Justin was born in rural Mississippi. Growing up, his local points of interest were limited to a single gas station, one small grocery store, and two movie rental stores. In 2007, fed up with the constraints of his rural town, Justin and his wife relocated to Portland, OR. Now surrounded with an abundance of activities, stores, and other exciting points of interest, Justin found his best place to live, for the time being. Justin and his wife had a daughter who needed a backyard and open space to play in, so the family moved to suburbia. But to find the family's next best place to live, Justin wanted to locate a home that was within five blocks to a grocery store as well as public transportation. Not finding any Realtors who supplied Points of Interest in the local area, Justin decided to become the local expert himself. He aggregated and mapped out a vast amount of open data in order to generate his own micro-version of Points of Interest. This is something that, if offered by any local real estate company at the time, would have converted this lead into a satisfied client.
The real estate community continues to ask how they can remain relevant. The answer is that Realtors need to become local experts in their respective communities. Home shoppers want local data on their potential communities more and more. The necessity of local data, and more-so finding home shoppers their best places to live, is now escalated to the point that not supplying this local data doesn't only risk losing leads to competitors, it risks home shoppers overstepping agents altogether.
To remain relevant to today's home shoppers, it's imperative for Realtors to remain valuable by becoming the local experts home shoppers need. If not, home shoppers are not only driven enough to find someone else, they're driven enough to become the local experts themselves.