The chatter among industry professionals about using data to find listings is building. Experts are offering instructions for retrieving and analyzing data points that can predict the homes and homeowners most likely to sell -- perhaps even before the homeowners themselves are ready to sell.
In this Inman News article by Bryan Robertson, Bryan reveals three data points an agent can research to determine homeowners who are likely to list their home. At SmartZip, we are huge proponents of using big and small data for finding listings, so we couldn't help getting in on the conversation. Bryan's points are excellent and the analysis of the data is applied very well -- and they are only the tip of the iceberg.
There are hundreds of data point variations and combinations worth considering when searching for potential listings. Some of them can be found by real estate professionals with access to MLS data and county records, and others require the work of data scientists.
Here are a few examples:
1. Growing families
Data point: Presence of children
Is the family expanding, or are children leaving the nest? This can be difficult to Google, as the data is sparse. However, if the owners have been in the home for several years, including before they had children, they are likely hoping to move up to a home that better suits their current needs.
2. Empty nesters
Data points: Age of homeowner and stage of life
In his article, Bryan keenly mentions that an aging homeowner borrowing on equity could be a target for real estate agents. Another group that agents should focus on is recent empty nesters. In many cases, their biggest listing barrier is emotional -- selling the family home is a big decision and the beginning of a new life stage. Real estate agents can work with this group to go through the main steps -- de-cluttering, performing basic upgrades, etc. -- to get them ready for sale. Because they often don't have a timeline in mind, agents can help this demographic understand how current market conditions could benefit them.
3. Distressed homeowners
Data point: Notice of default
Though the rates of foreclosures are dwindling across the U.S., there are some markets being hit late with high rates of default. Real estate agents who focus on this specialized demographic can become a trusted resource for homeowners whose load is too heavy.
4. Big spenders vs. big savers
Data points: Consumer purchasing data
Recent data from the National Association of REALTORS® shows that 68% of repeat buyers refrained from luxury or non-essential purchases as they prepared to purchase a new home. Additionally, 56% of these buyers said it took them less than one year to save for their new home's down payment. Together, these factors show that those planning to sell their home are very conscientious as the listing date approaches. Real estate agents can pay attention to the spending and saving habits of potential sellers in their sphere or market area to see who may be preparing to sell in the next year or two.
5. Change in neighborhood demographics
Data points: Age of homeowner, school district data and rankings, commercial development and more
Over time, neighborhoods change. In the span of a few decades, a new sprawling suburb with low turnover can transition from a family-friendly neighborhood to a community full of retirees. Conversely, a previously sleepy market may quickly become a hotspot, with young families moving in and local cafes dotting the street corners. Homeowners who have been around for decades may be wary of a changing scene, or they may be hoping to cash in on their initial investment. Real estate agents can work with long-term residents to understand home values in their changing neighborhood, and to identify inexpensive upgrades that could net them a higher price at closing.
The list goes on and on
Some data can be found online, while other listing insights can be found by looking at trends in significant data points in a market area over time. This deeper dive is usually left to data science experts, who can not only find and interpret homeowner information, but also use big data to fill in the holes.
At SmartZip, our data scientists pull and measure hundreds of data points to deliver the best listings prospects exclusively to you. Check out a free demo to learn how you can map a custom territory, get insider rankings of the homes most likely to sell and automated marketing campaigns that target these potential sellers with SmartTargeting.