Most real estate professionals find it difficult to applaud the impact Zillow, Trulia and Redfin have had on the industry. One thing these companies have done exceptionally well is create an effortless way for consumers to monitor real estate activity in their neighborhoods.

Where challenge meets desire
Getting an estimate (however precise it may be) on an existing home or on homes in an area of ​​interest has become one of Americans’ favorite pastimes. Zillow had over 196 million unique visitors to the site last year alone, confirming consumers’ desire to track home prices, monitor market activity and compare features of homes. This desire is an opportunity for real estate agents to deepen their relationships with their former clients and their sphere of influence while identifying potential transactions.

This is where challenge meets desire. Maintaining relationships with former clients or contacts within the sphere of influence is one of the biggest challenges in the real estate industry. But the solution seems simple. We know consumers want localized, personalized information on home values, home price trends, interest rates, and any financial metrics associated with their neighborhood. Agents who provide reliable financial and market information can ascertain their position as the region’s go-to real estate resource and potentially influence when someone decides it’s time to take a step.

Irony of lead generation
There are a number of tools available to real estate professionals to help them implement customer engagement campaigns that include the financial and market data that consumers value. Homebot is an example of a tool designed to help loan officers and real estate agents share relevant and current data on home value and finances. Soon to be launched, Your Home Hub, MooveGuru’s latest offering, will also provide property financial data, tax assessments, and home finance details through a personalized homeowner dashboard. The dashboard includes a home improvement calculator, gives agents the ability to share their list of preferred local service professionals, and helps identify contacts who might consider moving.

In these examples, the platform does all the work. The process is automated and communications are personalized from the agent. The irony is that Zillow has cultivated a consumer’s desire to get regular “quotes” on their home and watch the ups and downs of their local market. This desire created an opportunity for agents to generate leads from their sphere of influence before losing that client to the Zillow lead generation machine. While that didn’t slow them down, one would assume it was an unintended consequence on Zillow’s part.

Kathleen Kuhn is the president of MooveGuru. For more information, please visit MooveGuru.com.