I Spy

house executiveWe've all heard the phrase "buyers are liars" before. But how about this? Buyers aren't liars, they just don't know what they want until they find it.

The thing is, brokers and agents have access to data that can clue them in to what their clients want before their clients even know themselves. Search data is the key to this knowledge. With it, you can see exactly what your clients are searching for--what types of properties, neighborhoods, what price range, and more.

There are plenty of tools agents can use to access this information--VOWs, IDX websites with integrated CRMs, and client servicing platforms like Listingbook (check out our video for a demonstration of this in action).

Even drip email programs that provide analytics can offer some insight, as well. If you include listings in your email blasts, a program that is able to track who clicked what link can help you gauge an individual's interest. (Tip: Anyone who clicks on a listing link should be considered a warm lead and should be followed up with immediately!)

With information like this, you can make your buyers' home search process by recommending the properties that best meet their needs. Note that these may not be the needs your clients tell you they have; these are the needs their search habits are revealing--needs that they may not be fully conscious of or able to articulate yet.

Data for Consumers

The flip side of this is that real estate pros aren't the only ones who want deeper data. They may start their search on big portals like Zillow and Trulia, but once they're serious about buying, consumers want accurate, more in-depth knowledge of the local market that the portals simply can't provide. This means information like active, pending, sold, and expired listings, as well as individual property data like when the seller came on the market, at what price, how many times they listed, and more.

That data creates a more educated consumer. They have a better idea of what they want, the types of homes they're interested in, and what similar properties have sold for. The data-wise consumer is less likely to write lowball offers because they have more knowledge about the market. Negotiations are faster and easier.

Data is a wonderful thing, but at the end of the day, it's only as good as the conversations it creates. Use it to start a dialogue about what your clients really want in a home. Use it as a catalyst to reach out to the prospect whose searches increase from once a month to weekly--they're probably ready to buy.

If you can, use a tool that fosters those conversations. We looked at one such tool in a recent webinar. Listingbook lets consumers and agents share properties with each other, leave messages, and gain access to comprehensive listing data.

Watch the webinar recording to learn more!