Data isn't the New You

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“Agents continue to worry about their role in the real estate transaction as well as their ongoing relevance. However, providing local expertise within the fair housing laws makes an agent extremely relevant and highly valuable.”

That’s from Imagine a Day in the Life, a post I wrote in Geek Estate yesterday. After publishing, I think there’s a bit more to be said on this statement as it continues to mount as a warranted concern for realtors.

Data isn’t the new you!

The take away of the New York Times article, 43 Questions Homebuyers Should Ask Before Picking a New Town, is that there’s an abundance of untapped variables home buyers don’t even consider before selecting their new communities. Going back a decade, home buyers didn’t view school boundaries, commute times, or points of interest nearly as important to have on a website as they do today. This is because they expected their realtor to provide that data. So now that that data is so readily available for prospective buyers, what makes you as a realtor stand out?

Find a new hobby!

Local data has proven to initiate meaningful dialogue between prospective buyers and realtors. Homebuyers have essentially pre-screened numerous communities before reaching out. Once in contact, they know that the local schools, commutes, and listings are compatible with their needs. What realtors should do to make themselves significant at this point is highlight some of The New York Times’ unforeseen variables and further illustrate the community that local data has already started drafting. Tell prospective parents if the local moms wear business suits or yoga pants and if they work or stay at home. Tell home shoppers what percentage of the community has been there since birth. There’s a plentitude of ways to further paint the everyday life in a community and data enables agents to spend more time mastering those variables. Working together with data, your clients will obtain a detailed understanding of prospective communities that exceeds their wildest expectations. Best of all, when they move again, they’ll remember and reach out to you again. Because you stood out. And because data didn't replace you.

Image Credit: WiseGeek