A New Central Operating System for the Real Estate Industry

Technology is changing nearly every industry, including real estate.  Soon things like virtual home visits and property suggestions based on machines learning will become a reality with ever-advancing technologies.  In real estate, some companies are embracing the change.   

Pathway is an all-in-one platform for real estate agents

Pathway is an all-in-one platform for real estate agents

Pathway RE has developed an all-in-one platform that serves as a hub for every step of a real estate agent’s process. As a lead comes in, Pathway captures key information, so agents can respond quickly, scheduling appointments, writing notes on each buyer or seller, and staying organized.  The platform generates automatic and informative emails for every contact in the system to keep agents top-of-mind throughout the buying or selling process.

Pathway is great for agent teams as well, making it easy to add team members to different deals and assign various tasks. Documents can be stored within Pathway, which also offers secure document signing and records all transactions with timestamps.  All commissions, financial details, and transactions are also tracked and stored.

“I saw a need for a centralized operational system for agents and agent teams,” said Berube.  “There are so many transactions, leads, and steps to keep track of and manage.  I thought the more we could automate this process and make it easier for agents, the more time they could spend selling homes rather than dealing with paperwork or chasing down a lead.”

Pathway was recognized by Inman News and Atlanta Agent Magazine who called it “the ‘Swiss-Army Knife’ of Real Estate Software” and the “industry’s first ‘right-sized’ cloud-based, mobile real estate management system.”

Pathway has developed the technology to replace the outdated tools of the industry, with all the features that real estate professionals need today. To hear the founder of Pathway, Jack Berube, and other industry leaders discuss technology trends to watch in 2018, sign up for our free webinar December 19.  Register below.

Does Your Facebook Need a Boost?

17.7% of agents say social media marketing is their #1 marketing expense, according to the white paper Generating Business in Real EstateThe blog Contactually claims that 80% of realtors are using Facebook for professional use.   Facebook’s prevalence in real estate is likely the reason Facebook is getting more involved in our industry.

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But while Facebook is a significant marketing outlet for many real estate professionals, creating and monitoring Facebook advertising to yield quality leads and revenue is not easy.  In fact, it can be a full-time job.

HomeSpotter, a real estate technology platform, has the answer.  They recently launched Boost, a tool that automates every aspect of Facebook advertising to save time and produce better results.  Boost connects directly with the MLS so when it receives a notification of a new listing or open house, it automatically generates a polished, professional Facebook ad on behalf of their clients. 

First, it populates the copy, the image, and the agent’s logo and headshot.  It even includes elements likely to draw attention, like a “New” banner at the top of the ad.  Users of the Boost platform can change or modify any aspect of the ad, or simply approve it.

Next, Boost creates a custom audience for the ad based on their big data tools. 

Finally, Boost drives all traffic from the ads to a unique lead page created on the client’s behalf and designed to generate quality leads.  Agents, teams, and brokerages no longer need to create custom landing pages or spend valuable time crafting the perfect headline.  Boost automates the entire process.

“We heard from clients that Facebook advertising was important, but they just didn’t have the time to do it consistently,” said Aaron Kardell, Founder and CEO of HomeSpotter.  “Boost helps every real estate organization, regardless of size or marketing experience, effectively advertise on Facebook.”

Boost is an excellent example of how automation is changing real estate.  To hear Kardell and other industry leaders discuss other technology trends to watch in 2018, sign up for our free webinar December 19.

 

Top 10 Real Estate Companies to Watch in 2018

A new year means time for fresh ideas and more innovation in the real estate industry. We've had our eye on these up and coming businesses for a while and wanted to share our list of 10 companies who are going to be doing big things in 2018.

 

1. Agentology

This company is offering a 24/7 lead engagement team who will contact your fresh leads within 5 minutes, ask all the right questions and filter out the unmotivated leads from the hot prospects. With Agentology's team behind your business, you'll be able to engage quickly and convert more of your leads to sales. They are powered by a 100% U.S. based team who is trained to gather all the information you need in a friendly conversation with your potential leads. You have access to every conversation Agentology has with your leads and they keep you in the loop every step of the way. If you're not interested in a lead, you can refer them to someone else through Agentology's network with a 25% referral fee on each closed deal. 

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2. Transported

As Virtual Reality develops into a tool for professionals, it's no wonder that the real estate industry has found excellent ways to utilize this kind of technology. Transported will create virtual walkthroughs of your properties to make your listing pages more engaging. The process takes about an hour and the VR tours are easy to embed on your own webpage or share on social media. If you're looking to reach a global audience and update your marketing, take a look at adding Transported's VR to your website. 

