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Consumer Outreach Best Practices: Market Data

On this page, read best practices submitted by REALTOR® associations on the subject of Market Information—Empowering REALTORS® and REALTOR® associations to be the source for local market information and trends. Entries are listed by association size, with the largest at the top.

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Consumer Research Panel

Houston (TX) Association of REALTORS® (25,000 members)

Goals

  1. Use consumers' feedback to improve HAR's services to its members and consumers
  2. Inform members about better ways to serve their clients
  3. (Longer term) Ask consumers to subscribe to HAR’s community newsletter; enlist subscribers for political advocacy purposes

How They Did It

Working with a consultant, HAR launched a consumer research panel. The initial invitation to join the panel was sent to all registrants for the HAR.com My HomeFinder search feature; new registrants are invited to the panel each quarter.

Survey topics have included legislative priorities, lifestyle, customized real estate search, international search, market statistics, agent satisfaction, mobile search, and rental trends.

The survey reports are housed in a member-only area of HAR.com.

Results

Each topic surveyed has yielded actionable information. For example, 92% of consumers said they were very interested in having the ability to monitor their real estate transactions online. With that information, HAR launched a Transaction Management Initiative as part of its Electronic Transaction Solution (ETS) Platform. Today, 71 firms participate, representing 6,248 agents and 43,275 transactions.

The panel now has nearly 7,000 Houston-area homeowners and renters who volunteer to take HAR's surveys without any incentives.

A consumer recently contacted our tech support line and introduced himself as "not just anybody—I am a member of the HAR.com Consumer Research Panel."  —HAR

Contact: Rozlynn Crew - rozlynn.crew@har.com

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The “Ask Me” Campaign

Northern Virginia Association of REALTORS® (10,000 members)

Goals

  1. Increase awareness of Northern Virginia as an excellent place to buy and sell a home
  2. Drive sellers and buyers to NVAR members
  3. Create a conversation starter with consumers

How They Did It

NVAR hired Qorvis Communications to help create the “Ask Me!” campaign (slogan: “Is it the right time to buy or sell a home in Northern Virginia? Ask Me!”).

The campaign reached out to consumers with in-person events and earned media, both traditional and new. NVAR created a website, blog, Facebook page, and Twitter handle for the campaign, as well as graphic resources and collateral materials.

NVAR trained volunteer members to be “Ask Me!” Ambassadors, armed with the latest information and statistical data about the strength of the Northern Virginia market. To date, 470+ members have completed the Ambassador training and are listed on AskMeNVAR.com.

Results

The campaign was met with great interest by the media and embraced by those NVAR members who participated in the “Ask Me!” Ambassador training classes.

High-profile media outlets, including CNBC and the Washington Post, have come directly to NVAR seeking sources and comment on Northern Virginia housing market trends.

Contact: Jill Landsman - jlandsman@nvar.com

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Local Real Estate Marke​t Report

Ada County Association of REALTORS® (Idaho; 2,950 members)

G​oals

  • Establish ACAR as the most credible and dependable source of real estate market information for Ada County
  • Help members build credibility as local market experts by sharing this report on their own media pages

How They ​Did It

The association began publishing its own commentary about local market data on the 11th of every month, covering sales, inventory, and “distressed" properties.

The association created relationships with local media. The report is posted to the Association’s blog, Facebook page and Twitter feed and the weekly Bulletin and is distributed to our media list.

The report links to the Regional Market reports published by NAR Research for a broader view and more data points.

Results

The monthly market report is the most opened and shared item published by ACAR. Local media link directly to ACAR's blog for market data.

You don’t need to be a great creative writer to do this. Once you get a good template, you’ll find that you change very little of the text from month to month. We also found that the topic is of interest to other groups in town: mortgage lenders, service clubs, radio shows. This resulted in lots of speaking requests. —ACAR

Contact: Marc Lebowitz - marc@myacar.com

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Press Release Ramp-Up

Coastal Association of REALTORS® (Maryland; 1,000 members)

Goal

Position CAR and its members as the source for local, timely real estate information

How They Did It

In 2013, CAR has released two press releases each month for 5 months (and counting), focusing on local market conditions, homeowners, the role of the agent, the "blank slate" approach to tax reform, and other issues.

Press outreach is part of a larger public outreach effort that includes a home buyer seminar and other events.

Results

Media have started to contact CAR as a source for market perspectives. The association has been quoted in Money Magazine and The Washington Post as well as in local papers and radio programs.

Members are pleased that the association is receiving national press attention and being asked about real estate in their market. Members responded positively to the association's media presence as an advocate for homeownership.

We are not a large board, but we are finding that by starting small with press releases and timely issues, it is positioning us as a resource to turn towards. —CAR

Contact: Shelia Dodson - sheilad@coastalrealtors.org

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