Moving the Dial: 6 Ways any agent can use data to get ahead in 2017

Real Estate Technology with SmartZip

Whether you’re a second-year agent or the broker of a market-leading office, you’re running the numbers all year long — you can likely rattle off everything from GCI to lead conversion stats to ROI on tech and marketing products in your sleep.

While this kind of analysis is critical to running a successful operation, it’s hardly any different from what agents and brokers were doing in the 1970’s. Black-and-white data is the bread and butter of any old-school business, but smarter real estate companies are using predictive analytics to uncover new opportunities in the real estate industry.

data in real estate

What does predictive analytics do within real estate?
You may wonder how agents and brokers can take advantage of algorithmic predictions — and that’s a great question. The real estate industry is so expansive, there are truly hundreds of ways that data will make an impact on our business in the years to come.

SmartTargeting, the leader in predictive analytics for real estate, lending and other related industries, focuses on helping agents and brokers to identify highly likely buyers and sellers from their sphere and geographic farm areas. The predictions are tricky but the mission is simple: Optimize your time and marketing budget by focusing on the homeowners most likely to need your services in the next year.

A Six-step plan to putting data into action in 2017
Not everyone is ready for a full predictive marketing platform, but every agent and broker should be working their way towards integrating more data into their business operations.

Below, we have six recommendations for how you can be smarter with data you do have — even if you’re not yet ready for a full predictive solution.

1. Set aside three hours a week
First, a hard truth: A truly predictive algorithm is the product of many analytical minds and hundreds of hours of work. As an agent or broker, you won’t be able to dive deep into thousands of data points, so it’s important to focus on the data that is easiest to track and understand.

Start by blocking off three hours a week that you’ll spend diving into the transaction records of your sphere or local geographic area.


analyzing sphere

2. Dive in, sphere first
To predict future behavior, you first have to understand the past. Start by analyzing your sphere to determine how many people in your CRM transacted last year. Once you have that information logged, give each contact a score:

5: I knew they were listing and won their business
4: I knew they were listing and didn’t win their business
3: I didn’t know they were listing; if I had known, I would have had a chance at winning  their business
2: I didn’t know they were listing; it’s not surprising they went with someone else
1: I barely know this person // This was a cold lead that didn’t go anywhere // I wouldn’t have expected to win their business

If your business was built on points, it’s easy to see that the “3s and 4s” from your sphere should be your #1 focus in 2017. It’s harder to build a rapport with “1s and 2s” but warming up an old relationship at the right time is an excellent way to move the dial.

3. Look at last year’s sphere selling factors
Next, hone in on those “3s, 4s and 5s.” Between casual conversations, online information and social media admissions, you should be able to come up with a few patterns that led to your sphere contacts selling. Perhaps you’ll see selling triggers like:
Empty nesters in a specific neighborhood moving to more manageable residences
Young families upgrading to an area with better schools or nearby parks
Homeowners near a business district selling after news that a massive new headquarters with plenty of out-of-state transfers is coming to town

Predictive analytics is all about finding objective, hidden patterns based on thousands (and sometimes millions) of data points. While you’ll be running a subjective data analysis, you’ll still find valuable signals and patterns that you can use to identify potential 2017 sellers you already know.

4. Look at past local sales
Next, it’s time to look at your geographic farm area to see who sold in 2016. Gather that information, then give these local sellers the same rankings as you did your sphere:

5: I knew they were listing and won their business
4: I knew they were listing and didn’t win their business
3: I didn’t know they were listing; if I had known, I would have had a chance at winning  their business
2: I didn’t know they were listing; it’s not surprising they went with someone else
1: I do not know this person and wouldn’t have expected to win their business

Again, the “3s and 4s” represent your best chance of moving the dial in 2017. Evaluate your local farm and make a note of those who:
You know or have met while doorknocking, cold-calling or at a local event
Have mentioned they are considering selling at some point in the future
Have responded to a CMA offer or other seller-focused marketing effort
Have positively replied or responded to an online or social media campaign for their area

Make a note of these contacts — they represent your best chance of winning new location-based business in 2017. Any time you meet a new contact who fits that bill, add them to your “high potential list.”


