Market Reports for a Flood of Real Estate Website Leads

17 Apr 2018

“How do I get more real estate website leads?”  That’s a FAQ that you don’t see on real estate websites, but it gets asked a lot by real estate professionals, and there are thousands of articles and blog posts that give you tips on how to generate more real estate website leads.  If you take what you read here and do it well, in a year or so you’ll look back and wonder why you didn’t do it years ago… it works!

Market reports rule!

Over time, what information do both buyers and sellers value, especially as they get closer to listing or buying?  They want data about prices.  Sellers want to know what competing homes are selling for, and buyers want to know current prices for the homes of interest.  The closer they get to taking action, the higher their interest level.

Develop reports from your MLS system.

Check out the reporting your MLS system provides.  You’ll likely find that you can report sold prices, days on market before sale, new listings price ranges, etc.  Sit down and determine what you can do, and create a sample report of each type for the previous month or quarter.  Then convert it to a PDF document to make sure you can get it done.  Once you see that what you can report, these are your lead magnets.

Offer reports everywhere on your site.

From IDX search pages to neighborhood feature pages, there is almost no page on your site that will not be a good place to feature a report offer form.  It’s a call to action to receive the report via email so you’ll get their contact information, that valuable lead.

Keep reports relevant if possible.

Use relevant reports.  For example, on neighborhood pages, create a report of sold properties in that neighborhood for the previous six months or even a year.  Reports of sold property prices and/or days on market are of interest to buyers and sellers so they can fit in lots of places.

Have a crystal ball - absorption reports.

Do you want to set yourself apart from the competition?  Check out their websites and see how many of them offer regular “market absorption reports” as indicators of value to buyers and sellers.  There won’t be many, perhaps none.  Now you have a valuable tool for lead generation, but how does it work and what is absorption rate?

Create regular absorption reports with commentary.

This is a brief overview of absorption rate and how to use it.  Dig deeper to get the calculations down, but here is one thing that is important when it comes to actually being able to catch market trends early:  use a 90 day or maximum six month time period.  You can find absorption rate calculators online, but many use the previous 12 months of data.  You still get the same information, but it doesn’t turn as quickly as using shorter time periods.  Six months may be best in faster-moving markets to keep from getting false change indicators with shorter periods.  We’ll use six months here as our example.

  1. Go to the MLS and get the number of closed sales in the previous six month period.  You can do this by price range, and you can do it by neighborhood or area.  Let’s say that we find that there were 780 sales over the previous six month period.
  2. Now get the number of currently listed homes.  Use the same price range and/or area criteria.  We see that there are currently 140 listed homes in our group.  Divide 780 by 140 and you get 5.57, indicating that there is currently about 5.5 months of inventory in the pipeline.
  3. You can do this every month, and you’ll get a normal (and seasonal as well) absorption rate for the period.  We’re doing this one for the second quarter, April through June.  Over time, we can compare this to the same period last year.  In fact, we can go backward and get the number of sales from a year ago same period, but not the active listings unless you have a resource for that from a year ago.  Start now and you’ll soon have what you need.

OK, we have developed some data over time, and we know that our chosen market area, and price range if desired, has historically had that 5.5 months of inventory in the spring period.  Now we run it again the first part of July this year and we get 3.7 months of inventory.  That’s a drop that indicates either more sales, more buyers, or fewer listings.  Either way, it could indicate rising prices due to lower inventory.  If the inventory goes up however to 7.2 months for this reporting period, it could indicate slower sales or a glut of listings.  Either way, it could be an indicator of lower prices or fewer buyers in the market.

Run this report every month, compare it back to the same period last year, and you can show results for the previous six months as well.  Then add your comments.  Don’t try to be clairvoyant, but you can make general comments about what a lower or higher rate could mean for buyers and sellers.

Now go to your site and display forms on search pages and others that offer your monthly market absorption rate report with “See how the market is trending for smarter buying and selling decisions.”  Get ready for leads, as they are coming.