Video: Live Demo of Nav 2.0

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Yesterday we hosted a Live Demo and Q&A of our latest product, Neighborhood Navigator 2.0.  I was joined by Brett Friedman, National Director of Sales and Dean Soukeras, Senior Product Manager and creator of Nav 2.0.  We walked through the product, explained the motivation behind building this solution, and fielded some outstanding questions.  We hope you'll take a few minutes to watch the demo (below), but if you don't have the time, here's what was covered. 1.  Nav 2.0 Delivers a 1-2 Punch!

Nav 2.0 is a new iteration of a product Onboard created 10 years ago called Neighborhood Navigator.  Navigator featured the most popular datasets in onboard's collection and made it easy for clients to display that content on their website.  Nav 2.0 includes this feature as well, but the Navigator Bar incorporates directly with your site, which makes for a seamless user experience.  It looks like it's part of your site and is fully responsive, displaying beautifully whether you're viewing it on a desktop or a mobile phone.

Nav 2.0 School screen shot

The second "punch" is the Nurture Bar.  The Nurture Bar offers to email the user a full property report of the home they are reviewing.  This easily allows you to capture more leads on your website.  We've known our content is effective in keeping people on your site longer for years.  Now we're using it to capture their information as well.

2.  Nav 2.0 Continues the Conversation with your Digital Audience

After they receive a property report, they will automatically receive a neighborhood report every other week with updates to things like home value and recent home sales.  This is content geared specifically to each person based on a property they care about, so these emails are read!  Every email features your agent's picture and contact information and when recipients reply to the email, it gets sent directly to you.

All of this requires no work on your part.  Just an easy and effective way to stay in front of your website visitors long after they've left your site.

3.  Nav 2.0 is Easy and Fast to Implement

You can have these two bars on your website or online application in less than a week.

Watch the entire demo below:

For more information on Neighborhood Navigator 2.0, fill out the form below:

White Paper: Generating New Business in Real Estate

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In real estate, it can be tough to figure out the best way to generate new business year over year. There is a finite number of movers out there with more companies competing for their share. While we don’t have the magic bullet on how to generate new business in real estate, we wanted to find out what you thought about it. What were you doing to bring in closes? What was working? What wasn’t? This year, we surveyed nearly 400 real estate professionals on how they generate new business in the real estate industry. We discovered a wide range of feedback and insight from brokers, marketers and agents on how they invest their time, money and efforts. We took the findings and created an exclusive white paper on the best ways to generate new real estate business.

Our topics ranged from the type of data people use to how they spend their marketing budget. We also asked about key business concerns for the coming year and beyond. The result is a comprehensive white paper that goes into what it takes to build a real estate business and how different stakeholders within an organization take on this challenge. It's a fascinating, exclusive look into the world of real estate.

Here are some highlights from the paper:

34% of 2016 deals came from the agent's social sphere or network. The next largest portion came from digital leads. Purchased leads were about even with walk-in business and open houses in terms of the percent that actually generated revenue.

The average real estate website gets 2800 visitors per month.

Agents invest in different marketing tactics than the group at large. Their #1 marketing expense is social media marketing followed by branding and drip marketing. Purchasing leads, which ranked very high with the overall group, was fifth on the list in terms of how agents spend their marketing dollars.

To download and read your copy of the entire white paper, fill out the form below.

What is the Onboard Area API?

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People commonly define themselves by the places in which they live and work, ranging from a region, state or local neighborhood. The Onboard Area API returns boundary data for many levels of geography, including counties, places, neighborhoods and more. You can use these boundaries to give your users more context and to aggregate data to visualize on a map. API stands for Application Programming Interface.    Basically, it’s a way for developers to receive information.  More specifically, an API receives requests and sends responses from a remote server.   Our Area API pulls boundary data from Maponics and has over 40,000 neighborhood boundaries nationwide.  In addition, there is boundary data on residential, metro, subdivisions and more through a single API.  We also have the standard county, state, and zip code boundaries.  If you want the end users of your solution to be able to sort in a specific self-defined area, this API is an invaluable resource and works with all of our other datasets including Community, Points of Interest and Property.


