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January 7, 2019

How To Boost Lead Generation Efforts With Your Own Home Valuation Widget

One of the proven, no-brainer ways to generate real estate leads and traffic is by offering a home valuation widget on a real estate website.

What's My Home Worth?

After all, every homeowner loves to know the answer to this question, "What's my home worth?"

Look at the success of that big national real estate website that begins with the last letter of the alphabet. Their home value widget put that site on the map.

Previously, the problem for your average agent is that they didn't have the resources to build and add their own AVM (Automated Valuation Model) to their website with all data and formulas required to tabulate estimates on home values.

This put them at a disadvantage when competing against the big portals.

That's no longer the case.

National Real Estate Data Aggregators

Now there are national real estate data aggregators out there who gather, organize and calculate all that home valuation information for brokers and agents.

They have the ability to gather all that historical sales data and comparable property characteristics from county records, MLS listings, tax records, geographic coordinates and other sources.

These national aggregators have also created the algorithms to sort and calculate that data to come up with reasonable estimates on the potential value of a home, with ranges and margins of error depending on the amount of data available at that point in time. As you can imagine, that's a huge undertaking.

That means the average real estate broker and agent can add this powerful home valuation widget on their own websites for their local markets.

All the agent has to do is add a few snippets of code. The aggregator does the rest. It's that simple.

Home Valuation Widget Is A Powerful Marketing Device

The marketing potential for home valuation estimates is tremendous.

For example, "What's my home worth?" is one of the most popular search terms on Google and Bing.

The great advantage for local agents is that homeowners tend to trust their brokers and agents located in their own towns.

They know these real estate professionals possess in-depth knowledge of the intricacies of the local market - inside and out.

Now it's a win-win. The local agent has this home value widget tool on their website. Consumers can get all the real estate market data they need from their local agent.

Consumers can not only get a home valuation estimate from the local agent, but they can also count on that local agent to answer their specific questions about the market you will not find on a national megaportal.

For the agent, a home valuation widget is something they can promote and keep on promoting.

Place it on the home page of their website.

When the results show up, also include a contact form. Offer to provide a full Comparative Market Analysis (CMA.) When a buyer or shopper sees the results, it's a big window of opportunity for a potential listing.

Secondly, a home valuation widget is something an agent can promote heavily in email campaigns, mailings and social media.

A home is the BIGGEST financial decision most people will make in their lives.

An agent can post a newsy-type note on social media such as, "Our latest real estate market data shows an increase in local property values. See an estimate of what your home is worth today."

That type of message is definitely going to catch the attention of every homeowner.

Provide More Than Just A Estimate

Be sure your home valuation tool also offers detailed, in-depth information.

Naturally, the home valuations are estimates and the agent clearly needs to state this.

Include a price range so the viewer gets a range of possible values.

Also, include an estimated margin of error.

In some markets, where there is a large amount of current data available, that margin of error will be lower. In other markets where current data is not so readily available, then the algorithms can indicate there is a large swing of values.

Don't fret. Sure these results are guesstimates. But the ranges might just be the impetus for a homeowner to contact an agent for a more in-depth and detailed CMA.

With some home valuation widgets, an agent can offer an even more comprehensive view of the marketplace.

For example, show the relative position of a property in a given market regarding these factors - Size of the Property, Age, Price and Price per Square Foot.

A homeowner might pleasantly be surprised to see they have one of the largest homes in the area. Or, they might discover what they paid is located in the bottom 20% for Price per Square Foot.

That comparison might prompt them to pick up the phone and call the agent.

And as we said, that's the key.

This powerful tool and that attention-grabbing property data can now all reside on the agent's website.

When the first valuation widget was released, sure the results were all over the place and did cause some controversy.

But here's the bottom line - consumers love this tool. You can see it in the search and usage data.

And it generated seller leads. Lots of them.

Today, the technology behind home valuations is much more advanced. There is more comparison data available.

And the technology is now available on the local level.

Why Wait?

Agents now have the ability to empower their website with the same home valuation widget as any big player. Make it happen. Homeowners and potential sellers in your neighborhood are just sitting there waiting to find out, "What is my home worth?"

Give them some estimates with your own home valuation widget and start a conversation with them.

Robert Caston is an experienced real estate writer who currently works for Home Junction, a national real estate data technology company.

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