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The Connection Between Real Estate & Data

By now, you're probably very familiar with the role that data plays in our society. You're likely even familiar with formerly-tech-heavy concepts like Big Data which, as consumers, we've all been pulled into. Data is all around us - it is us, really. Of course, lately, we've even seen the misuse of data... collected and applied for the sole purpose of influencing larger, more foundational institutions (like democracy itself). But in this environment (our steadfast allegiance to neighborly conduct and our increasing, daily dependence on business intelligence), it's important to define where these lines are. So we figured that it'd be as good a time as any to put down our thoughts around the right use of data. After all... offrs is the leading real estate lead generation websites and we want to make sure we're doing our part to ensure a better world around lead generation for real estate.

Working With Real Estate Predictive Analytics

As real estate professionals, we all work with and live within the world of data. From COMPs and homeowner leads to the national, regional and local housing market statistics we derive from them, we are bound to information. We have no doubt that your data use, like ours, is put to use in helping homeowners who are exploring the sale of their home. Of course, you have a business to run and your commission is earned in the process of serving them (employing that data). Data combined with real estate predictive analytics (to help connect service providers and those interested in information around those services)... that's a beautiful thing. It's how we access it and how we employ it that's the area of contention. The offrs philosophy towards leads is that every home is going to sell - eventually. And whether that homeowner is near or far, the current owner or the family member that is destined to inherit it, the property is going to list and that eventual listing homeowner is going to need the best advice they can get a hold of (whether they list with an agent or not).

You see, homeowners need data too and the value proposition you're bringing to the relationship with each and every homeowner (and potential client) is that your data is the best data available... but the understanding is also that you're going to deliver it to them with the hopes that they entrust you with the other services you provide. From this standpoint, data is a commodity enjoyed by all parties and, when properly utilized, it helps everyone in the community. This is an important distinction to really own, because all-too-often, data is deployed like some sort of dark secret. There's certainly an etiquette to the employment of data (we'll get into that in a minute), it's just that data... the gathering of it... the use of it... isn't something you should necessarily hide. In fact, we'll later make the case that your possession of it is exactly what the homeowner is hiring you for. Don't expect much more than a reiteration of that fact, because it's fairly self-explanatory, right? The key takeaway here is... be respectful of the homeowner's data as you use it to help them maximize their ROI.

Employing Homeowner Data (The Right Way)

For offrs agents, this won't be a new conversation... we've been touting the right way of approaching data employment since our founding, but whether you're new to offrs or just finding us now, it won't hurt to go over our stance (as it affects everyone). It's simple... don't be creepy. Just because you know the homeowner's first name, doesn't mean it's okay for you to drop it in your first conversation. Doing so begs a conversation around how you know it)... and it's just rude. =\ The same is true with all of the other information that offrs provides you and/or your team... there is a protocol when it comes to approaching real estate listing leads and you'd best work within it. We've even written a book (albeit an eBook) on the subject of building better relationships with homeowners using the data offrs provides... and it's free.

In short, there's knowing the right move and there's shoving it down your neighbor's throats. You are the real estate specialist and nobody knows the local market as you do. Certainly, you're likely more familiar with all of the intricate ins and outs of the market than the homeowner... after all... it's your job. But with all this said, we still see agents calling homeowners they know are more likely to list than any of their neighbors and blurting out that they know this. What's the result... immediate shutdown. Hey, we've all been on the other side of that conversation, right? You know exactly how that feels. Sure... you're actually interested in listing your home, but you're just exploring the market... seeing what your options are. Then you get someone at your door and they're so busy telling you what you want, that they're just not hearing that what you now want is for them to leave. This is obviously the wrong way to approach the handling of information. We won't get into the details here, but be sure to check out our eBook above for tips.

The Future Of Data

Here's the tough news (and it may not get enough focus, but we'll try to shine the spotlight on it here for a minute)... the gathering and employment of data isn't something that's going to go away. Simply put, it's just too powerful in targeting audiences. It's important to note that we're not talking about messaging, we're only talking about channels. Like the telephone, we're discussing the value of being able to pick up a device, dial a number and speak with someone across the nation. What's said on the phone is another thing. Just as the telephone (or it's instant communication variants) is simply too important for commercial or residential use to "forget that it ever happened," so too is data. As we go forward, data is going to continue to proliferate our society, but as we mentioned above, the battlegrounds will be in how these tools are deployed. Texting a cold lead "I know you're thinking of selling your home in the next year" is simply wrong... super-creepy... and wrong.

So what is the future of data? Well, the good news is that we're helping to write that book (figuratively and literally). But we won't say that we know the answers (yet). As responsible, industry leaders in lead generation for real estate agents, we're working on striking the balance between solid real estate lead generation results and best practices in data privacy. We are, however, advocates of building those community bridges between the homeowner and real estate professionals like you. So as we move forward, the onus will be on us to provide you with the most up-to-date insight on this and other, similar matters of consumer and service advocacy. Going forward, real estate lead generation companies like offrs will continue to play a more and more valuable role in the daily operations of small businesses like yours. It's just the nature of today's connected world. But as we provide real estate lead generation services, we want to be your partner in the proper handling of these listing leads.

Going Forward With offrs

So if this is your first exposure to offrs and the services we provide (such as real estate lead generation websites), then you're likely wondering why a lead generation real estate solution provider is so invested in the world of data. But that's exactly it... we're highly invested in data... and so are you. As we mentioned early on, we live in a world the runs on it. Your seller leads... the potential homeowner clients made an investment decision a long time ago. But whether or not purchasing their home was a good investment at the time, when and how they position it into the market is something they'll want your help with. Your real estate leads need you and your access to the best data available. And as a provider of real estate agent leads, we're committed to providing you with the best data we can gather and process on your behalf. Because, as we've mentioned before, real estate seller leads are not found... they're made and our commitment to providing the best info int he industry doesn't stop at your doorstep... we're committed all the way through and through. Let's get the ball rolling.

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