As 2021 unfolds, the real estate industry is still dealing with ongoing concerns introduced and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic last year, leaving agents and brokers facing multiple challenges with their work.
“There’s still a massive amount of buyers and not enough inventory,” said Tyler White, Senior Vice President of Operations at PropStream, a real estate data provider. “That’s going to be an issue for a long time, and that’s why housing prices are still climbing.”
Access to property data and an ability to efficiently target prospective sellers can give agents and brokers a competitive edge in this low-inventory environment. PropStream empowers real estate professionals to grow their business by enabling them to easily research properties, identify leads and effectively market to those leads.
“With a shortage of listings, more and more people are needing to be engaged to convince them that now’s the time to sell, especially right now, as we are still in a high-priced market,” White said.
PropStream is an online solution designed to help users comb through a multi-sourced property database to paint a holistic picture of what is going on with a property and its owner.
PropStream takes data from a variety of resources – including public record, MLS information, U.S. Postal data, parcel boundary data and involuntary lien information – and simplifies it to help users make a quick and informed decision. It layers data and lists together to find properties whose owners are the most motivated to sell.
Using its parcel boundary data, PropStream users can click on any property on a map, even without knowing the address, to see detailed information on that property. For example, it shows whether the owner has ever filed for bankruptcy or if they’re facing foreclosure.
“The idea is to give full transparency of what’s going on with the property – being able to find your leads and engage with those owners,” White said. “We have a lot of information and make it really simple and easy to access.”
PropStream’s data gives agents and brokers insight into what’s going on with a property before they approach a prospective seller. Users can also apply filters to find the exact type of properties they’d like to target.
“We allow customers to pick any market they want and apply a wide array of filters to find the leads they feel will work best for them,” White said.
For example, a PropStream user could search for vacant properties as identified by the U.S. Postal database, homeowners who are facing foreclosure or what White calls “tired landlords,” those who have owned an investment property for a long time.
White noted that the current forbearance options and eviction moratoriums have resulted in “a ton of properties right now that are just kind of at a standstill” and that we may see “a wave of properties that are going to be defaulted on” once those moratoriums end.
Recent forbearance rate data from the MBA shows that the share of mortgages with suspended payments is at 5.37%, and the FHFA has extended its foreclosure and eviction moratorium, as well as initial forbearance requests, through Feb. 28, 2021.
PropStream’s data and filtering can help agents and brokers find owners in various situations who may be struggling and proactively reach out to offer the option to “sell your property now, walk away with as much as you possibly can and reestablish yourself,” he said.
In addition to allowing agents and brokers to target specific types of properties to find motivated prospective sellers, PropStream also includes a List Automator function. With List Automator, when a new record comes into the database that matches a user’s criteria, PropStream automatically pulls that record, saves it and notifies the user that new records have been saved.
List Automator also provides the ability to take a list from any source and import it into PropStream’s database to then apply filters and identify the properties that no longer match the desired criteria (removing properties that already sold or are already listed for sale).
Once a user has generated their list of exactly what properties they want to go after, they can engage with those owners using PropStream’s marketing abilities. Agents and brokers can send homeowners a pre-designed, customizable postcard, send an email, or find their most recent phone number to call, text or leave a ringless voicemail.
“It allows users to engage with property owners, to hopefully get them to start calling or responding to their inquiry of wanting to help them sell the property,” White said.
In today’s low-inventory environment, complicated by external factors such as forbearance and foreclosure moratoriums, it’s crucial for real estate agents and brokers to be proactive in order to grow their business. PropStream offers them the ability to find prospective sellers, gain insight into their property and situation, and contact them to get started in one system.
“Everybody’s looking for the listing,” White said. “Having the seller is the holy grail for Realtors, and our system gives them the ability to engage with property owners to get those listings and create that opportunity.” To learn more about PropStream, visit https://www.propstream.com