Data Sources

Our Area API includes boundary data from Maponics, the United States Postal Service (USPS) as well as selected geographic areas from the Census Bureau’s MAF/TIGER database.

  • Neighborhood Boundaries, updated Quarterly: 40,878
  • Residential Boundaries, updated Quarterly: 446,843
  • Metro Boundaries, updated Quarterly: 502
  • State + District of Columbia, updated Annually: 50
  • County, updated Annually: 3,233
  • Core based Statistical Area, updated Annually: 929
  • PL Census Place, updated Annually: 29,829
  • CS County Subdivision, updated Annually: 36,387
  • ZI Zip Code, updated Annually: 33,144
  • Postal Zip Code, updated Annually: 32,147
To see our interactive documentation in action, sign up for an API key at our Developer Platform.
API STRUCTURE
The Main Endpoint of the Area API is: https://search.onboard-apis.com/areaapi/v2.0.0/Resource/Package?{parameters}
Here is an example: https://search.onboard-apis.com/areaapi/v2.0.0/Boundary/Detail?areaid=12345

When interacting with Onboard primary data, this API has three potential hierarchies.  The first is Area Hierarchy.

Area Hierarchy

Maponics Neighborhood Boundaries

Maponics delineates the geographies that matter most to customers in the areas where people live, work, and socialize. Whether you need a simple lookup of neighborhood names or want a more meaningful way to organize and present map data, this dataset is considered the industry standard by web and mobile organizations across the globe.

Maponics Residential Boundaries

Maponics Residential, provides data about the residential areas in and around metros. These boundaries delineate neighborhoods with houses, condos, and apartment complexes, and exclude those with commercial, industrial, or public spaces.

Maponics Metro Boundaries

Metros are densely populated locations are comprised of cities, towns and rural areas that are socio-economically linked to urban centers. They include urban areas in which population concentration is greater than 50,000 and population density is greater than 1,000 people per square mile.

See the map below for a visualization of Maponics Boundaries. Learn more about Maponics boundaries here.

area hierarchy


Census Hierarchy

Incorporated Places

Places always are within a single state or equivalent entity, but may extend across county and county subdivision boundaries. An incorporated place usually is a city, town, village, or borough, but can have other legal descriptions.

County Subdivisions

County Subdivisions are the primary divisions of counties and equivalent entities. They include census county divisions, census subareas, minor civil divisions, and unorganized territories and can be classified as either legal or statistical. *NOTE: Onboard has chosen to use either Census Place OR County Subdivision boundaries in certain areas where the geography type best fits the local understanding and designation of geographies.

See the map below for a visualization of Places and County Subdivisions within a county.

census hierarchy

The final option is Lookups.  You can use Lookups to understand the relationships between two specific types of areas. For example, counties within a state.

The Area API can help you answer important questions like:

  • What neighborhood, zip code or place does this point or address fall within?
  • What is the boundary for a given GEO ID?
  • Tell me all the counties within this state.
  • Tell me all the CBSAs within this state.

If you are interested in finding our more about our APIs, fill out the form below.

It’s time to start paying attention to Millennials.

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While Millennials generally have a reputation of struggling in a tough job market and residing in their parents’ basements, they are starting to become a force in real estate. According to a recent National Association of REALTORS(R)  study, Millennials are now the largest share of homebuyers in the country at 34%.   The tide seems to be shifting as this massive population segment starts to enter the real estate market.  

They don’t represent a ton of commission for real estate agents at this point, with 66% being first-time home-buyers and most being quite price conscious, but the sheer numbers of this group creates a trend that must be noted by real estate professionals.   

 

 

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The Best Way to reach Millennials

In general, this is a group that fears the phone, thinks email is antiquated and can’t remember a time without being able to “Google it.”  If you can’t fit it into a tweet, a Facebook post, or an Instagram picture it will not be understood. In order to successfully capture Generations Y’s attention, here are three helpful tips to keep in mind.

