Big data is everywhere. It’s constantly at our fingertips thanks to our ever-present smartphones and tablets. Data helps us understand our customers and the real estate market like never before. It’s time for real estate agents to start applying the insights big data provides to enhance business, attract more buyers and sellers and generate more leads.
The key to success when it comes to big data and real estate is understanding how to make data work for you. Below are a few examples of how you can use big data to help grow your business.
Connecting the dots between national and local real estate trends
Big data allows agents to make interesting and engaging comparisons between local and national trends. Analyzing these trends and offering insights about how the local market relates to the national market is an excellent way for you to showcase your local knowledge. Every month, NAR releases an Existing Home Sales Report that compares inventory, price and sales across the country. You can use this report to engage and build your book of business by outlining how your market’s local MLS data compares to national data.
Agents can use hyperlocal marketing tools to improve the quality of their local data stories. Some of these tools drill down into MLS data from a specific region or ZIP code and creates bar graphs and charts that feature hyperlocal information such as market statistics, absorption rates and list-to-sale-price ratios.
You can use this data for traditional marketing pieces, such as mailings. You can also use it to build your profile as a real estate specialist in your community both online, and on air. On the day NAR releases its Existing Home Sales Report, reach out to your local media with your perspective. Or write a blog post about what you see in your area. By getting your voice out in the marketplace you showcase your knowledge, which can funnel leads into your pipeline.
Leveraging your website analytics
Another way you can leverage big data is to track your listing traffic and target your marketing and lead-gen efforts accordingly. Depending on whether you have your own website or webpage, you can also use a tool such as Google Analytics to understand where your traffic comes from and to identify your most popular content.
This data can guide both your marketing and lead-generation strategy. An added bonus of tracking listing traffic is keeping eager sellers in the know; sharing listing views and listing engagement with sellers satisfies their desire to understand what’s happening with their home.
Getting savvy with social
Social media allows you to showcase your knowledge efficiently, effectively and quickly to a broad audience. Bigger audiences lead to more leads, more referrals and more sales.
The key to engaging your audience on social media is interesting, eye-catching and unique content. Localized takes on NAR’s Existing Home Sales Report exemplify this type of content.
When you write and share interesting content, you build a following of prospective buyers and sellers. These people will look to you as a source of real estate information and think of you first when it comes time for them to buy or sell. In addition, social media lets you keep track of what performs well, so you can easily adjust your messaging to reflect what resonates with your audience.
Using data to reach your ideal buyers and sellers
Social media not only provides a platform to share your message but also the digital tools for targeted advertising campaigns. Audience is the most important factor to consider when building any targeted media or social media strategy. Ask yourself these questions about your audience: “What are their wants and needs? How are they using social media? Where can I find them?”
After properly evaluating your audience, the insights you have gleaned from various big data sources — the local MLS, website analytics, tools that provide rich buyer profiles –- take center stage. Facebook, for instance, allows you to target advertising to people who are similar to the clients most likely to buy a particular home. The platform even lets you target based on likeliness to move.
Many agents target buyers with their ads, but you can use the same kind of data-driven ad strategy with messages geared specifically toward sellers. You can also use the big data from the sources mentioned in this article, among others, as a vital tool to build your brand and win business.
At Coldwell Banker we’re focused on offering our agents the best tech suite possible, including CBx, a proprietary app that makes it easy to use big data. CBx uses big data to deliver deep insights into prospective buyers and help agents create highly targeted marketing.