Property information provider PriceFinder is set to shake up real estate marketing with a simple but groundbreaking internet tool called Share.
Share will be added to PriceFinder”s existing Pro Package subscription service from May 15, but it is already causing a stir. One prominent industry figure is redesigning his company’s website to take full advantage of the new application.
Share allows agents, property managers, mortgage brokers and other real estate industry professionals to provide clients with free access to property data. This represents a major move away from the traditional approach, where property data suppliers charge one-off fees to casual customers for price estimates, sales histories or suburb reports.
PriceFinder already provides property industry professionals such as real estate agents with a quick and easy reference to the estimated sale price, rental price and potential yield of a property within the current market or any time in recent history. The company also provides access to a revolutionary map-searching tool, recent sales, property photos, listings and much more. Share allows PriceFinder subscribers to give their clients free access to this valuable information with just the click of a button.
PriceFinder’s Chief Operating Officer Kent Lardner is excited and proud of this new product, which he says goes a lot further than just value-adding.
“At PriceFinder we are determined to maximise our service to clients,” Mr Lardner says.
“To do this we must be constantly developing new initiatives that give those clients a marketing edge, and I am confident that Share will exceed all expectations in that respect.
“Sometimes the simplest of ideas can bring major results and I think this will be one of those stories.”
Mr Lardner is expecting a big response from the industry, with many businesses integrating the service into lead generation campaigns.
“There are so many possibilities – real estate agents can offer access to buyers, sellers and landlords, and mortgage brokers can provide detailed information with new clients. This application is limited only by imagination.”
Among those already moving to position themselves to take advantage of Share is prominent real estate professional Kevin Turner. Mr Turner is the founder of Real Estate Talk (www.realestatetalk.com.au), which was last year named as a finalist in the ‘Most Innovative Media Site’ category of the international Inman Innovator Awards.
Mr Turner also hosts a weekly radio show by the same name, which covers real estate-related issues for buyers, sellers and investors. The show airs on 2UE Sydney every Thursday from 1.30pm to 2pm, and on 4BC Brisbane from 10am to noon every Saturday, and has an estimated audience of some one million people each week.
Mr Turner already uses PriceFinder to provide data and property information for his radio show and website. He is excited about the Share tool and is in the process of redesigning his website to take full advantage of its capabilities and marketing opportunities.
“From my point of view Share will open up a huge amount of information to buyers and sellers, and is very much in line with what the internet is doing for this industry,” he says.
“Five or six years ago agents were the gatekeepers of information, but now we are dealing with very educated buyers and sellers who want their own access to that information.”
Mr Turner is particularly impressed with the PriceFinder methodology to determine price estimates, which he says is quite unique. He says using information about property enhancements, local area, proximity to major infrastructure and other factors, as well as market trends and sales histories, gives a much more comprehensive estimate.
“Buyers are much more aware of property trends and are looking for that extra information,” he explains.
“We have been looking at the Share model consistently for the past month and we have a lot of faith in it.”
Such a show of faith is immensely gratifying for Mr Lardner and his team, but he is not surprised.
“Our company has a reputation for listening to what our clients want and this is a perfect example of that,” he says.
“This will be a great way for real estate agents to build goodwill with current clients or use the service to attract new customers. The best news is that it will come at no additional cost to the existing Pro Package subscription service.
“Many companies would see this as an opportunity to increase fees, but we see it as a chance to give our existing and prospective clients an edge in a highly competitive market, without added cost burden.
“Furthermore, Share is not just for real estate sales staff,” explains Mr Lardner. “As an example, property managers can also use it to share access with a landlord who wants to review her current property and the local market. That same landlord may also be looking to expand his property portfolio, so there are some very valuable cross-promotional opportunities here.”
How Share works
A real estate agent receives a call from a prospective buyer who has viewed a property the agency has on its books. The buyer wants more detail about property trends, sales histories, price estimates and other information, before deciding whether to lodge an offer.
The agent, who is a PriceFinder subscriber, tells the client he will send them an email providing access to this information, and asks for their email details. The agent goes to his computer, logs on, clicks the Share button and enters the client’s email address.
The Share access details are emailed immediately to the client who can then enter the PriceFinder system without the need for any password or account information.
One of the key aspects of this tool is that it only allows customers access to PriceFinder for a single session. This gives the agent the opportunity to initiate further contact and maintain an ongoing dialogue.