acknowledged the issues caused by the site’s “
Zesti-mates,” which may give consumers unrealistic ideas
of property values. As he pointed out, a piece of software cannot consistently determine the exact worth
of properties in all situations and settings. But rather
than complaining about the accuracy of such sites,
use them to demonstrate your own industry knowledge, Thompson said. Show prospects relevant, up-to-date comps and other research and data that will
both make your point convincingly and position you
as an expert.
Be Consistent in Your Data Input
Large real estate listing sites rely on data that ultimately comes from real estate agents (though sometimes by way of an MLS or syndicator). “Listing accuracy is a community e;ort,” said Todd Carpenter,
who until recently was senior manager of industry
engagement for Trulia. “We want to figure out how
to improve data quality for the benefit of everyone.”
One way to increase accuracy is to make sure
the information you put online is consistent. For
example, Thompson said if you’re uploading listing information into your MLS and a syndicator,
don’t put “123 Main Street” into one and “123 Main
St.” into the other. And when you make updates, do
them everywhere at the same time so you don’t risk
having consumers come across varying prices and
property information on a single listing online.
Photos ;om iStockphoto: zipper—Sergey Ilin / property data—Cienpies Design ©2013
Use Objective Facts
to Answer Questions
When consumers come to you with a question about
a listing or the local market, if you don’t have the answer at hand, tell them you’ll get it—and follow up in
a timely manner. You don’t want them to look elsewhere and potentially obtain the wrong information.
If people are looking for an assurance of value in the
future, take caution. No one can predict the future.
But you can round out your knowledge about an area
by using resources such as the R;;;;;;; Property
Resource® to look at home values by ZIP code over
the past few years. And there’s no shortage of industry news online to access third-party research and
forecasts on housing values, interest rates, and consumer confidence. W
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‘Vote, Act, and Invest’ Explained