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Market Intelligence
Using Data to Boost Business/Users/adamp/Desktop/Stuff for FAR/Magazine Assets/JAN09/images/ManageIt

Studies can give you vital insight into your market and the way you and your team reach buyers and sellers.

When Christine Hansen got her hands on the Florida Association of Realtors® latest Buyer Motivation Survey (find this study at floridarealtors.org/Research/index.cfm),   she immediately turned it into a training and educational tool for her company’s 200 sales associates. As broker-owner of Century 21 Hansen Realty in Fort Lauderdale, she created a Microsoft  PowerPoint presentation based on the survey, with a focus on the fact that buyers are still buying.

Determine Buyer Needs
Hansen highlighted key buyer concerns addressed in the survey, such as worries about obtaining financing. Using the survey data, she encouraged associates to take the time to create “buyer packets” that include information about the buying and financing process, explanations of industry terminology and samples of sales contracts.

Manage Seller Expectations
Hansen also used the data to help her firm’s listing agents, many of whom are dealing with customers’ unrealistic pricing expectations. “Using this data, they can share with sellers the fact that buyers are buying because interest rates are low now,” says Hansen. “The seller who overprices a home that sits on the market for a year may be adversely affected when those rates rise.”

Tweak Your Services
“One of the most important points I learned [from a recent study] was how important it is for consumers to have that ‘one-stop-shop’ experience with a real estate professional,” says Rei Mesa, president and CEO at Prudential Florida Realty in Sunrise, “rather than being bounced around to different service providers.”
The survey’s revelation that a high percentage of consumers now shop online also caught Mesa’s eye, and led his team to tweak its marketing approach. “Many consumers find their sales associates online, rather than from newspapers or magazines,” says Mesa. “This led us to implement more online marketing, with less emphasis on print media. It’s working out very well.”

Just a few weeks into her “turning data into intelligence” strategy, Hansen says, several of her sales associates have “saved a few deals.” She expects even more positive feedback over the next few months. “It’s about giving them a way to be even more prepared and professional,” says Hansen, “when they’re working out in the field.”