  1. Get Online

This is a group that spends 53 hours a week online.  A lot of this time is spent on the big three:  SnapChat, Facebook, and Instagram.  These are actually awesome places to post pics of your latest listing and your neighborhood.  Build your credibility with this group by going where they go and keeping it visual.  Most millennials wouldn’t even make it this far in this blog post.  Pictures are your friend.  If you are interested in placing Facebook advertising as part of your marketing efforts, here is an article to get you started.  

  1. Be Original

This group isn’t going to respond to typical branding or corporate jargon.  They want content that feels genuine.. When you are on social media, let your authentic self shine through.    If you want to garner support from millennials, you have to relate to them. Keep it conversational.

  1. Get Referrals

According to our recent white paper Generating New Business in Real Estate, 44% of leads come from referrals and the overwhelming majority of closes come from referrals.  What does this mean for targeting millennials?  It means you need to create content that is shared. 25% of millennials share online content to their social networks; a rate of nearly four times that of the average user according to AdWeek.  

Millennials are more likely to buy something or go somewhere that’s recommended to them by a friend.  So don’t create content to be read, create content to be shared.

 

Conclusion.

Referrals, authenticity and social media. Those three things are the key to appealing to millennials. For this new generation, we must keep these new and fresh ideas in mind while marketing to them.

 If you are interested in keeping and converting millennials on your website, here are some tips and tricks to help conversion rates with this group.  

Tune in for a Demo of Nav 2.0 This Month

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Last week we launched Nav 2.0, the next iteration of our signature product Neighborhood Navigator.  This month we're hosting a demo showing exactly how the two bars of Nav 2.0 can plug into your site, page, or online application and immediately deliver more real estate leads. Nav 2.0 offers value to your visitors and generates quality leads.

  •  Nav Bar - Allows visitors to navigate community and school information, nearby home sales and more on any property in the country.
  • Nurture Bar - Entices visitors to leave their email in exchange for an in-depth property report and ongoing alerts.

If you are interested in seeing how Nav 2.0 can work for your business, join us June 20.  Register for the webinar here.

Watch the video below for more information on Nav 2.0.  If you're interested in a demo before June 20, fill out the form below.

What is the Onboard Points of Interest API?

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We are continuing our series on the APIs available fro m Onboard Informatics.  We have four APIs available: community, property, area, and Points of Interest.  Today we will explore  the Points of Interest API.  Onboard delivers data on every property in the country and their surrounding communities.   So what exactly is our Points of Interest API? API stands for Application Programming Interface.    Basically, it's a way for developers to receive information.  More specifically, an API receives requests and sends responses from a remote server.   Our Points of Interest API has data on the following:

  • Attractions and Recreation
  • Automotive Services
  • Banks and Financial Institutions
  • Eating and Drinking
  • Education
  • Farm and Ranch
  • Government Buildings
  • Public institutions
  • Health Care Services
  • Hospitality
  • Organizations and Associations
  • Places of Worship
  • Personal Services
  • Pet Services
  • Shopping
  • Travel

Details on all the information available on the Points of Interest API can be found here: http://onboardinformatics.com/data/local-information/places/


Let's say you want to develop pages on your website that highlight points of interest in a neighborhood or a community.    This might be good information for a visitor to have to better understand a given community and decide if they want to move there.  This is how AddressReport, an online tool that provides information on any address in the country, displays this information:

AR POI Screen Shot

This type of page can be created through our Points of Interest API.   A developer would send a request for this data and receive the response in JSON that exposes the data.  This particular API delivery looks like this:

CURL: Curl - POI API

REQUEST API:

Request URL - POI API

RESPONSE BODY:

Response Body - POI API

Implementation Tips

Business Duplication: Establishments are often associated with multiple business types or categories. For example, a Home Depot might be considered a hardware store, a garden center or an appliance store. When a business belongs to multiple business classifications, we deliver the business to you multiple times. Each instance of that business will have the same OB_ID.

The PRIMARY field can be used to determine the primary business practice at the location. If your goal is to display a set of unique businesses near a property we suggest you filter out any records from the display where PRIMARY = “OTHER”. This will ensure that each business is only listed once.


