You can present facts and figures in words or pictures, but pictures can often leave a stronger impression. Our brains process images 60,000 times faster than text, so using images in your marketing and sales approaches is an efficient and high-impact way to stand out in the sea of real estate communications and postings.
According to Tableau, a data analytics company:
"In the world of Big Data, data visualization tools and technologies are essential to analyze massive amounts of information and make data-driven decisions. "
In other words, brokers and agents hoping to succeed in today's real estate market need to know about data visualization.
What Is Data Visualization?
Data visualization (also sometimes called DataViz) is simply the communication of trends, facts and statistics in graphics rather than in prose. Types of data visualization tools include graphs in various styles, charts, infographics and heat maps.
Says Ryan Taaffe, a Virginia-based REALTOR®, "Buyers, sellers and investors all need to know what's happening in the market. Prices, days on the market and many other metrics are readily available to real estate agents and brokers, but their clients don't always see the full picture. Data visualization is an effective way of sharing information that clients might otherwise struggle to locate or interpret."
How Do You Apply Data Visualization to Wow Your Clients?
In order to put data visualization to good use, you need a few foundational tools and skills. First, start with a great source of data about the market you serve. Brokers and agents don't usually have the time to conduct their own comprehensive research and analysis. Tools like PropStream enable you to quickly and easily gather your facts. You can also gather information from blogs and industry media.
Second, get familiar with a few ways to visually present your data. Some popular uses of data visualization are:
- Showing a buyer or seller comparable home prices in their neighborhood on a map.
- Illustrating average time on the market, creating a sense of urgency among prospective buyers and managing sellers' expectations.
- Attracting viewers to your social media sites. Colorful and simple graphs attract the eye and lead to awareness and engagement.
"When you create your chart, graph, or other visualization, think about what you want the most important takeaway to be," advises Taaffe. "If a chart is hard to interpret, it may very well be misunderstood or ignored. I also believe it's important to include data that is as recent as possible. The market may not change overnight, but seasonal fluctuations and other trends could be missed if the data is too old."
Finally, learn the basics of effective visual presentations. You don't have to be an artist or statistical analyst to create effective data visualizations. PowerPoint and Canva are basic tools for taking statistics and turning them into pictures. Keep it simple and don't pile on colors, animations and multiple fonts. Your numbers and facts should be the heroes. Use a snipping tool or screenshot to extract charts from third party sources, but be sure to credit the source to avoid copyright issues.
"If clients see that you know the market, you've established credibility and trust," Taaffe concludes. "If you present data in a compelling and clear way, they'll be drawn to the graphics — and to you as a broker or agent."