5. Look for local seller patterns
SmartTargeting has in-depth data on homeowner financials, lifestyle factors and other data points that may signal a near-future selling date. In the absence of this data, look at your area’s transactional records to see if there are any evident patterns you can capitalize on. Here are some ideas of what to look for:
More than three houses on one block selling in one year (especially if they got asking or over asking price)
Specific types of homes that sold in minimal days on market — perhaps ranch homes or those near a walkable area are in high demand
Specific home features that may have been helpful to getting the home sold faster or for money — do homes with guest suites get more attention? What about homes with in-ground vs. above-ground pools?

Once you see what homes are in demand in your area, you can look around to find homes (and homeowners) that fit the bill. Sometimes these homeowners may already know they’re sitting on a goldmine and they might be prepping their home to sell this spring. In other cases, you may be able to show your market expertise to homeowners who didn’t know their house was a hot commodity.

6. Make a plan for the future
While analyzing the data points you have on hand will certainly help you to understand your client base better, the reality is that human beings are extraordinarily complex — and their buying and selling behavior is usually the result of hundreds of converging factors. To truly uncover predictions of human behavior, you need to access and analyze millions of data points to uncover the hidden patterns that lead to transactions.

We’d love to help you make sense of the complex data sets and behavioral indicators that are hiding in your CRM and public records. And we don’t just want to give you the data, we want to give you the automated marketing and outreach tools you need to make an impact with the homeowners who matter most!

Reach out by January 31st and you’ll not only get a great deal on SmartTargeting’s full predictive marketing platform, you’ll also get a $300 Starbucks gift card. We’re so committed to your success that we’re personally giving you the budget to take out one potential client for coffee every week in 2017!

Don’t miss out! Get a free demo where we’ll show you predictions in your sphere or preferred geographic area.


Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Ginger Harper 01/03/2017 12:25 PM
  2. Jon Libbey 01/09/2017 01:03 PM
Real Estate Technology & Tools
real estate marketing
real estate tools and technology
big data

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Diana Dahlberg
1 MONTH REALTY - Kenosha, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

It's all about the numbers ... analysis -- results

Jan 03, 2017 06:54 PM #3
Noel Mayer

Thank you for sharing I just stopped by and got a lot of great information 

Jan 03, 2017 07:53 PM #4
Terry Kraemer
Exceed Realty - Houston, TX
Houston Realtor

This is an advertisement for  I sure hope that activerain is not going to just become one more place to market products to real estate agents.  There is just no escaping them...This site was founded on realtors helping realtors with issues and problems that they are faced with everyday.  If it becomes a site for large marketing firms, to start trying to get us to buy their product, I am out of here...

Jan 04, 2017 02:36 PM #5
Anne Corbin
Fritz Realty LLC - Spotsylvania, VA
Serving Lake Anna & Central Virginia

I enjoyed reading the post! Very thought provoking.

Jan 05, 2017 10:17 AM #6
Dorie Dillard
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Congratulations on a well deserved featured post. You lay out a blueprint for success to analyze your current and past business and predict and set goals for the future. It's amazing to me to see so many have never taken the time to research where their business is coming from. It's where your advertising dollars need to be spent!

Jan 06, 2017 05:31 AM #7
Nick & Trudy Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtors, Philly Main Line

Some good advice on how to analyze the numbers here for agents of any level of experience.

Jan 06, 2017 05:41 AM #8
Andrea.B Ferreira 954-303-8289 CRS
Keyes Co. - Davie, FL
Miami Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County in FL

Thank you for sharing. Wishing you a great new year with health and lot of business... Just in time to catch with my new year's resolution..