A Faster Way to Develop through APIs

If you are looking for a faster way to develop against this data, you can use a POI API that delivers responses in a whole web page or HTML (essentially presentational code).  So rather than just getting the data, you'll receive the data display which you can plug into your web page, blog, or site.

We call this type of API "Accelerate" because it speeds up your development process.  Here is an example of the Points of Interest API from Accelerate:

POI screen shot AXL The API process is the same, in that our developer platform will receive your request and send a response, however this response will be in HTML where it can easily be displayed on your site or application without further development or design work.   Both options are great depending on the type of project.   When developing against the Points of Interest API, you can either easily extract the data and use it however you want, or receive the HTML code that plugs into your site.

Regardless, the points of interest data is important in the journey of any home-buyer or home-seller.  Having easy access to this type of information will not only help your online visitors, it will build your credibility, generate more high quality leads, and ultimately drive new business.  If you're interested in finding more about our APIs, fill out the form below.

4 Ways to Get More Seller Leads in Real Estate

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Seller leads are valuable in real estate and as we learned in our recent white paper Generating New Business in Real Estate, quality seller leads are a big goal for most real estate professionals.   Because this is such a popular subject, Onboard has spent a lot of time and energy to learn how to better attract, engage and convert home sellers early in their process.  We had a webinar last spring on Capturing More Seller Leads and explored the importance of seller leads in previous posts. Today, we will explore four easy ways to generate more seller leads, whether you are a small brokerage or part of a larger real estate organization.  After 15 years in the real estate technology industry, these are proven methods that will work for anyone looking for more seller leads.


YOUR NETWORK

Generally 50% or more of real estate business comes from an agent’s network or referrals from that network.  

  • 64% of sellers find their agent through referral by a friend or family member
  • 70% of sellers would definitely use the same agent again

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This is the source of the most revenue, yet the majority of marketing budgets are spent buying new leads or branding to mass markets.    If you’re going to invest, why not also invest in the pool that’s delivering the most revenue?  How are you keeping in contact with your former clients or social sphere today?  Is it effective?

Using a CRM to deliver periodic emails is one way to keep in contact.  We recently launched a product called Nav 2.0 that sends updates on their neighborhood when things like their property's estimated value changes or when a new restaurant opens.   Sending your network information they really care about is a great way to stay in front of this valuable group.  Just by sending something as simple as a community report can help keep you front and center when they are ready to move.

FACEBOOK

There are two ways Facebook can work for you.  The first is with paid search.  Last quarter we published a white paper on Facebook leads called Generating Better Facebook Leads.    In it, we discuss how to write the perfect Facebook advertising post and better create your targets.  Facebook allows you target likely buyers by specifying things like the length of time in a residence and important life events.

YOUR WEBSITE

Many websites use Automated Valuation Models to identify likely buyers.  In our post on AVM Delivery last week, we discussed some simple ways you can get an AVM on your website.  If you are using AVMs to attract seller leads, they can also be part of your paid Facebook campaigns.  A simple ad that asks "do you want to know what your home is worth," and leads users to a landing page with an AVM is a great way to tie these different methods together.  Use Facebook to identify likely buyers and the AVM to capture their contact information for follow-up.

FSBO

A majority of people who try to sell their home on their own are unsuccessful.   You can look at places like Craiglist for people listing their own homes online and proactively reach out.  This is a slightly more "scrappy" approach, but one that can work for many agents.

If you are interested in finding out how Onboard Informatics an help you generate more seller leads, fill out the form below.

Onboard Informatics Launches Nav 2.0

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We are thrilled to announce the launch of Nav 2.0, a web-based product that features reports on the most valuable information in real estate and a new way to capture and nurture leads.  It’s the simplest way to improve lead engagement and conversion anywhere online. Nav 2.0 is an upgrade from a signature Onboard product, Neighborhood Navigator, which launched in 2007.  It is the best way to instantly and easily improve online engagement and lead conversion.  Nav 2.0 is made up of the “Nav Bar” and the “Nurture Bar.”  Together they to engage online visitors, convert those visitors to leads, and nurture them with content they care about over an extended period.

