Real world uses for property data
Well put together and well-presented data engages, informs and sells.
So, why do many agents think of property data as dry, boring and hard work? Maybe because for so long it has been. Tables of sales data, graphs with little or no meaning to the end user and statistics with little specific relevance to anyone but the person who output them.
As the property industry adapts to the realities of a digital world dominated by big data and cloud computing, the amount of available data concerning residential property is increasing exponentially.
This data concerns almost every aspect of the built environment: from how we use and interact with properties as individuals and families, through to how a home’s energy consumption and construction details are being recorded and analysed to help buyers, sellers, surveyors, asset managers, developers and investors make more informed decisions.
Our industry is at a tipping point, where the public now expects estate agents, mortgage advisors, surveyors and other property professionals to 'show their work' as such and provide evidence to back up experience.
Having access to the information is one thing, but the real value lies in being able to use it.
Here’s a few real world uses for the data you’ll find in Homesearch.
Nurture your database
How many sets of details are in your CRM? Hundreds? Thousands? Tens of thousands? I spoke to an agent who’d been selling in a large town for 16 years. She had over 30,000 people in her CRM.
That’s all the leads you need. Forever.
It’s no secret that Brits love property. Conversations at brunches and dinner parties every weekend revolve around who’s moving, what’s moving and how much it moves for.
Having all that information at your fingertips gives you the opportunity to be the centre of those conversations. An agent’s job isn’t to sell homes, it’s to be the conduit of information.
You have the ability to give every single client in your database a personalised market update every three, six or 12 months. You can show them what’s been selling and renting, what their market looks like and how those two factors may have affected the value of their own home.
What better way to service your potential clients?
On every phone call
I was asked on Facebook recently “Why do agents hate prospecting?”.
My answer? “Because they’ve had nothing relevant to talk about”.
It’s hard making the same “We’re in your street and offering FREE valuations this week” call over and over again. Especially when it’s the same call your competition are making. It’s little wonder why a lot of Agents simply don’t do it. Complaining about lack of leads from the portals is easier.
Use property data to find the relevant (and meaningful) stories to call your market about.
What do I mean by that? A better conversation than the one above would be “It’s Sam from XYZ Estates, I’m calling to let you know that number 7 just sold for £350,000. It actually got the highest £ per square foot of any home ever on your street by over £100. How do you think that has changed the value of your place?”
You’ve given value. You’ve shown your knowledge. And even if they say no, you’ve helped build your profile as a giver, not a taker and will have earned the right to stay in touch again.
Context is key with every phone call - always deliver data with context. That’s what makes it information. That’s what gives it meaning.
Targeting other agents stock
Let’s be very real about targeting other agents stock. Every agent does it. Not many do it well.
Rather than sending that 'are you looking to buy' letter as soon as you figure out the address, and rather than sending the 'Wow, we’re surprised you still haven’t sold. Give us a call' letter after 10 weeks, you could deliver something of real value to these people.
You know they’re in the market. You know they’re motivated. You know that they’ll have the same nervous feelings about making the right decisions as your own clients (remember EVERYONE has anxiety about moving).
Give them the information they need to feel more comfortable about the decisions they’re making. I am not saying do this on day one and make your competition's life easier but I am saying to make sure you’re giving something of value with each touch point to these people.
Information is the best way to do that.
Before an instruction appointment
It’s still so surprising to hear an agent say “nothing” when asked what they provide their potential clients with before they meet.
This is your chance to secure the business ahead of time. This is the time where you can really show off and actually be different!
Providing your clients with all the information you’re going to walk them through ahead of time gives them a chance to digest it and formulate the questions that they need answered (by you) during the appointment.
It also means that you can let them know that everything in that report is about their home and the market, while the meeting is to be all about them.
What client isn’t going to like hearing that?
At the instruction appointment
Rather than blankly going over the information you’ve given them already, now’s your chance to tell the stories surrounding the data.
The data should be your palm card as such. Your powerpoint slide. It’s there to guide your conversations, rather than replace or rule them. This is so important to understand.
Too many people think giving a report is enough. It’s not. You need to do your job, be that conduit of information, and explain to your clients what it all really means and how it all came to be. That’s service that sells.
Another great way to use property data in the real world is by listening to what your clients tell you at an appointment and acting on that information once you’re back in the office or at home.
It stands to reason that one of the questions you’ll ask in an instruction appointment is “Where are you moving to?” Now, with all the information you need at your fingertips, you can guide these people through those markets too.
Imagine your clients were moving to a town 100 miles away because of a job transfer and were choosing between you and two other agents to get them sold in the next 12 weeks.
Now imagine you sent them a report on 3-4 properties currently on the market in that new area so they were as armed as possible as soon as possible.
Who do you think would be the frontrunner to get their gig?
Information + action = power.
Helping the nosey neighbours
I said earlier that it’s no secret that Brits love property. And it’s true. People love nothing more than knowing what next door sold for, or what the most expensive property on their street is.
You can use data like this to market to your neighbourhood in a way that’s not confronting or intrusive, and gives them exactly what they want.
Give the right information to the right people and you’ll be the talk of the town.
Helping someone out of town
I’ve just helped a friend of mine’s parents sell their property in Maidenhead. I’ve never even been to Maidenhead.
But knowing what we do here at Homesearch, my mate asked me if his parents should list with the agent that gave them the highest valuation. Oddly enough, looking at our data, I thought this agent had got it pretty right and said I couldn’t see anything glaringly wrong. They got an offer for just under asking (but above the other two vals) after two weeks and, at the time of writing this, are on track to exchange on Friday.
Good data gives you the chance to have good news stories like this too. Everyone is a potential referral and good service makes for great stories.
In your marketing
I’m getting to the stage where I’m walking a fine line between making a point and just repeating myself BUT, information + action really does = power.
Maybe impact would be a better word than power but it doesn’t quite have the same punch to it.
What’s the point of having all this data if you don’t make it yours.
There’s a wealth of information out there about your market that you can use in your daily, weekly, quarterly marketing both off and online.
Show off what you know. Raise your profile and increase your opportunities. All with information.
Bringing it all together…
Data is the topic on everyone’s lips at the moment. It is no longer just the huge organisations that pay research departments who have access to it. It’s readily available and more affordable than ever.
The public does not want automation, they want information.
They want to know what’s going on all the time, and are desperate to know what’s going on when they’re ready to move.
It’s your job to find the best data and give out what is relevant to your market, at will, as if it were your own.