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3. Agent Inbox

Agent Inbox offers a modern messaging experience for agents, brokerages, and customers. This platform is powered by MLS data and makes it easy to centralize each deal from start to finish. Instead of vague text messages from unknown numbers, each client has a profile that has all of their information in one place. You can stay up to date on individual deals, while handling multiple clients and properties concurrently. By having all this information available in one central location, it makes it easy to deliver a higher level of service and attentiveness to your clients.

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4. HomeSpotter

HomeSpotter aims to turn the entire real estate buying process into a more enjoyable and organized process through their elegant apps for both buyer and agent. By taking the functionality of multiple platforms (apps, websites, CRM software, texts, emails and phone calls) and putting it in one place, they've solved the problem of the disorganized paper trail. Within the app, buyers and agents can communicate via text, organize notes and comments for each home, all through an easy to use app, branded for each agent or brokerage. 

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5. MyPlanit - Real Estate Beta

MyPlanit is an app that allows you to manage your busy schedule while staying better connected with your clients. Strategically plan your day to be as efficient as possible with the powerful planning and notifications center. You can view upcoming calendar appointments, see directions and communicate with attendees. MyPlanit offers one location to view the latest messages from your clients and team members, as well as see new listings that match your clients' preferences and schedule a showing with one click. MyPlanit keeps a record of your schedule in the past as well as your future, tracking location, time and people you were with. If you want to try the MyPlanit exclusively for Real Estate, you'll be a beta tester until the bugs are worked, but it combines listing data and photos are automatically, making your life as a busy real estate agent a little easier. 

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6. ListingZen

ListingZen wants to unify today's patchwork of real estate apps and services by turning the single property website into a collaborative database. By using Artificial Intelligence, they'll be able to maximize effectiveness and minimize effort. This website helps control all the moving parts of a property listing, making it easy to manage floor plans, photos, videos, inspection reports and documents in one single portal. 

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7. Updater

Not sure what you need to do while moving? Updater consolidates everything you need to do in one easy place. They work with landlords and home service companies to make your life easier when trying to switch places. You can update accounts, forward mail, book a moving company, transfer utilities and home services all from the app.  The tools that they've built help millions of people move.

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8. Common

Advertised as "city living done right," Common offers private rooms for rent with beautiful shared spaces in friendly homes. These homes are made up of diverse members, recent college grads, established professionals, singles and couples alike. This is a flexible, convenient, affordable way to enjoy life in a vibrant urban community. Your private bedroom is furnished and the common areas are fully furnished, with a high end kitchen, dishware, weekly cleaning, basic supplies, free on-site laundry, free high-speed wi-fi and maintenance services included. They've taken the headache of finding the perfect living situation and without adding a giant price tag. 

 

9. Triplemint

This company is taking the pain out of buying, selling and renting apartments. The software anticipates and capitalizes on future market activity to match prospective buyers, sellers, and renters. You'll be able to make better real estate decisions by accessing our inventory of off-market properties. In the past, real estate technology has been focused on media centered companies who sell ads on listing search pages, but Triplemint wants to focus on the actual consumer experience. Each agent is a full-time employee at Triplemint and not working just for their commission from each closed sale. Part of their compensation depends on a consumer satisfaction score, which incentivizes agents to make the experience painless and easy for each client. 

 

10. Compass

Our final mention on the list is Compass, who has recently been in the news for continuing to grow quickly and exponentially in the past few months. Compass allows you to discover home trends in your market, hand selected by local experts. These homes are curated by design, amenities, and neighborhood and provide a visual snapshot of the most sought-after properties.  By partnering with trusted talent, you can navigate the world of real estate with an expert that you can trust. Use the compass mobile app to search smarter from anywhere, get market insights for your area or explore neighborhoods.

If you're interested in other trends in 2018, join our free webinar December 19  on the biggest technology trends in real estate.  We have a panel of industry experts who will discuss what technology may impact your business next year.  

Free Webinar: Join us December 19 to discuss the Biggest Tech Trends in Real Estate with Industry Leaders

Join us December 19  at 2:00 PM Eastern as we discuss the technology trends to watch in the coming year with some of the leading experts.  Join Aaron Kardell, Founder of Homespotter; Mike Schneider, Founder of First.io; Heather Sittig Jackson, Founder of Relola; and Jake Berube, Founder of Pathway Real Estate, as we discuss some of the leading technology trends in real estate.  Get your questions answered and find out how some of this technology may impact your business in the coming year.