“When we launched Neighborhood Navigator in 2007, it was the easiest way for brokerages and other real estate companies to get critical community information like schools and market trends on their site” said Jonathan Bednarsh, Onboard Informatics President and Co-Founder.   “Ten years later, the time is ripe for a more sophisticated solution.  Nav 2.0 not only engages online traffic with this information, it converts that visitor to a lead and automatically nurtures that lead until he or she is ready to transact.”

The Nav Bar, or Navigation Bar, is an online bar of four in-depth reports featuring the most popular information in real estate.  The bar is easily plugged into any website, blog or online page to instantly increase online engagement.

The four reports included are Community, Local Amenities, Schools and Home Sales.  Each report is full of relevant information that relates directly to the property and features a clean, beautiful design.  The Nav Bar interprets hundreds of millions of data points from Onboard to generate the elegant reports, so all information is accurate, valid, and up-to-date.

“We looked at the most popular information in real estate and developed reports around what people genuinely care about,” said Marc Siden, Onboard Informatics CEO and Co-Founder.  “The Nav Bar allows online visitors to navigate the neighborhood they live in or want to live in.  The Nurture Bar is what’s really exciting – giving our clients the ability to instantly capture and nurture future customers with content they care about.”

As the second part of Nav 2.0, the Nurture Bar is a lead capture tool that automatically emails an in-depth property report and ongoing alerts when things change to the home value or area.  It is an effective way to not only capture online leads, but nurture them with pertinent content over an extended period.

“The buying or selling process in real estate is long,” said Dean Soukeras, Onboard Informatics Senior Product Manager.  “These two bars look simple, but what they do is actually extremely advanced.  Once an online visitor leaves their contact information, we synch them up to the property they care about and send alerts based on that property.  By sending this valuable content, your agents stay in front of consumers in an effective way for an extended period.  That’s what you need to succeed in real estate today.”

Nav 2.0 is available today and takes 3-5 business days to implement into any site, application or blog.  For more information visit landing.onboardinformatics.com/nav2 or fill out the form below.

Part II of the Onboard Property API: Creating an AVM

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Last week I wrote about our Property API and some of the data it relays, like property records and property sales.  This week, I'll explore another popular way to use the Property API: to build an AVM. First a quick refresher on some of the key terms in this post:

API:  API stands for Application Programming Interface.    Basically, it’s a way for developers to receive information.  More specifically, an API receives requests and sends responses from a remote server.

Property API: Our Property API has data on 150 million properties nationwide, which includes all 100 million residential properties.  In addition, there is information on the historical sales, transactions, and valuation of each property.  With the depth of this API, there are many things you can create.

AVM:  AVM stands for Automated Valuation Model.  An AVM is a handy tool for quickly and simply providing an estimated value for a property.  For a more in-depth look at AVMs in the industry, check out Marc Siden's post, The Evolution of AVMs.  

Today we're going to look at how you can build an AVM using our Property API.


PROPERTY API

Within the Property API is home value estimate data.

http://onboardinformatics.com/data/property-information/value-estimates/

  • Value estimate and high to low value ranges for each property
  • Confidence ratings for the values returned
  • Over 94 million valuations
  • Property characteristics where available
  • Bedrooms
  • Bathrooms
  • Year Built
  • Living Square Feet
  • Lot Size
  • Number of Stories
  • Property Type
  • APN
  • Latitude/Longitude

BUILDING AN AVM 

You can use this data to quickly and automatically generate the value and comparative analysis of any property in the country.  AVMs are often used to identify likely home sellers before they put their home on the market.  Below is an example of an AVM from one of our clients Valuations Today.

AVM

All the information on our valuations is available on our Developer Platform.  Estimated value can be sent individually, within a zip code, neighborhood, or city.

When you request this data, here is how it sends it back:

CURL

CURL - Property API

 

 

REQUEST URL

Request URL - Property API

 

 

REQUEST BODY

Request Body - Property API

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


A FASTER WAY TO DEVELOP YOUR AVM

If you are looking for a faster way to develop against this data, you can use a Valuations API that delivers responses in a whole web page or HTML (essentially presentational code).  So rather than just getting the data, you’ll receive the data display which you can plug into your web page, blog, or site.

