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Product Review: Down Payment Resource

September 04 2013

down payment resourceAs a real estate agent, you're probably always on the lookout for ways to better serve your clients. Did you know that there's a tool that can remove your clients' and potential clients' biggest obstacle to homeownership?

It's called Down Payment Resource (DPR), and it's available as a free member benefit to an increasing number of agents whose MLS subscribes to the service. DPR integrates with your MLS to provide you with information about down payment assistance programs in your area. It's the first step to removing the down payment hurdle for qualifying consumers.

The Basics

Down Payment Resource takes active residential listings and processes them against their database of all the programs--state, county, city, neighborhood, non-profit--that exist in a market. It then matches the properties that are eligible, based on location and list price, to all of the programs for which it would qualify.

Currently, there are over 1,500 actively funded programs tracked in Down Payment Resource. A full 60-80% of listings in any market qualify for assistance. Down Payment Resource will flag these eligible homes in the MLS. Agents simply need to click the DPR icon next to these listings to get a list of programs for which a property is eligible. All property eligibility processing and flagging is updated by DPR nightly, and each specific program is updated monthly, so the information users see is current and accurate.

dpr webinar 1

Clicking "Next Steps" on the search results page will display the details of a particular program, including participating lenders, education providers (many programs require a consumer education course), a program flyer and contact information for questions. The details page also links directly to the program administrator or funder so action can be taken by the buyer or their agent. Agents can even email clients about eligible properties right from the Down Payment Resource interface.

dpr review program details

Client Portal

DPR is also built into the MLS client portal, so when agents send listings to clients and prospects, those clients can see DPR, as well. The client portal is often the most-trafficked part of DPR. It allows prospective homebuyers to find programs and properties at the time and place of their home search.

When consumers click the DPR icon on a listing, they're directed to a short search form. Once the searcher answers questions about their household information, DPR determines if the buyer qualifies for the same available programs as the property. It matches the buyer and the property, uncovering specific opportunities for homeownership.

DPR as a Lead Generation Tool

Down Payment Resource isn't just an aggregator of information--it can also act as a valuable marketing partner. Two-thirds of agents say that with DPR they are able to convert sidelined prospects into qualified homebuyers. The following easy-to-use tools can help agents capture more of these consumers and increase their chances of homeownership.

IDX feature - Down Payment Resource's IDX feature flags listings in your website's IDX search just as it does in the MLS. This alerts buyers to properties that are eligible for down payment assistance.

dpr review idx

Once visitors view the listing detail page, they can click the DPR icon to be taken to the Down Payment Resource Eligibility Form to learn more about the programs for which the selected property is eligible. On this front, DPR provides some of the same information that real estate professionals receive. This user experience is designed to pique interest at every step, encouraging consumers to reach out to the agent.

The IDX feature provides impressive lead generation results. On average, five percent of homebuyers who click the DPR icon will submit their contact info to request help. The most successful agent websites receive up to an astonishing 19 percent click-to-lead conversion rate.

Personal Marketing Tool - Capturing leads need not be relegated to just your website. By sharing a unique link in your email signature, on your website, blog or on social media, you can lead potential homebuyers to a short survey that they can complete to see if they are eligible for down payment assistance.

dpr review survey

When they complete the information requested, they will be provided with a number of programs for which they may qualify, and then they can submit their contact information to receive further details. Once prospects click submit, a confirmation page is emailed to them letting them know that their info has been sent to you and that you will be in touch soon.

The tool functions as an educational opportunity for your prospects that keeps you at the center of the transaction with easy to follow next steps.

Working with Sellers

Listing agents can benefit from DPR, too. Down Payment Resource offers a pricing widget that can help you determine the ideal sales price for your listings.

A home's sale price can affect its eligibility for homebuyer programs, and even slight price difference can trigger eligibility changes. By using the widget to play around with numbers, agents can find the optimal price for a home in order to maximize the market's available assistance programs. Listing agents can then leverage that number in marketing efforts to attract more buyers.

Usability and Support

As a tool implemented by your MLS, Down Payment Resource requires no heavy lifting for agents. Real estate agents who subscribe to a local MLS with DPR can integrate DPR into their IDX website at no cost. They also have free access to an agent portal that allows them to manage customer accounts, access the pricing widget, marketing resources and more.

dpr review portal

Down Payment Resource offers ample assistance in using their features. In addition to "How to" video guides, DPR also offers a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section, discussion forum, and the ability to submit a support ticket through the "Request Help" link.

For both agents and consumers, Down Payment Resource provides user friendly access to data on hard-to-find assistance programs. In doing so, it creates opportunities for homeownership that didn't exist before and brings value to both real estate professionals and the communities they serve.

Next Steps