If you can join us or would like a complimentary copy of the recording, register below.

 

Latest updates to the Developer Platform

Last week I hosted another "Check-In" which is our ten-minute monthly update on the latest in the Developer Platform.  If you weren't able to join us, here's what's new:

1. AVM Change data added to Allevents/detail call

A couple of months ago we added AVM change data to our API responses, which shows you the difference between the current valuation of the home and the previous month's valuation of the home. It also shows you the amount and percent change of that difference. This was previously just on our AVM/detail call, but we've now added it to our allevents/detail call. Now you can get back AVM change data, the most recent sales transaction, as well as some other details about the property without having to make a separate API call to pull that information back.

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2. Building out sample code library

This gives you the opportunity to cut down on some of the upfront work and pull some of the sample code that we've already written to help you get started with our API and some of our other products. Visit our GitHub to see the sample code repository where we've started to add some of our basic property detail calls. If you're looking to making a simple property detail call in PHP, plug in your API key and we've already set it up to make that property detail call for an address. You can update the URL to search by a property ID, or change the endpoint to search different data in the API. We've also added some sample code for our Nurture Bar and our myAVM product if you're familiar and want to take a look at that. 

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3. User Interface Sample Code

We're also going to start offering real-life UI sample code. What we've done is built out a page that allows you to show all the school information you could want in an area, based on the search of a property. You can type in any property in the search bar and the institutions that are within the applicable attendant zone will show. It will also pull back private schools within the 10-mile radius for that property and you can use the arrows to scroll through the schools. Once you select a school, it will show you different details about the school in the bottom left and then highlight information about the school on the map. The blue area indicated is the attendant zone for that school.

Our goal here is to give a clean and easy interface and we'll provide all the sample code to build this with our APIs through Github. You'll get the HTML code, the JavaScript code and the PHP code needed to build this with our APIs. After you grab the sample code, as long as you have a valid API key, you can get this setup on your website or product right away. It's a great way to skip some of the design, the overhead and get started using our data right away.

This school page is the first of 4 samples that will be rolling out in the next few months. The others will be for sales trends, community information and points of interest. They will all have a similar look and feel and you'll be able to grab the sample code, change around colors, change around data fields and make them your own, or use them as is.

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4. New bulk data page to explore

This is a new addition to our website for those who are interested in bulk data, bulk data files or any match and append processes. For example: to send Onboard a list of address and you want to build out the most recent sale date and most recent sale amount attached to all of those addresses to do a backend analysis on that information. This page showcases all the of the different bulk data forms that we have and gives you the opportunity to look at the sample downloads, the data dictionary and the user guides that we've built out for each one of these different data types. Even if you're using the API, sometimes the data dictionary in the sample file can be a good way to make sure that you're grabbing all the data that you have access to do. Strongly encourage you to go and play around with as you get started with using the API or the bulk data.

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We've got some more exciting updates coming in 2018, so be sure to join our regular check-ins throughout the new year.

If you have any questions, feel free to email kmattice@onboardinformatics.com or visit our Developer Platform for more information.

Video of "Get More From Your WordPress Website" is now ready to view.

Want to get more from your WordPress website?

Onboard just launched our first WordPress plug-in that offers the most popular real estate content and lead generation tools. Access robust data and local content through an easy to install plug-in for your WordPress site.

A few years ago, we introduced Neighborhood Navigator, which quickly became our signature product.  In the last few months, we’ve given it a completely updated look and brand new features to bring you the latest version: Neighborhood Navigator 2.0. or Nav 2.0, for short.

The idea behind this product was to create something that could be easily and quickly added to your website. It was intended to be placed on your listing pages to create a more robust and engaging experience for the user when they’re viewing a property. While you might have house data from your MLS that tells you how many bedrooms and bathrooms there are, most property pages lack information about the neighborhood and surrounding community.

If you’re spending your time to drive valuable traffic to your website, the last thing you want people to do is leave your page to find the information they’re looking for.


That’s where Onboard’s Nav 2.0 comes in.

We’ve taken our experience in real estate from the last 15 years, and built a product that offers your website visitors what they want. With Nav 2.0, we deliver local information and community data in an engaging experience, designed to keep people on your website for longer.