Jan 06, 2017 08:32 AM #9
SmartZip Analytics
SmartZip - Pleasanton, CA
Adam Long, Director of Sales and Marketing

Hi Andrea, Thank you. Same to you!

Jan 06, 2017 10:29 AM #10
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

I like your analytical approach.

Jan 06, 2017 02:06 PM #11
Dan Derito
Success! Real Estate - Brockton, MA

Nice post. You do have to know why clients have used you in the past to set your course for new business.  I enjoyed reading your analysis.

Jan 06, 2017 05:09 PM #12
Debra Leisek
Bay Realty,Inc Homer Alaska - Homer, AK

Great Post! I do enjoy your well laid out thoughtful posts!  We are all in this together and I do appreciate this smart information...  I have nothing against advertising either...especially when it is such a benefit to those of us who choose to listen and learn!

Jan 06, 2017 08:34 PM #13
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

It's not only move the dial for agents but in general business, it kind of works too very well!

Jan 06, 2017 09:31 PM #14
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

Some good advice here.  I am going to get my business plan finalized in the next couple of days and there are some great things here.


Jan 06, 2017 09:32 PM #15
Jim Holder
HomeSmart Connect - Arlington Heights, IL


In today's real estate world, vendors want to sell you logarithms from their "data catch" (like netting from their bait)!

The most advanced information is now what Google (their new company name 'Alphabet  Corp') is doing. And it's called artificial intelligence derived from data on human behavior. (and Amazon is not far behind)

Ask real estate consultants, would it be helpful to be aware of what a customer is thinking before it actually occurs? (and have all the data in the world available if needed?). My answer is, yes it would!

However, the human factor will always be there for consultants that can draw on  the many years of extensive experience to help guide clients competently, efficiently, and successfully thru what is likely to be their most expensive purchase in their lives.

Maybe you have heard over the years as I have, that there is an 80/20 rule? And also this: in real estate "that there is "a third a coming, a third a staying, and a third a going?" (how about it you branch managers?)

Competency, experience, communication, and earning client trust will always be the standard regardless of  "artificial intelligence." Unless robots take over?

And "speaking" of communication who actually "talks" to other human beings? How many professionals in your transactions do you actually talk to?

Enough said, I guess this is going off topic... Was this about lead generation?

Jan 06, 2017 10:13 PM #16
SmartZip Analytics
SmartZip - Pleasanton, CA
Adam Long, Director of Sales and Marketing

Hi Jim, Thanks for reading.  I most love your statement, "Competency, experience, communication, and earning client trust will always be the standard", for building a solid business.  It doesn't hurt to know who best to do that with. That's where predicitve analytics comes into play.  May we never replace the human factor in favor of robots. But rather, may we make the most of our interactions. That's what we're aiming for.

Jan 08, 2017 02:07 PM #17
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I've heard that search engine optimization is becoming easier than ever before in the last few years. That might really be a thing that we might be onto

Jan 12, 2017 11:25 PM #18
Thomas J. Nelson, Realtor, ePRO, CRS, RCS-D
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
Co-Host of Mail-Right's: Real Estate Agent Podcast

Wow, this is great info and the exercises you propose seem to not only provide great feedback once you've analyzed your database patterns, but I can see how this will help you think in those terms moving forward.

Jan 15, 2017 08:17 AM #19
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

You moved to Dial for more adaptability and it's a good thing overall, in my opinion. You just you just and we can figure things out.

Jan 16, 2017 10:05 PM #20
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I agree that it takes a while to analyze the patterns, but the end result is well worth it to me to a great extent Thomas J. Nelson, Realtor, CRS

Jan 16, 2017 10:06 PM #21
MaryBeth Mills Muldowney
TradeWinds Realty Group LLC - Braintree, MA
Massachusetts Broker Owner

Great post - numbers, numbers and more numbers add up to $'s in the future!

Jul 30, 2017 05:45 AM #22
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