How to Help Clients Understand Real Estate Data
If I’m a homebuyer, I want to feel secure and confident in my decision. The same if I was a seller. But, I’m not going to get there unless someone connects the dots for me. In today’s digital age, anyone can find tons of real estate information online. But can the average Joe decipher it? Pinpoint opportunities? Identify threats? Probably not.
That’s where you — the real estate agent — come in. At Boomtown Unite 2014, Steve Harney demonstrated how brands aren’t always a mish-mash of slogans and logos. It’s about how customers feel at the end of a transaction. He explains in today’s industry, it’s not about how much information you have. It’s about how you connect them (i.e. connect the dots).
So, here’s a quick breakdown on interpreting data and showing it to your clients:
1. Know Statistics. Look at Trends.
Any homebuyer can look at previous sold data on Zillow. Any homeowner can see what their neighbors are selling for with a quick search. And every company that has that data presents it in an understandable way.
Having the information is important, but rarely do people analyze where that data is leading into the future. That’s where you identify opportunities and threats. Numbers look great on paper, but I guarantee you someone is still going to ask, “So, is the market headed up in a good way or a bad way?”
With the data you show me, I want to know my home purchase (my biggest financial investment ever) is still going to be a good decision five years from now. I want to know that I can sell my home in five years … for a profit. So, show me where the data is going. If you do that, your client will definitely feel a boost in confidence and security.
2. Compare and Contrast
Think about science fiction novels. How do they explain scientific theorems, foreign worlds, and mysterious aliens — without boring you? Answer: comparing and contrasting them to something we already know. Authors like Orson Scott Card don’t go into intricate detail about the bodies of the enemy aliens (in Ender’s Game). He simply compares them to bugs, and voila, you have an instant image of what they might be. He doesn’t bore you with endless lines of prose. He just gets to the point, clearly and concisely.
The same rule applies to any data you’re explaining. A situation might run like this:
Homebuyer: I like the house, but I think we might just hold off for another year before we move.
Agent: Rates are expected to rise from their current 3.7% to 4.7%, so if you waited a year on this $300K house that would cost you an extra $243 per month. I’d advise buying now if you can.
All the agent did was highlight the difference in buying now and waiting. He used statistics to argue his point, but made it simple to understand.
3. Present Data Visually
A picture is worth a thousand words, right? Visuals help people understand difficult information, like lots of real estate data. It sums it up into a quick visual that takes only seconds to comprehend. Compare that to looking at lines of endless numbers and deciphering it.
And you don’t need special skills to visualize data either. Programs like Canva and Microsoft PowerPoint are easy tools to use. Draw inspiration from outside resources like Template.net and Envato Market. Gather material from places like Flat Icon, Infogr.am, and Visual.ly. You can even search Google Images and see how other people present their stuff.
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Use the resources you have available and be creative.
Connect the Dots for Your Client
I’m not going to figure out that I should buy a house in Charleston from looking at low mortgage interest rates. I need someone to connect those two ideas for me. Tell me straight and honestly. As a real estate agent, you need to know the market (i.e. data), but you also need to connect the dots for your clients.
If you do that, your clientele will feel more confident and secure in their decisions. As a result, their experience will be positive, because they didn’t gamble one of their life’s largest investments.
The data shows them the right move to make. You just need to explain it to them. Then they’ll share all the happy news with their friends and family, further building your brand.