Since 50% of the internet is powered by WordPress sites, we’ve created a plug-in version to easily add it to your site. Even if you don’t have a WordPress site, but are interested in Nav 2.0, you can still easily insert the code snippets into your website for the same great features. Contact us today to find out how.


Neighborhood Navigator 2.0

Nav 2.0 is comprised of 3 different bars, designed to work together seamlessly. The first bar is the Nav bar and includes 4 different tabs to deliver a comprehensive community report. Below is just some of the data that you can find in Nav 2.0.

1. Community & Demographics

  • Community overview
  • Facts about the property
  • Population
  • Median income
  • Closest Airport
  • Household size
  • Population demographics (age, level of education, etc.)
  • Weather
  • Crime 
  • Education climate
  • Education
  • Employment (blue/white collar)

2. School Systems

  • Elementary, Middle & High School District
  • Private Schools (10-mile radius)
  • Catholic Schools (10-mile radius)
  • School ratings
  • Percent of students college bound
  • Money spent per child
  • Students per grade
  • Student to Teacher ratio
  • Curriculum

3. Amenities and Businesses

  • Food & Drink
  • Automotive
  • Banks
  • Healthcare

4. Home Sales and Trends

  • Sales activity of the community
  • Number of transactions
  • Price trends
  • Summary by quarter

The Nurture bar appears below the Nav bar with the heading of “Detailed Property Report”. If someone likes the property and is interested in more information, they can be emailed a detailed property report for that address. The nurture bar prepopulates with the address of the property page and all they have to do is add their email to receive their free report.

When they click “Get Your Free Report”, 3 things happen. The person who submitted their email, receives a detailed property report, customized with the branding and colors of the agent or broker. Next, they’re automatically added to an email drip campaign that will send them local community information twice a month to keep you and your business top of mind when they’re ready to take the next steps in buying a home. And lastly, the agent will be notified about what property this person was looking at and their information so that the agent or broker can reach out and offer their help in answering questions and moving the home buying process along.


The final component of Nav 2.0 is the new addition of the Lead bar. This offers a way for your website visitors to immediately connect with you. They can input their email or phone number and let the agent know their preferred method of contact, whether it’s a phone call, a text or an email. These leads are very interested and are looking for immediate answers.

With these three sections, Neighborhood Navigator 2.0 allows you to engage your website visitors, generate and nurture your leads, and connect with interested prospects.

If you’re interested in trying out Nav 2.0, visit our Demo page. This is a public page and you’re welcome to play around with the different features.

Looking for a more customizable option? Onboard’s API allows you to use our data to build your own product. Check out our Developer Platform to see all the documentation and how you can create your own. Our data is broken down into 4 sections of Property, Area, Points of Interest and Community.

Here's a step-by-step demo of how to install and activate your new Onboard Nav 2.0 plug-in.

Step by step demonstration of how to install Onboard Nav WordPress Plug-in (Seth Seigler, Founder of Hoverboard Labs)

 

Onboard Informatics Launches Neighborhood Navigator 2.0 WordPress Plug-In

The plug-in offers WordPress users quicker and easier access to the robust information and lead generation tools in Neighborhood Navigator 2.0

Onboard Informatics, the leading provider of real estate information, launched a suite of WordPress plugins to support its flagship product, Neighborhood Navigator (Nav 2.0) today. The plugin lets WordPress users link directly to Onboard’s premium local content and lead generation tools with minimal development time and effort.

Nav 2.0 has three plug-ins designed to achieve specific business objectives. The first, Nav, pulls in data from Onboard’s multiple APIs to display the most popular information in real estate: public and private school information, community demographics, market trends and local amenities. Each section is displayed in an elegant report and gives users the ability to navigate any area in the country. 

Nurture is the second plugin. It is a lead generation extension that emails a comprehensive property report when a visitor submits an email address. Leads generated from Nurture are automatically emailed neighborhood updates twice a month with the latest local information from their area. Users of the Nurture plugin will get every lead generated and will have their contact information featured on all outgoing emails. 

The third plugin, Lead, simply allows online visitors to submit their contact information and specify their preferred method of communication. Combined, these three plugins create the full Nav 2.0 product. WordPress users have the flexibility use these plugins together or separately based on their preferences and business objectives. 

Onboard Informatics Senior Product Manager Dean Soukeras says that while this Plugin Suite is a great start, he hopes to have many more plugins available in 2018.

