The Canadian Real Estate Association has provided its membership with a gem in Realtor.ca, and a recent update is turning it into a solid lead generation tool.
The neighbourhood widget CREA added to Realtor.ca is similar to popular platforms like Walk Score and Transit Score, but, according to Patrick Pichette, CREA’s vice president of marketing and technology, it’s leaps and bounds more effective.
“We’ve added additional neighbourhood and lifestyle information,” said Pichette. “Some websites use Walk Score, but this is like Walk Score times 17. It doesn’t just look at walkability, it looks at transit, cycling, proximity to services like schools, grocery stores, daycare, and we know that consumers, when online searching for real estate, want better alignment with their lifestyle.”
When searching real estate online, consumers look for more than pricing and the number of bedrooms and washrooms in any given listing. Pichette says they want their future homes to accommodate their lives as they are.
“That’s the idea to add this extra data on listings across the country,” he said. “If you pull up any tab, there you’ll see the neighbourhood that will give you a sense of what’s around the listing, in terms of services, parks, schools, and so on. Let’s say you pick ‘primary school,’ it will plot that on Google Maps. The idea is you can use the context to show you what’s in proximity of the listing you’re looking at.”
The value proposition for sales representatives is the driver, he added.
“When a user clicks on the neighbourhood tab, 80% of the time they’ll do a search for some of those services. From a realtor point of view, what we’ve learned is when the consumer interacts with the neighbourhood data, they’re three times more likely to convert that into an email to the realtor by clicking on the ‘Get in Touch With a Realtor’ tab.”
The three most searched lifestyle amenities on Realtor.ca are primary and high schools, and grocery stores.
Sales representatives have already given the Realtor.ca add-ons their thumbs up.
“This is what they expect,” said Pichette. “Members want to be proud of their Realtor.ca because their potential clients use the website and it’s a reflection on them. Consumers are expecting a listings portal to be innovative and have all of the latest information. That will reflect well on the realtors. The mission of Realtor.ca is to be able to talk about the value of its realtors, and as more Canadians get to this site, it gives us an opportunity to talk about the value of working with realtors and the opportunity to convert them into a lead.”
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