Real estate brokers do not sell real estate. That is a hard statement to contemplate, but it is true. Real estate agents sell real estate. The goal of a real estate broker is to recruit, train, and support the real estate agents that work with buyers and sellers.
Great brokers are continually finding ways to help their agents sell more. Great brokers also regularly measure how much agents sell by utilizing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) such as the number of transactions per agent.
Data is one of the superpowers exceptional online real estate brands possess– not just property data, but all kinds of data. Data including customer records, consumer behavior records, and a plethora of statistics from government and private sectors.
As an example of consumer behavior data, a consumer visits one of your websites and starts looking around. Your site tags a cookie into the consumer’s browser to begin collecting data about their visit to your site. That consumer may not provide any personal information during the tour, but the cookie is used to track how they navigate your web site.
With this data, you gain insights into patterns of consumer behavior; like how many times they have visited the website, what are their favorite pages, and what page delivers engagement to your call-to-action of submitting an inquiry form. A critical data element that needs capturing is the criteria consumers use to filter their property results like price or size. With this type of data, you can ask illuminating questions. Example: “Is there a correlation between the criteria a consumer selects to filter property results to the propensity to submit an inquiry form?”
Another exciting piece of data that your site probably collects is the IP address of the computer used to search. Although it is not a perfect science, some databases can be licensed to perform a reverse lookup of IP addresses to obtain contact information – even with newly adopted privacy laws.
For example, if the same IP address is used to register for a service like a video game subscription, the video game developer may collect personal information tied to that IP address. Through the subscription, the customer agrees to let the video game company license that information to other companies.
As a broker, you can purchase services to match IP addresses to contact records, and convert an anonymous website visitor into somewhat of a known user — the data is sloppy but improving. A caveat to the quality of these services is that household formation can include many people, so the IP address may not identify which user in the house was visiting your site. Still, you may be able to capture their home address. As you know, from using popular public record services available from your MLS, once you have an address, you can typically capture the homeowner’s information.
Other data sources take the customer name and address to learn even more about that customer – like Experian, for example. They cannot give you the customer’s credit rating or any other personal information, but they can deliver something less specific, like a lead score. Alternatively, take a lighter tact and simply try to connect with that consumer on social media.
The new skill of advanced brokerage is piecing together data to develop new business opportunities for agents. The website vendor that you use today may already have the capabilities to help you make data-driven decisions and strategies. If not, we may be able to help you to assist them in crafting a solution to leverage the data and to use APIs to connect your prospects with other data elements that improve conversions – another great KPI. Give us a call if you want to talk about it.
P.S. If you are sick of robo-calls – be sure to check your privacy settings from your mobile phone carrier and your television service. I subscribe to AT&T and Direct TV and was horrified with how they were sharing my contact information. I have changed my preferences and hope that will create an improvement.