“It’s all about making the data we have easier to access and use to improve your business. If you have a WordPress website, which many in real estate and finance do, plugins are a fantastic way to do that.” - Dean Soukeras

Developers could already work with Onboard Informatics APIs through the Developer Platform, but introducing a suite of WordPress plugins makes it easier for any creator to speed up the process of getting local information and lead capture tools on a website.  

"Onboard has been supplying critical information to the real estate community for over 15 years.  We know the data is important for people buying and selling a home. We are now focused on how we can improve delivery, so clients can use our data quicker, better, and more effectively. WordPress plugins are a natural extension of our main priority, which is making the best information in real estate easily and readily available.” - Marc Siden, Onboard Informatics Co-Founder and CEO.

Each plug-in in the Nav 2.0 Suite is mobile-compatible, offering online visitors the same experience regardless of where they view it. 

If you are interested in seeing how to use the Nav 2.0 Suite, register for our upcoming demonstration on Wednesday, November 29. Even if you can’t attend, register and Onboard Informatics will email you a copy of the recording.

The Five Technology Trends that will Impact Real Estate (and the World) in 2018

As we head toward a new year, let’s examine technological forces that will shape the real estate industry next year. 

Here’s what 2018 will bring:

Are you ready for all of this?

It’s important to understand what shifts might impact real estate so we can stay ahead of the curve.   In 2018, here are the trends to watch in real estate:


1.    Talk to Me

Texting and typing is so 2010.  Consumers of 2018 want to speak to their computers.  With the advancing technology of chatbots, this is now easier than ever.

AskDOSS is the first intelligent personal assistant for everything real estate

CHATBOTS - Chatbots like Siri and Echo are making voice recognition software ubiquitous.  It is estimated there will be 1.8 billion users of voice digital assistants by 2021.   Many predict voice to be the fastest growing interface in digital search. 

CHATBOTS IN REAL ESTATE - This trend has already started to emerge in real estate.   AskDoss (pictured),  which launched in October, is the first intelligent personal assistant for everything real estate.  Users of this platform can speak their real estate search into AskDOSS in their natural voice and get accurate, easy and instant answers.   AskDOSS is likely the first of many real estate portals that will incorporate chatbot technology into search in the coming year.


2.   Get to Know Me

We’ve been saying for a while that blanket, standardized messaging is a thing of the past.  In 2018, we’ll take a giant step away from uniform content toward increased personalization, customization and one-on-one marketing. 

Amazon leads this trend with their personal storefront.  Now services like Sentient and Viscovery are promising a new level of personalization on websites, emails, and even videos.  Technology like machine learning and Artificial Intelligence make this level of personalization possible.  Dark Analytics might take this all further and is another trend to watch in 2018. 

Predictive analytics, like first.io offers, will get more sophisticated with dark analytics

DARK ANALYTICSDark analytics is looking at unstructured, raw, or text-based data that hasn’t been analyzed and doesn’t come in tidy rows or spreadsheets.  It includes things like text messages, documents, emails, video, audio and still images.  Currently, there’s not a common way to run analytics on this type of data to come to finite conclusions, but that won’t always be the case.

90% of data today was generated in the last two years.  The digital universe is doubling every 12 months.  Think of all the data you produce simply by being an active internet user.  This reporter found out that her single Tinder profile produced 800 pages of data.  800 pages!  And much of that data isn’t being analyzed….for now.

DARK ANALYTICS IN REAL ESTATE- Today, we analyze a fraction of the data produced – estimates are around 10-20%.  If we can advance computer vision and pattern recognition software to unlock insights from this data, companies like first.io (pictured),  who offers predictive analytics on home-owners, will become even more sophisticated.  Based on pictures or conversations or purchases, companies may know a home-owner is going to sell before they do. 


3.   Go Faster

Another trend that isn’t going anywhere is the need for companies to develop and perform faster.  Whether in response time or technical advancement, speed is paramount.

To advance faster, more companies are moving to architecture of open-standards and cloud first designs.  This trend started in start-ups, but is now seeping into companies of all scopes and sizes.  Moving from the traditional stovepipe structure to something more agile means that all companies can be reactive and advance quicker. 

Services like Homespotter's Boost enable agents to work even faster

SPEED – Even consumers act quicker the more they move away from desktop applications.  A study from Facebook this year found that mobile devices change our perception of time.  People who viewed a video on a phone thought it was 30% shorter than people who viewed that same video on a desktop computer.  Ad purchases are 13% faster on mobile as well.  The takeaway is that it’s not enough to develop fast, your product also must react quickly in the coming year. 

