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How Property Intelligence Platforms Can Help Your Real Estate Business

A look at the best technologies available to help Realtors find, track and engage the right prospects.

Working expired listings is an essential part of April Ann Spaulding’s business routine. “Every day, I log into my local MLS to see what’s expired in the last 24 hours,” says the sales associate with Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate By Design in Winter Haven, Florida. But the endless hunt for property owners’ contact information and knowing which ones to add to her marketing campaign has always been a frustration.

Spaulding recently upped her game, she says, thanks to the partnership her MLS (Stellar) made with Remine—a property intelligence platform that takes the guesswork out of the equation. From her MLS dashboard, she simply clicks “Continue to Remine,” and logs in with her MLS credentials. That provides free access to public records and associated contacts for off-market properties, as well as net equity, mortgage rate and age, ownership type (i.e., owner-occupied, corporate or absentee), last sale price, building type, sell score, land use, schools, local demographics and more. “Remine even tells you if they’re on the Do-Not-Call list,” she adds.

Instead of cold-calling or blanketing an area with mailers and hoping for the best, Spaulding can unearth real opportunities. “Remine has made my job easier—it’s its own CRM. After I go in and make sure a property isn’t on the market, I tag it expired and then I call or send a letter or card.”

She recently closed a transaction for a seller who hired her after receiving two of her targeted mailers. “He said, ‘You really have your marketing down; it’s very creative.’ It turns out he has two other Florida properties that he’s going to sell, and he’s keeping in touch.”

How to Build Your Business Through a Better Database

A database with contact information is an important lead generation tool. Bigger doesn’t always mean better, though. Limit the list to potential customers who meet specific criteria. It’s more productive to communicate more frequently with fewer people. Create action plans for specific groups — and then watch your business grow. Watch the video for more tips.

Here are a few benefits she derives from Remine:

1. Save and track properties.

Spaulding specializes in residential, farms, ranches and land. Remine’s Google Maps interface gives her a visual of all the properties in her area. When she clicks on a property, a snapshot of details (bedrooms, baths, floors, etc.) appears. She can add properties to a cart, which is basically a customizable group that she can track, market to and share with clients. “You can create as many carts as you want, and Remine sends you updates with any changes,” she says, adding that it helps her know when to act. “I can also pull FSBOs from Zillow and mark them as a cart in Remine. I try to follow the same process as I do with expired listings. Remine tells me once a listing goes active in the MLS, so I know another Realtor got it and don’t waste time.”

2. Export data.

Remine lists the names of everyone associated with a property since it was built, including phone number and email. “The cool thing is that you can click on a name and export [the data] to your contacts as CSV files,” Spaulding says. “Then you can send it to your CRM and create a mail-merge for letters. I recently had 22 expireds I wanted to reach and it was easier than doing one letter at a time.” An outside source prints and mails the letters.

3. Open house tool.

Before open houses, Spaulding logs into Remine and zooms out to about 100 homes in the neighborhood where she plans to go door-knocking. “I download the list to Google Sheets [a free spreadsheet program included with Google Drive] and highlight all the listed and just sold in red so I’ll know to skip them. Then, I mark those owned 15 years or more with yellow because they’re usually more likely to sell. I also create a notes column so that I can pull it up on my phone and make notes about who answered the door, what we spoke about and where to follow up.” Back at the office, she downloads the spreadsheet to her desktop, creates a prospect list and saves it to Remine for future marketing campaigns.

“There are so many things you can do with Remine,” Spaulding says. “It’s an amazing tool.”

Get a pulse on the market

Brad Billings, sales associate with Coldwell Banker Residential in St. Petersburg, has been using Remine since his MLS (also Stellar) offered the platform last July. “It’s a powerful farming tool,” he says. “The Market Pulse [feature] lets you monitor what’s happening in specific ZIP Codes. I set it up for one day, seven days or 30 days in the four primary ZIP Codes where I farm, and it tells me what’s active, under contract, expired, pending, withdrawn and also gives me the average price and absorption rate. Carts are great for keeping track of what you’ve got going on if you have so many you cannot remember.” Remine also lets him set filters for specific types of homes. If a buyer is looking for three bedrooms, a pool and a garage, for example, Remine will pull up a list of homes—both on and off-market—that match their preference. “If the property isn’t listed, I will call the owner and say I’ve got a customer looking for a home exactly like theirs and ask if they’ve ever thought of selling.”

Billings also finds the Sell Score feature useful. “If I select property values from $250,000 to $750,000 and a sell score of high in the 33703 ZIP Code, for example, and zoom in on a particular neighborhood where I farm, five results appear as blue dots on the map. When I click on the dot, photos appear with details including estimated equity, occupancy, owner, mailing address, HOA and monthly fees. It also lists amenities and tells me if the property is in a flood zone.”

Overall, Billings finds Remine effective and intuitive. “If you have any questions, there’s a help center that can walk you through any topic.” The only drawback, he says, is that he could easily while away the hours exploring everything the platform has to offer. “Watch your time; otherwise, you could play with it all day.”

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Leslie C. Stone is a Vero Beach-based freelance writer.