Having been in the real estate business for more than 35 years, Jim Walker knows a savvy innovation when he sees one. The owner of Jim Walker Realty Services in Flowood, Miss., Walker recently became the first REALTOR® in his MLS to use HouseCanary—the most comprehensive real estate dataset in the marketplace.
The relationship started the way most of his business connections do—with a phone call.
“I get so many calls from companies wanting to sell me some real estate service or item, and I normally don’t take a lot of out-of-state calls, but I took this particular one,” says Walker. “I didn’t really want to subscribe to anything else because I had tried everything under the sun, but the HouseCanary person continued to persuade me.”
Walker looked at the tool closely and was intrigued by the fact that the company had just opened up the market.
“I signed up and started using it, and I use it all the time now,” says Walker. “There are a lot of things that I like about it, but one of the primary things is its accuracy.”
HouseCanary also allows Walker the ability to make changes with the comps, which has helped him keep his clients happy.
“I use it with listings and most of the time it’s so close to an actual CFA that I’ve grown to depend on it,” adds Walker. “I work with a lot of buyers and pay a lot of money to internet lead providers, and if I’m going to show a house, one of the first things I do is check the value. If the buyer likes it, I’ll dig in a little deeper as far as the value. HouseCanary has really helped with that.”
Because there’s a mixture of houses in his area, it can be somewhat challenging to have a true valuation in a neighborhood. Walker finds that, for the most part, HouseCanary is able to come up with that number.
“Customers really like it. They like the fact that I have this service and can give them another look at what the property is,” he says. “For a new client—someone who hasn’t even signed an account—it provides both me and them a reference point. They don’t know me, so they don’t know if I’m exaggerating anything. HouseCanary lends credibility to me. It shows them that I’ve gone the extra mile with this service, instead of just telling them what I’ve seen.”
Presenting clients with an overview of the data that HouseCanary provides has been a boon when it comes to helping Walker land new customers.
“I have a small company with three other agents and we all use HouseCanary. We even use it in our listing presentation to give the seller another strong reference point,” says Walker. “It’s easy. You can do it on the fly, and that’s great. It’s been very beneficial for me and my business.”
For more information, please visit www.housecanary.com/ris.
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