SPEED IN REAL ESTATECreating something that works faster for real estate professionals will become more important as they get more sophisticated.  Homespotter’s Boost (pictured) launched this year and is a notable example of technology making agents’ work faster.  Boost automatically creates a social media ad by pulling in copy, images and even a Call to Action directly from the MLS.  The only thing the agent must do is approve it.  That kind of responsive technology will become even more important in 2018.


4.   Pull Me In

There will be advancing technology in 2018 designed to pull consumers into unique brand experiences.  We have been talking about Engagement for a few years now, but technology is going to take consumer engagement to another level, becoming even more personal and immersive.  Technologically speaking, the trends to pay attention to are transaction-engagement, mixed reality and the Internet of Things. 

TRANSACTION/ENGAGEMENT – The outer edge of this enhanced Consumer Experience (CX) is transaction-engagement.  As brands move from selling to serving, creating unique, engaging, interactive digital experiences become critical.  Websites, as an easy example, cannot be merely online brochures.  To be effective, they must be interactive, personal, and engaging.

Collections by Compass uses technology to provide a more interactive experience

TRANSACTION/ENGAGEMENT IN REAL ESTATE -   Earlier this year, Compass released Collections (pictured), which they call “the Pinterest of Real Estate.”  Collections by Compass allows users to organize, collaborate and discuss properties with loved ones and their agents.  It uses technology to provide a more interactive and engaging service.

Another example of this type of interactivity is Amazon’s iOS application AR View – which allows users to see how furniture will look in their home.  It’s immediately personal, relevant, useful and completely interactive. 

MIXED REALITY– Speaking of mixing realities, get ready for more in 2018.  Technology is going to allow companies to combine the physical world and the digital world to create a reality that is natural, interactive and intelligent.

Mixed reality incorporates digital content into real-time surroundings.  From Topology using mixed reality to let users try on glasses before they buy them to Disney introducing its first Mixed Reality ride, this idea of mixing worlds is becoming more common.

MIXED REALITY IN REAL ESTATE -  Creating a mixed reality experience to sell a home is still cost prohibitive, with prices for putting together this type of experience ranging from a few thousand dollars to $100,000.  There has been talk about incorporating this technology in the luxury home market or in new construction.  Imagine going to an empty lot and being able to digitally “walk” through your future home. 

Sonos is one example of the expansion of IoT into more homes

THE INTERNET OF THINGS (IoT)- the Internet of Things is the idea of connecting variable technologies to create a more comfortable environment.  Think of services like Nest controlling your home’s temperature or Sonos speakers (pictured right) playing a different song in each room while simultaneously connecting to your Alexa, this technology is starting to creep into the lives of more Americans.

This year at South by Southwest, IBM even introduced the concept of the Internet of Caring Things, which would use IoT to care for the aging population.   While this is a technical trend, how and where might it impact real estate?

IoT IN REAL ESTATE – Imagine putting a beacon, a small blue-tooth enabled devices that emit a URL, in every open house.  When someone is within range, their phone will pick up the signal and will notify them of the open house.  This could completely change the definition of a qualified lead.  IoT is slowly turning homes into smart devices.  Because we are in the business of buying and selling homes, this transition will no doubt impact real estate technology.


5.   Respect Me and My Privacy

If the section on Dark Analytics got you a little freaked out – you are not alone.  Despite consumers wanting more personalization in their online experiences, they also want companies to respect their privacy.  With breaches in data like Equifax and more recently Uber (pictured),  consumers are growing concerned with how their personal data is being protected.

Privacy is a growing concern after data breaches from companies like Uber

PRIVACYTechnology like Blockchain, which is a technology that transfers information securely through distributed trust systems, has the potential of becoming a new way to support data transfer with integrity.     The blockchain technology was created for the online currency bitcoin, but is now creating a new privacy standard that more companies might adapt with heightened consumer concerns.

PRIVACY IN REAL ESTATE – As consumers grow warry of how their data is shared, it might have implications for information like owner name and mortgage information.  If we are truly going to set up a trust economy, perhaps technology must be incorporated to secure client’s most confidential information.   A 2014 study found that 7 out of 10 mortgage companies conduct practices that put personal and financial data at risk.  As this trend for privacy continues, that might have to change in 2018 and beyond.


