data-driven branded tools for lead generation. To that end, Onboard has launched myAVM, the first plug-and-play home valuation tool geared toward millennials and beyond.
Are Millennials in a Position to Sell?
You might be wondering if there’s even a need for such a tool right now. Are these young homeowners in a place to sell—and do they even want to?
Millennials, born 1981 to 1997, are focused on a long-term financial plan. They set goals for their money. According to a recent Charles Schwab report, “More than a third of millennials (34 percent) say they have a written financial plan compared to far fewer Gen Xers (21 percent) and baby boomers (18 percent).” The report also reveals that 91 percent of millennials review their goals annually.
This planning mentality carries over to homeownership. Bank of America’s Homebuyer Insights Report shows that 79 percent of millennial homeowners believe owning a home is having a positive impact on their financial goals. And they’re not just sitting on their houses. BofA’s report reveals that “68 percent of millennial homeowners say their current home is a stepping stone to the home they want to end up in.” They’re regularly tracking what their home is worth, seeing if they can improve their fortunes by using equity to move up.
Why You Need Your Own AVM Tool
Where are buyers and sellers looking for property information? Online, of course. The key consideration is where online. Do you want your prospective buyers and sellers going to Zillow, where you’re competing with ads from other agents? What if they’re using an automated valuation model tool that’s linked to another brokerage that will collect their data?
The data buyers and sellers want needs to come directly from you—from your site. And to attract millennials and other tech-savvy folks, it’s going to have to be slick.
The First Plug-and-Play AVM
Onboard’s myAVM is the first turnkey home valuation tool designed for independent agents and brokerages, and it’s priced according to usage. It’s a plug-and-play addition to your own website, fully branded to look and feel like your company’s generated data.
“In addition to helping our clients generate more listings, we are using myAVM to go after a new, exciting market,” says Jonathan Bednarsh, president and co-founder of Onboard Informatics. “Clients can feature myAVM on an independent webpage or directly on their website. Because of its versatility, it can be used as part of any digital marketing strategy.”
It’s a fairly simple operation to copy and paste a snippet of iframe code into your website; if that seems daunting, you can also opt for a link to a branded page. It’s predesigned in a green and blue scheme, but it’s possible to have the two colors changed to match your brand.
How myAVM Works
Geared to the app-loving viewer, myAVM is highly visual and interactive. Users will see your brand and connect with you on every page. They’ll get more than a basic home price range. Here’s what they’ll see:
- A home valuation range with an adjustable slider. This lets the user customize the home’s condition, resulting in a corresponding “confidence score.” The valuation comes from a proprietary algorithm based on Onboard’s Application Program Interface of comparable, timely data. All data is updated monthly.
- Easy-to-read property details. This is publicly recorded information, not user input.
- Purchase history for the address.
- Sales activity in the ZIP code. Quarterly data for the number of homes sold and price.
- Recent sales breakout. There’s a list of comparable homes, and a map to gauge proximity and relevance. Users can compare the AVM range to actual sold prices.
- Local quarterly sales price trends.
- Print option.
Onboard’s myAVM captures the lead and continues to engage by sending automated alerts about the property via neighborhood updates.
“I wanted something with a real wow factor,” says Dean Soukeras, senior product manager. “The purpose of most AVMs are to generate valuable leads for real estate professionals. I thought conversion rates would increase if we could maintain contact with these leads with information they care about.”