Understanding the Internet Buyer (NAR Convention Speech)

Services for Real Estate Pros with Zillow

Here is my presentation from the NAR Convention in San Diego, "Understanding the Internet Buyer". If you ever want me or someone from Zillow to present to agents in your office (in person or via webinar), please let me know.


Here's the video. It seems to crash the Firefox browser when I embed the video, so you'll have to watch it over on ustream.


Understanding the Internet Buyer

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Comments (46)

James Lyon
Vista Pacific Realty - Sacramento, CA

Thanks for the informational post, lots of good insight here.

Nov 18, 2009 08:50 AM
Millie C. Legenhausen
Calcagni Real Estate, Hamden, Connecticut - Hamden, CT
CRS, GRI, CIPS, MBA, Realtor

Wow, you nailed it. I'm switching most of my advertising dollars to the internet. My young buyers want info at the speed of light and can actually make a decision. Thank you for the post.

Nov 18, 2009 09:06 AM
Lane Midgett
1776 Real Estate Group Richmond, VA Local Expert - Richmond, VA

Thanks, great information!

Nov 18, 2009 09:21 AM
Trudy Sarver
Montville NJ Realtor, Morris & Essex County New Jersey Homes

Spencer,  Thanks for broadcasting your talk to Active Rain.  It's great for those of us who could not attend the convention.  I am at Re/Max.  I thought Re/Max was the top Internet Real Estate company as listed on Hitwise. Zillow has come a long way.  I used to think it was useless and the  Zestimates were so far off.  Now, I always check on Zillow so I know what my clients might be looking at and list my homes on there too!


Nov 18, 2009 10:57 AM
Jennifer Fivelsdal
JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571 - Rhinebeck, NY
Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection

Spencer great information, I especially appreciated the visuals.  With this information it is time to make the shift to meet the needs of today's consumere.

Nov 18, 2009 11:36 AM
Lew Corcoran, ASP®
Scena Home Staging & Decora Photography - East Bridgewater, MA
Home Stager & Real Estate Photographer

Great presentation - and many agents still advertise in newspapers and magazines. Makes no sense in today's market....

Nov 18, 2009 11:42 AM
Spencer Rascoff
Zillow - Seattle, WA

Thanks everyone for all the kind words and the great comments. If you want me to email the powerpoint deck to you, please let me know (though be warned -- it's a very big file!).

@Angie, you asked about my comments on satisfaction rates... The point I made in the speech about satisfaction rates was that internet buyers have a VERY high expectation level, especially in regards to timeliness of responses from their agent, and that this expectation will only increase as mobile devices proliferate. As a result, agents who serve internet buyers and handle internet leads need to be extremely responsive in order to satisfy their demands.

@Trisha, you asked about how to find local traffic statistics in your market. That's tricky. Zillow releases the data for OUR SITE each month either on this blog or on Sara Bonert's blog. Here's last month's. You can probably ask your broker and they might have data for their site, so that's one point of comparison. But the other media real estate sites don't generally release their local traffic data like we do. Nationwide, the top sites are Realtor.com, Zillow and Yahoo Real Estate. Trulia's traffic fluctuates so you'd have to check with them, but I usually see them reporting around 5 million monthly uniques (we have around 8.5 million).

@Emily, the data from CAR is for California buyers who tend to be more tech-savvy than the typical buyer nationwide. But it's a good sign of what direction nationwide buyers will be going in the next few years.

@Trudy, Remax.com is also a top brokerage site. The different traffic measurement sites have very different data, but there's no question that remax.com is among the largest real estate sites.


Thanks everyone!

Nov 18, 2009 11:55 AM
Russ Ravary ~ Metro Detroit Realtor call (248) 310-6239
Real Estate One - Commerce, MI
Michigan homes for sale ~ yesmyrealtor@gmail.com

Thanks for sharing the info.  The internet buyer is the buyers I like.  Especially the ones that pick up the phone.

Nov 18, 2009 12:04 PM
Elizabeth Cooper-Golden
Huntsville Alabama Real Estate, (@ Homes Realty Group) - Huntsville, AL
Huntsville AL MLS
Thanks for sharing this important information. I just watched your slide show. I was shocked at the conversion rate by calling within 5 minutes. That's a wake up call for sure. I'm going to share this with my office "peeps". Thanks again :)
Nov 18, 2009 12:14 PM
Cheryl Ritchie
RE/MAX Leading Edge www.GoldenResults.com - Huntingtown, MD
Southern Maryland 301-980-7566

Spencer, this is a cool idea! I wish they had done this for the REBAR Webinar yesterday. Is it safe to view on Internet Explorer?

Nov 18, 2009 12:27 PM
Aaron Vaughn 830-358-0455
Conifer Builders LLC - Canyon Lake, TX

People on that there world wide web thingy likes to gets a response right away, because they be an impatient lot.


Seriously though, very good info.

Nov 18, 2009 01:11 PM
Andrew Martin
REMAX Accord - San Ramon, CA

Would it be possible for Zillow to put in HUGE RED letters on the site to advise people that Zillow is for ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY and doesn't come close to reflecting real home values. It would do all of us agent a huge favor and then we wouldn't have to constantly explain that to people. People come to my listings and make ridiculous offers on homes because of what they read in Zillow.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, put out a stronger warning. It's not funny anymore.

Thank you,

Nov 18, 2009 01:25 PM
Dora & Vincent Kwok
HomeSmart Real Estate - Chandler, AZ
CNE - Chandler, Arizona Real Estate

Thanks for sharing your presentation.  Lots of interesting and informative foils!

Nov 18, 2009 02:13 PM
Gregory Bain
Mezzina Real Estate & Insurance - Little Egg Harbor, NJ
For Homes on the Jersey Shore

I am sorry, Spencer. I just can't get over the fact that my national organization (the one I pay dues to) would pay you to be a speaker at the convention. Not that you are not a nice guy, but come on. They are going to launch their own version of zestimates and they are paying all these geeks to sell my customers back to me, and they need to hire you to speak about internet customers?

Zillow? walking away scraching my head.

Nov 18, 2009 02:18 PM
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

This looks like an interesting and important topic.  I am off to go view the video.

Nov 18, 2009 05:45 PM
Vanna Siackhasone
Real Estate Brokers of Alaska 907-720-4663 - Anchorage, AK
Anchorage Real Estate 907-720-4663


that video was great to go over. Very good stuff!

Nov 18, 2009 07:57 PM
Linda Lohman
Fonville Morisey Realty - Cary, NC
Former Teacher/Broker

I enjoyed the info thanks for sharing.  I think we all need to be reminded that internet buyer have very different expectations. 

Nov 19, 2009 01:09 AM
Steve Babbitt
Babbitt Realty - Penfield, NY
Past President of the Rochester Realtors

I enjoyed it live at NAR09 and it's nice to have to review or pass along.  Your talk inspired us to stop by the booth and we signed up for a package.

This is my 31 year in the business and I can attest to many of the slides in your presentation representing the internet buyers and sellers!

Here's to success wit Zillow!

Nov 20, 2009 09:30 AM
Beverly of Bev & Bob Meaux
Keller Williams Suburban Realty - West Orange, NJ
Where Buying & Selling Works

Thanks, This was very interesting to get Zillow's viewpoint on things. I wonder NAR's point of what they are trying to accomplish.

Dec 10, 2009 10:25 AM
Beverly of Bev & Bob Meaux
Keller Williams Suburban Realty - West Orange, NJ
Where Buying & Selling Works

Thanks, This was very interesting to get Zillow's viewpoint on things. I wonder NAR's point of what they are trying to accomplish.

Dec 10, 2009 10:25 AM