We call this type of API “Accelerate” because it speeds up your development process.  Here is an example of the AVM API from Accelerate:

Property-Landing-Page-768x644 copy

 

This template is interactive, so the user can select or "de-select" homes in their area that are outliers.  When they select certain properties in the area, the estimated value automatically adjusts.  Delivering a template for an AVM is a faster, easier way to get an AVM on your webpage, site or blog.

If you are interested in learning more about Onboard Data or our platform, please fill out the form below.

Part I: What is the Onboard Property API?

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Here at Onboard, we have data on every property in the country and their surrounding communities.  We deliver that data to our clients in a variety of ways.  One of the most popular ways is through an API.  So what exactly is our Property API? API stands for Application Programming Interface.    Basically, it’s a way for developers to receive information.  More specifically, an API receives requests and sends responses from a remote server.   Our Property API has data on 150 million properties nationwide, which includes all 100 million residential properties.  In addition, there is information on the historical sales, transactions, and valuation of each property.  With the depth of this API, there are many things you can create.  Today, we're going to delve into two areas within the Property API: Property Records and Property Sales.


PROPERTY RECORDS

The Property Records Include some of the following data points:

  • property records
  • property assessments
  • property tax figures

What kinds of questions can data from the /property resource help answer?

  • What properties fall within a radius of a given point (lat/long)?
  • Are there properties within a zip code with property taxes of a given range?
  • What properties with these specific characteristics can be found within a specific boundary (i.e. school district, neighborhood, or zip code)

Let's say you want to increase your SEO by building property landing pages on your site.  Property landing pages are a great way to increase your online footprint and drive more organic traffic to your website or online application.  More information on the benefits of property landing pages can be found here.   A typical property landing page might look something like this:

Property Landing Page

To get all the information on every property in the country, you simply go to our Developer Platform and make the following request:

https://search.onboard-apis.com/propertyapi/v1.0.0/property/detail?id=2511639410001

This will bring back the characteristics of this specific property.  You can now easily create this content on your site for every property in the country.   When you do a Google Search for a specific residential address, you will notice that all the national portals use this tactic to drive organic traffic. Now you can too.  


PROPERTY SALES,

The property sales include some of the following data points:

  • Median and average home sales prices
  • Sales volume
  • Percent increase in price, quarter-to-quarter and year-over-year
  • Breakdown by transaction type: existing or new construction
  • Breakdown by property type: single family home, condominium, multi-family, other

You can use this data to build a home sales report for any property in the country.  Any property owners contemplating a home sale in the future would be interested in this information.  If your customers include people looking for new homes or mortgages, this data can be a great content marketing tool to engage prospects and identify movers before they list their property.  Here is an example of what a recent home sales report might look like:

Recent Home Sales

To get all the information on recent home sales, you simply go to our Developer Platform and make the following request:

By ZIP CODE:

https://search.onboard-apis.com/propertyapi/v1.0.0/sale/snapshot?postalcode=19977

By CITY:

https://search.onboard-apis.com/propertyapi/v1.0.0/sale/snapshot?cityname=smyrna

By RADIUS:

https://search.onboard-apis.com/propertyapi/v1.0.0/sale/snapshot?latitude=39.21523130910493&longitude=-75.62095642089844&radius=1

By NEIGHBORHOOD:

https://search.onboard-apis.com/propertyapi/v1.0.0/sale/snapshot?geoid=NH00016389

This will bring back all recent sales based on the boundaries you specify.  You can now create recent sales reports for any property in the country.  If you are interested in receiving this data in HTML format, we can deliver a Recent Sales Report template via API through Accelerate.   So rather than just getting the data, you’ll receive the full sales report to display in your web page, blog, or site.

We call this type of API “Accelerate” because it speeds up your development process.

The Property API from Onboard Informatics is a powerful for engine for your next project.  Next week, we'll explore what you can build with the other two components of this API: AVM and Transactions.  If you are interested in learning more about Onboard Data or our platform, please fill out the form below.