Want New Clients? Here's How to Gather and Leverage the Right Data
Thanks to online property searches, you can gather and use a lot of valuable information about prospective buyers – if you know where to look.
Most prospective home buyers do at least some internet research when looking for properties. In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors, a full 50 percent of buyers found the home they ultimately purchased through an online search.
This trend toward online home research doesn't just result in savvier, educated buyers. It also generates trackable web searches that provide valuable demographic and behavioral data about potential buyers.
As a real estate professional, you can leverage this data to create potential customer profiles and generate leads. However, it only works if you're getting the right numbers, through the right channels, and using them effectively.
Big data means big business for real estate
In any business, reaching the right client at the right time is essential for landing a sale. This is especially true in real estate, where catching buyers and sellers at the exact moment they need an agent is a key to generating business.
There are countless companies out there that collect real estate data and offer helpful analytics on those data points. With demographic data from the people who search websites like Realtor.com, Trulia, and Zillow, you can predict which of those consumers are most likely to turn into future home buyers.
These predictions can then inform lead outreach strategies, website features, and marketing campaigns that target potential buyers.
Distilling the data for lead generation
Let's say you obtain data from a real estate listing website. How do you begin to make sense of this massive amount of information?
You could spend hours (or more likely, days) sifting through each line of data to figure out which consumers have the most relevant activity to suggest they’re likely to buy or sell soon. Or, you could take advantage of tools that use big data to help real estate agents target leads.
Predictive marketing platforms like Buyside and SmartZip are designed to harness the vast amounts of consumer data and analyze it to predict which homeowners are likely to sell in the near future.
While these tools are extremely powerful, they do come with a price tag. Fortunately, with a little bit of know-how, you can access data analytics from free online resources.
U.S. Census Bureau data and City Data can help you create profiles of towns and city neighborhoods, and gather demographic statistics of people who live there. Additionally, public property records can tell you how long an owner has currently lived in a home. Knowing this may help you understand when someone is most likely to sell, based on average homeownership tenures in your area.
Balancing data analytics with relationship-building
While the right data may increase your pool of leads, closing deals is still all about building relationships. You still need to develop your reputation as a trusted local agent and provide excellent client service if you want to keep earning new business.
By striking the right balance between data analytics and relationship-building, you'll be well on your way to finding great leads, generating repeat business and getting referrals from satisfied clients.
Kathleen Kuhn is President and CEO of HouseMaster, the original home inspection franchise. She oversees an organization with more than 320 franchise locations across the U.S. and Canada. HouseMaster has an average net promoter score (NPS) of 92, a near-perfect customer service mark that puts it ahead of the NPS of some of the most customer-centric organizations like Ritz-Carlton and Apple.