Big data’s potential for realtors

The real estate industry experienced a considerable rough patch over the past few years. The recent recession sapped many prospective home owners of their buying power, leading to fewer sales and plummeting prices. The real estate market has only just recently shown signs of improvement. A forecast released by the Urban Land Institute and Ernst & Young predicted the national average home price would rise 6 percent this year before leveling out at 5 percent in 2015, according to the National Mortgage Professional Magazine. In addition, the Christian Science Monitor reported that figures compiled by the National Association of Realtors showed that the median price of houses sold in March of this year had risen nearly 12 percent compared to the same period in 2012.

The real estate industry still has a long way to go, however. Inman News pointed out that there are several obstacles for realtors to overcome in order to increase their sales. For instance, the majority of consumers make very infrequent purchases, maybe once a decade at most. Additionally, customers practice very little brand loyalty, so realtors by and large have very little hope of capitalizing on repeat business. However, the news outlet suggested that big data analytics could provide members of the real estate industry with a tool to facilitate efforts to engage clients and increase transaction conversions.

Big data could provide major insights
Like any other industry, the housing sector could benefit significantly from big data tools. Using predictive analytics software, realtors could examine customer behavior trends and preemptively engage customers who will be in the market to either upgrade or downsize their house or even invest in a vacation home. Real estate agents could also predict when home owners were considering refinancing their mortgages.

Real estate agencies have a wealth of information to leverage with a big data project, including customer information, mortgage records and financial transactions. Big data tools could use this information to improve efforts to engage both prospective and past clients. Realtors can modify their email campaigns to offer services based on a homeowner's current and projective circumstances. For instance, a new homeowner may be interested in home warranties and homestead exemptions. On the other hand, if clients have demonstrated behavior suggesting the quality of schools is a major factor in their decision making process, realtors can provide additional housing options near well-regarded school districts as their children grow up.

The real estate industry could benefit immensely from Hadoop big data tools. Using the open source platform, researchers could create analytics tools customized to meet the demands of the housing market.

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