What if you had a service that could accurately predict which homeowners are almost ready to sell their homes? What if you could gain access to their contact information with the click of a button—and with just one more click, you could deliver a marketing campaign to them?
SmartZip uses predictive analytics to zero in on prospects and provide tools to strategically target them. But how does it all work? And could it make a difference in your farming game? In this SmartZip review, we’ll explore predictive analytics, SmartZip’s marketing tools, how much it costs, and ultimately—if it’s the right fit for you and your business.
Wait, What the Heck Are Predictive Analytics?
Predictive analytics use data, both current and historic, to make better predictions about what will happen in the future.
In real estate, predictive analytics assesses the past and present behavior of homebuyers and sellers, as well as market trends and behavior. For example, a typical first-time buyer stays in their property for roughly five to seven years. If you research sale dates from about five years ago, you could roughly predict which houses will likely come on the market in the next year or so.
Applying a single data point like the duration of ownership is just the tip of the iceberg. Sophisticated predictive analytic models like the ones SmartZip uses incorporate dozens (if not hundreds) of data points. Taken together, their data creates a detailed picture of a given property and a potential seller. SmartZip harnesses this data to better identify which homes and sellers are the best targets for your marketing efforts.
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What Kind of Data Does SmartZip Use?
SmartZip is an all-in-one listing and lead farming tool with a proprietary algorithm that aggregates data from more than 30 top data providers nationwide. This data includes:
- Property data: Information includes the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage, year built, the last time the property was sold, whether it was listed and expired or withdrawn, and other important information about the property’s history in the market. This data helps SmartZip identify trends like typical turnover rates for neighborhoods, popular architectural styles, and other factors that affect demand.
- Behavioral data: Spending a lot of time on Zillow lately? For SmartZip, that is a behavioral indicator that you’re likely to list your home in the coming year. Companies like Google, Facebook, and even your home internet service provider catalog most of your behavior online, then package and sell that data to companies so that they can advertise to you or to analytics companies like SmartZip.
- Consumer data: Every time you use your credit card, those purchases are logged by your credit card company, and that data is packaged and sold to companies that are trying to better understand what your purchases today indicate about your future purchases. For instance, if you’re at Home Depot every weekend buying supplies for a bathroom remodel, this could mean you’re doing projects necessary to sell your home.
- Demographic data: Are you a parent of a child about to graduate from high school? Maybe you now find yourself in a house bigger than you need. These sorts of life events are demographic indicators that can suggest a move might be imminent.
On their own, each of these categories provides interesting insight into your life. But combined and fed into the SmartZip algorithm, they paint a picture of the most likely candidates selling a house in the coming months.
SmartZip Pros & Cons
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How Much Does SmartZip Cost?
SmartZip’s pricing depends on the median property value in your area and the market size you purchase.
The minimum monthly cost is about $350. Many agents report their typical SmartZip spend is about $1,000 a month. SmartZip also requires a 12-month contract to get started. The base entry cost gives access to Smart Data (the results of the SmartZip algorithm for your market) and the SmartZip CRM.
When you sign up with SmartZip, you can immediately access the SmartZip CRM, populated with the Smart Data for your farming areas. Unlike a traditional CRM, it comes populated (and is constantly updated) with the contact profiles of those identified as “high likelihood sellers.” These profiles include:
- Property square footage, bedroom and bathroom count
- Tax records
- Date the home was last sold
- Taxable value changes
- Estimated equity
- Names of homeowners
- Their phone numbers and mailing addresses
- Links to homeowners’ social media profiles
Can I Link SmartZip Data With an Existing CRM?
Yes, it’s possible, but there’s a good reason to consider using the SmartZip CRM, even if it means you’ll have two active customer relationship management (CRM) platforms.
When you get a SmartZip lead, you aren’t just getting the basic contact information you’d get from another lead source. You’ll receive a highly populated lead profile with a ton of extra information. Most CRMs can’t set up the high number of custom fields necessary to accommodate all this data and are not likely equipped to handle the sort of integration that SmartZip offers to get all of the data in the right place.
Our suggestion is to use the SmartZip CRM for their leads. Once you make contact with a SmartZip lead and start a relationship, migrate the data over to your primary CRM, if you have one.
What Other Tools Does SmartZip Offer Real Estate Agents?
In addition to Smart Data and the CRM, there are a few other SmartZip tools real estate agents can put to use. These tools have an added cost (again, determined by the median sale price and the number of homes in your market), but provide significant benefits for agents who want to apply Smart Data and take it to the next level.
Smart Targeting, an automated marketing solution, uses Smart Data to build marketing campaigns across multiple platforms targeting your leads. These targets, SmartZip-identified potential sellers, will see marketing from you in the form of direct mail (postcards and letters), email marketing, and ads across social media and Google.
You can review every piece of marketing before it goes out to ensure each message is in line with your branding and business model.
With Reach 150, SmartZip uses an automated process to reach out to past and current clients to solicit a review. These reviews are plugged into the Smart Targeting system to build additional ads. This clever system works especially well for newer agents. Even if you only have a couple of reviews, the Smart Targeting tool can use them to build ads.
SmartZip can apply their predictive analytics algorithm to contacts within your personal sphere of influence. Just upload your database and SmartZip will identify which of the people you know are most likely to list their home for sale and include them in your targeted marketing efforts.
Finally, we wanted to recognize SmartZip’s extensive list of resources. Their blog and article series will help any novice prospector tackle a mountain of new leads. From interview templates for a potential lead to tips on how to use social media, they provide a real treasure trove of training.
We’ll be honest—we’re big fans of this technology and the advantages it gives agents who effectively employ it. But it’s not the perfect solution for every agent.
For starters, SmartZip doesn’t offer exclusive leads. If another real estate agent in your market is also a SmartZip user, you are both vying for the same property owners identified by the algorithm.
Secondly, as we mentioned before, SmartZip is pretty pricey, especially since they require a commitment of at least 12 months. If you’re just getting started in the real estate business, you may not have the operating budget for this sort of expense.
Lastly, leads from SmartZip take longer to nurture. Remember, you’re reaching out to homeowners before they have even decided they want to put their home on the market, so it will take time to convert a prospect into a listing client. If your initial follow-up and sustained lead nurturing skills aren’t up to snuff, this is going to be a challenge.
If you’re interested in a similar product that’s more customized, and therefore potentially more economical, consider SmartZip’s sister company, Offrs.
Offrs Review: Are AI & Predictive Analytics the Future of Real Estate?
Is SmartZip Right for You?
So, now you know what SmartZip is all about but the question remains, “Is it right for you?”
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Is SmartZip the Future of Real Estate Prospecting?
There’s no doubt about it—predictive analytics are going to play an increasingly important role in real estate marketing. We expect it to become a much more mainstream real estate lead generation tool in the next few years.
Will SmartZip be the leader in predictive analytics? While it’s too early to say, one thing is clear: agents who bet on SmartZip technology, strategy, and results are likely to see big returns in the future.
Over to You
Have you used predictive analytics and/or SmartZip for your business? What would you add to our SmartZip review? Leave us a comment below.