You are viewing our site as an Agent, Switch Your View:

Agent | Broker     Reset Filters to Default     Back to List

How to Leverage Public Records for Business Intelligence

August 16 2018

When it comes to discovering the power of public records for prospecting, real estate agents fall into two camps:

  1. Agents that feel like they just opened a huge door of opportunity--and that they now have useful knowledge that their competition doesn't.
  2. Agents that are so excited about the potential for unearthing new business with public records that they tell everyone in their office.

That's according to Nikki Morgan, MLS Sales Executive at CRS Data. She's spent years speaking with Realtors about how to leverage public records--and how easy it is to upgrade your lead generation game with this powerful tool.

We recently spoke with Morgan and her colleague, Danielle Longdue, to learn more about how agents can use public records for prospecting and acquiring business intelligence. Whether you want to share this information with your fellow agents or keep it to yourself--well, that's up to you!

Lead Generation Tools

crsdata business intelligenceOne of the great advantages of prospecting with public records is that you can target a very specific geographic area. Other lead generation tools, like property portals or advertising products, only let you target by zip code--an option that may be too broad (and therefore too expensive) for your purposes.

Your public records tool can let you narrow down your desired prospecting area in several different ways:

  • Drawing a shape on a map to pull up all properties within that area
  • Narrowing down by zip code or subdivision
  • Specifying a distance from a certain property within a radius of up to 10 miles

"Realtors are very visual," says Morgan. "They know things about their territory that no one else knows. We take it up a level by acknowledging that they are the expert and giving them the tools they need to apply that knowledge to a map using the radius or the free-hand drawing tool."

Once you've selected a geographic area, you can execute multiple types of prospecting campaigns, including:

  • New listing campaigns - Have a new listing? In addition to your social media and comprehensive digital outreach, consider sending a postcard or flyer to everyone in the immediate area advertising the home. The goal here is not to find buyers, but to show neighbors how much their home could sell for--and that you're just the agent to list with.
  • Open house campaign - Send an open house invitation to homeowners living near your listing. With a growing influx of digital advertising, a tangible mailer can often earn a second look! The idea is to build your brand in the area, and bring the neighbors to the open house. Once there, you can chat them up in person, offer a free home valuation, and add them to your contact database.
  • Sold listing campaign - Once you've sold your listing, it's time to brag a bit. Send out a postcard or flyer that shows the selling price you were able to achieve for the home. If you sold it over asking price or quicker than your area's average days on market, include that information as well. The idea is to show off your sales prowess and pique the neighbors' interest in selling their own home.
  • Seller prospecting campaign - With home prices skyrocketing, you can drum up seller leads by sending out marketing material and designing a digital ad campaign that explains how lucrative it is to sell right now. Show how much home prices have risen in the past year, and include a call-to-action that invites homeowners to contact you for a free home valuation.

Maximizing Your Public Records Reports

cma report consultationNow that you've executed your prospecting campaigns, the leads should start flowing. Once a prospect reaches out to you, it's time to create a report in your public records tool that you can send them. To increase the likelihood of converting a prospect, there are a few ways that you can customize a report.

"Customizing reports is one of my favorite things to teach," says Longdue, CRS Data's Customer Education Manager. That's because customizing a report personalizes it--both to you and your brand, and to the specific needs of your client--and that's a powerful way to connect with real estate consumers.

For example, with CRS Data, you can add your own logo, headshot, and contact information to your report. "Who doesn't love putting their name and information on a nice report?" says Morgan. "It's better than a business card, and clients will hold on to it longer." Plus, she says, when you customize a report, you can rest easy, knowing "that every document has your information on it."

Longdue and Morgan also recommend customizing property information within your reports, as needed. CRS Data, for example, allows agents to edit the square footage of a home, along with the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. This is crucial for creating accurate reports when a property has been remodeled or expanded, or when there's simply a variance in the public records data.

Agents can even add a note to explain why the change was made. "Agents can put the information down, know it's accurate and explain themselves. It’s a great way to capture information about the home," says Morgan.

"Agents do their best work out in the field," Morgan adds. "We want them to be able to go into those appointments with an armored truck full of information."

To learn more about CRS Data, visit