Although you have no doubt spent much of 2020 updating and upgrading your online presence, it helps to have the boost of a major proptech platform carrying your information and putting it in front of potential buyers in your market.
Now add in real estate industry-focused benefits that help you communicate with clients and colleagues more effectively while staying up to date with the latest information on your local MLS listings.
Homesnap offers more than just a free profile and current listings in your market. It features a suite of enhancements that help you connect to both buyers and sellers in your area while also learning more about your colleagues and competitors. Also, Homesnap might even keep you safer at your next home tour or open house.
CoStar Group’s $250 million acquisition of Homesnap has been dominating headlines, and it puts the already powerful commercial and residential rental space player in head-to-head competition with Zillow.
According to CoStar founder and CEO Andy Florance, the plan is to differentiate Homesnap from Zillow as a platform designed to help market the individual agent’s listings and brand, rather than advertising on top of listings or offering brokerage service directly. You’ll likely hear a lot more about this powerful union and the products that come out of it in the future.
Here we offer you tips for getting started on the platform and strategies for making the most of its capabilities. You’ll also find information on Homesnap’s premium offering Pro+, in case you want to take your Homesnap profile to the next level.
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Homesnap is a real estate platform that partners with more than 200 local MLSs to provide robust listing information along with innovative search options.
One of these is the eponymous snap function that allows you to take a photo of a home and receive available MLS information based on your location. The platform is designed to work for both buyers and agents, with Homesnap as the consumer-facing option and Homesnap Pro as the agent-facing platform.
Homesnap also offers an in-app messaging platform, allowing consumers to discuss listing features with friends, family members and connected agents within the app, including either their own agent or the listing agent for a particular property. Unlike Zillow, Homesnap’s functionality stays on the app itself; the platform is not available in a desktop version.
Either online at Homesnap’s website or in the app, you’ll have an option to register as a real estate agent with Homesnap Pro. It’s a free account provided by your MLS.
Select “Register,” and the prompt will ask you if you are a real estate agent. You will then provide your ZIP code and select the MLS you are registered with. Once you sign in with your MLS information, you will be able to begin using Homesnap Pro’s agent-facing features.
If you see that someone has already claimed your profile, contact Homesnap directly for clarification and correction. If you are a member of more than one MLS, you can visit “Manage MLS Identities” and add additional multiple listing services with which you are affiliated. Your profile will give you the option of updating your profile picture, contact information and the three ZIP codes you most often work in.
From your “News Feed,” you’ll be able to see information and updates on listings you are interested in and see what properties your clients are interacting with most. You can also check out other agents’ information, including their transaction history for the previous two years. In addition, you’ll be able to price advertising campaigns or upgrade to Pro+ from the Pro platform.
Prospecting for new seller leads
Homesnap includes “Heatmaps” that allow you to gather homeowner information for any home in a given area, as well as a filter to help you identify homeowners who are likely to list within the next year. The factors that determine these are mortgage information, time that the homeowner has been living in the home, and other algorithmic functions. You can also add your own filters; that ability allows you to customize your property search criteria.
Pro+ subscribers have several additional Heatmap layers to choose from, allowing them to further customize their search for potential sellers. Pro+ subscribers have access to additional identifying information, including available social media accounts for the homeowner.
Inviting buyer clients to connect on Homesnap
Homesnap recommends emailing clients before inviting them to Homesnap so that they’ll know to accept the invitation. Once they accept, they will only see you as their point of contact for all of the listings that interest them.
Once you connect with buyer clients through Homesnap, they will receive a Homesnap-provided weekly newsletter featuring your photo and branding. You can see what properties they’ve favorited and message them within the app to start and restart engagement at any time.
Safety timer for home tours
Agents using the Homesnap app have access to the platform’s safety timer. This function allows an agent to set a time limit for a showing or open house along with two designated contacts. During the home tour, the agent can extend the time if needed or send a distress alert with one tap.
The app will notify the designated contacts via text message in the event of a distress alert or once the timer has expired.
Homesnap offers advertising management for popular online, mobile and social media platforms, including Google Ads, Facebook, Instagram and Waze. Ad campaigns are tied to specific listings and include a variety of pricing options and marketing reports to share with the homeowners.
Run times vary depending on the number of views and click-throughs generated. Waze ads use geotargeting to identify prospective viewers, while Google ads are keyword optimized. Facebook and Instagram ads are determined by a combination of geotargeting and audience optimization based on leads who have interacted with your profile or listings on Homesnap.
Although Facebook ads don’t go directly to the individual agent’s page, agents can obtain their listing’s ad through Homesnap’s Facebook integration, then share it to their individual or business Facebook page.
Homesnap’s premium platform offering Homesnap Pro+ offers several additional features and advantages designed to help agents optimize their presence online and on the platform itself.
Homesnap discounts a one-year subscription at $399 for the first year and $599 on renewal. Agents can also opt for a monthly subscription plan for $49.99 each month, for a total of $599 per year.
Homesnap Pro+ includes the following upgraded benefits:
- A seamless, instant Google My Business verification for greater online visibility.
- Ongoing monitoring and updating of the agent’s Google profile to ensure that the latest photo and contact information is always available to Google users.
- Ongoing posts added to the Google profile, increasing engagement and improving local SEO for Pro+ agents.
- Review management tools to allow you to request Google reviews from satisfied former clients and alerts to let you know when clients add new reviews.
- A professionally designed website that can utilize an existing custom URL.
- Ongoing reporting to let you measure the effectiveness of your Homesnap profile and online resources.
These tools allow you to improve your online presence while ensuring that your information is readily available to buyers and sellers in your area and on Homesnap’s platform. In addition, if you are looking for a way to ensure greater visibility for your reviews, Pro+ allows you to take advantage of Google’s power.
If you are looking for an easy-to-use platform to keep you connected and communicating while improving the value that you offer to your listing clients, Homesnap’s no-cost Pro option is a great choice.
If you want to quickly and easily scale up your online footprint, the Pro+ option can help you improve your local SEO and make a splash in your market.
Christy Murdock Edgar is a Realtor, freelance writer, coach and consultant with Writing Real Estate. She is also a Florida Realtors faculty member. Follow Writing Real Estate on Facebook, Twitter, Instagr