Gail Robinson nicely presents the realities of home selling by presenting statistics as revealed by the results of the survey done by the National Association of Realtors. It's nice to know where we are in those figures to determine where we are really headed.
Are we doing things that would make clients come to us?
What do home buyers value more - photos or videos on your website? Are you still leading edge by using social media to market your listings or is everyone else doing that as well? Are your buyers more likely to find their next home through you or the Internet? Think you know, the answers? Well, you might want to take a look at the latest NAR survey and think again.
Once a year the National Association of REALTORS publishes the results a comprehensive survey. The "Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers 2012" is 120 pages long and filled with interesting facts that can be used in our listing presentations or even to rethink our business strategy.
Here are some of the facts that caught my eye:
MORE BUYERS ARE SEARCHING ONLINE FOR THEIR NEXT HOME AS A FIRST STEP
41% of buyers searched online for their next home as a first step in the home buying process compared to 35% in 2011. Only 18% contacted a real estate agent as their first step. Only 3% visited Open Houses as a first step. Given this statistic, does it make sense to use Open Houses as part of our business strategy to attract new buyer clients? Only 1% looked in newspapers or magazines. Again, this figure would make me think twice about paying for an expensive display ad to attract new buyer clients.
90% OF ALL BUYERS USE THE INTERNET TO SEARCH FOR THEIR NEXT HOME
It may not be the starting point, but most buyers use the Internet to search for their next home and 79% of them used the Internet frequently in their search.
42% FIND THEIR NEXT HOME ONLINE
Real estate agents come in second at 34% as the next best source. For a Listing Agent like myself this means I should spend less of my budget on lavish lunches at Broker Opens and more on great photos on MLS.
WHAT DO BUYERS WANT FROM YOUR WEBSITE?
80% of buyers want photos and detailed descriptions of homes for sale. Only 40% found virtual or video tours useful. Okay, why are we spending so much time on video productions? Maybe we should spend that time on better still photos and a more complete description.
ARE YOU STILL LEADING EDGE, IF YOU USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO MARKET YOUR LISTINGS?
Yes, yes, yes. Only 7% of agents use social media to market their listings. Even fewer use YouTube, but then again, buyers don't find video as useful as still photos and written descriptions, so perhaps we shouldn't care too much about being in that 4%.
There is obviously a lot more data in the report and some that may be of more interest to you that these findings and you may draw different conclusions from the data, but I thought I'd share them to pique your interest. For more information on the report, visit www.REALTOR.org