These will be the trends to watch in 2018.  You can already see the diametric forces of consumer desire to get more personal with their devices, whether it’s talking to them, mixing realities, or making their home appliances “smarter” – coming up against their desire for privacy and respect.  These are unchartered waters we’ll all have to navigate.

In real estate, where so much valuable data is transferred and can potentially be used to create enhanced consumer experiences and deeper consumer insight, we will be in the middle of it all.

If you are interested in learning more about Real Estate Technology Trends, join our discussion with a panel of some of the industry’s technology and thought leaders December 19 for an exclusive Onboard Informatics webinar

Top 5 Real Estate Quotes from 2017

As 2017 comes to a close, we wanted to look back on all the wisdom that industry leaders have shared over the past year. Here's a compilation of our favorite quotes from real estate and marketing experts. 

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"In a crowded marketplace, fitting in is a failure. In a busy marketplace, not standing out is the same as being invisible." 
- Seth Godin, Best Selling Author

Think about how you can stand out to customers. What are you offering that is different from your competitors? Do you have the most local knowledge about the area? A process that offers transparency or speed?  What personal touches are you incorporating into the real estate process? Capitalize on what makes you different. 

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"To give real service, you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity."
- Douglas Adams, Best Selling Author

Another way that you can stand out from the crowd is through your level of service. This takes time and effort, but will pay off in the long-run.

 

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"As with any business, the name of the game is relationships. They difference is what you sell. People want to work with people they know, like and trust. Be human and solve their problems."
- Lisa Archer, Chief Opportunity Officer at LiveLoveHomes

Regardless of the industry that you're in, treating people like human beings instead of a sales quota is the best way to meet your goals. When you provide relatable content and information,  the sales will come along with lifelong relationships. 

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"Not following up with your prospects is the same as filling up your bathtub without first putting the stopper in the drain."
- Michelle Moore, Real Estate Expert

Generating viable leads is sometimes the hardest part of the business. So why waste them by failing to nurture them through the sale?   All it takes is a little follow up to keep you and your brand top of mind for your prospective clients. 

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"The more you know about your customers, the more you can provide to them information that is increasingly useful, relevant, and persuasive."
- Jay Baer, Founder of Convince & Convert

Don't forget to do your research when it comes to your customers. This may sound like common sense, but it’s important to be reminded that your clients are not just a commission. As you find out more about each one of them, the better you can help them, and the happier they’ll be with your service.

Hope you've enjoyed this year's Best Real Estate Quotes of 2017.  Do you have some you would like to share?  Add them in the comments section!  

What Neighborhood Pages Can do for your Real Estate Website

The major real estate portals all have neighborhood pages in addition to pages on properties and listings.  What is the advantage of having neighborhood pages on your site and are they right for you?

What are Neighborhood Pages?

Neighborhood Pages are pages on a real estate website dedicated to a specific neighborhood.  They often offer important information about the area, including schools, demographics, points of interest and commute times.  It gives the online visitor the feeling of a neighborhood.

Why have Neighborhood Pages?

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According to the 2016 New Buyer Survey from the National Association of REALTORS, online home shoppers often start their search at the neighborhood level.  Many times, home buyers aren't sure where they want to live - and will look for the location before they look for a specific property.

It's often said that real estate consumers will compromise on certain things about a property, but they will not compromise on location.  If their priorities are to be in a certain school district or have a specific commute, the location will be a priority for them during their home search.  

When you have neighborhood pages, you are able to offer valuable information to online consumers early in their process.  You are seen as credible and knowledgeable about the local area as well.

In addition, neighborhood pages grow your online footprint.  Instead of just having pages on listings, you can have separate pages on every neighborhood in your community.  Having more pages will give you the unique content that will help your rank in the major search engines.  

Should I build or buy neighborhood pages?

If you want to build neighborhood pages, Onboard Informatics has all the data you need.  Simply go to the Developer Platform and sign up for a free trial.  You can access community information and points of interest information all in one place.

If you don't have internal development resources or the time to build your own pages, Onboard also offers turnkey community pages.  A sample of what these look like can be found at AddressReport.com.  

Whether you choose to build or buy neighborhood pages, they are a good thing to have on your site.  They increase your credibility, your online presence and help future clients find the information they are looking for early in their home-buying process.

 

Sample API calls from the Developer Platform at Onboard Informatics and what you can build.

Sample API calls from the Developer Platform at Onboard Informatics and what you can build.