Realtors- Are you spending your marketing budget in the wrong place?

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 Realtors- Are you spending your marketing budget in the wrong place?

A recent blog post on inmanNEWS suggested that the National Association of Realtors' 2014 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends report showed that most agents are spending their marketing budget in the wrong places.

The author of the blog correctly indicated that only 4% of sellers found their listing agent from an internet site and that search engines, printed advertising and phone apps made up a combined 2% of the closed seller leads.  Similar figures were reported for Buyer leads.

So are you wasting your time and money by having a website, Facebook Page, Google+ and Twitter accounts?  Should you stop sending out direct mail pieces?

In my opinion                                                       NO!

The Buyer and Seller Trend  report clearly showed that the majority (68-71%) of sellers and buyers found their agent from a trusted source (friend, neighbor, relative, other agents, relocation company or Agent's sphere of influence) or face to face contact.

It is obvious from those numbers that personal connections remain king when it Help you buy a homecomes to generating business for Real Estate agents. Everyone knows that a personal referral is much more powerful than a Google search result.

What do you do when someone refers a person, business or product to you? You know this person well and know that she would never steer you wrong. What do you do next? If you are like me, you Google them of course!



Let's paint a picture...

Let's say your best friend friend told you about the most awesome place to get a massage. Oh, you so want and NEED a massage, but you've never never had one or been to that spa or heard of it until your friend told you what a great experience she had.

You Google XYZ Spa, pretty much nothing comes up but you do find a link to a website. You click on it and it is just one page with the hours of operation, address and phone number.  Nothing else.  No pictures. No list of services.  No client reviews.

Would you still call and schedule a massage?

Now instead of a $100 massage, you are looking for someone to help you purchase a $400,000 home.  Would you still call them if you could find nothing on the internet about them?



That same NAR report also shows

First Step Taken During the Home Buying Process
  All Buyers 33 & younger 34 to 48 49 to 58 59 to 67 68 to 88
Looked online for properties for sale 42% 41% 46% 44% 41% 35%
Contacted a real estate agent 17 13 15 20 21 28
Looked online for information about the home buyer process 14 18 14 11 8 6
Drove by home/neighborhoods 7 4 5 8 10 10
Contacted a bank or mortgage lender 6 9 7 6 3 2
Talked with a friend or relative about the buying process 5 9 5 3 3 3
Visited an open house 3 2 2 3 4 7
Contacted a builder or visited builder models 2 1 1 2 3 2
Looked in the newspaper, magazine or home buying guide 1 1 1 2 2 3
Contacted the home seller directly 1 1 1 1 1 2
Looked up information about different neighborhoods or area 1 1 2 1  *
Attended a home buying seminar 1 1 1  * 1  *
Read books or guides about the home buying process  * 1 *
Other 1
*= less than 1%            


Information Sources Used in the Home Search

  All Buyers 33 & younger 34 to 48 49 to 58 59 to 67 68 to 88
Online Website 89% 94% 92% 89% 82% 73%
Rea Estate agent 89 90 88 89 86 89
Yard sign 51 50 51 56 49 52
Open House 45 40 48 49 45 41
Mobile or Tablet Website or Application 45 58 53 34 20 15
Mobile or tablet search engine 42 55 50 31 20 15
Online Video site 27 20 28 34 32 30
Print newspaper advertisement 23 18 21 27 30 32
Home Builder 17 14 19 18 18 5
Home book or magazine 15 14 15 14 17 17
Billboard 5 3 6 3 5
Television 4 4 5 4 3
Relocation Company 2

Clearly, having an online presence is important, if not to directly generate business but to help you build credibility and capture the business that is referred to you.

HappinessAs I was in the middle of writing this blog, I received a call from a new prospect who was referred to me by her agent (who I've never met or spoken to) who found me through a blog post I wrote on ActiveRain Nov 2011!

So you tell me? Have I been wasting my money and time?




Posted by


Laura Borja ♦ Senior Mortgage Consultant ♦ Hablo Español

(858) 3-LOAN-SD (356-2673) ♦

 San Diego County: FHA Mortgages, VA Loans, Conventional Loans

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Comments (2)

Monte Wall
Keller Williams Premier Realty - Katy, TX
Keller Williams Premier Realty - Katy, Texas

You are so on target Laura. Finding an agent through an online search may not often be where a client starts, but most people will Google a referral before picking up the phone. Great post. 

May 21, 2014 09:49 AM
Pam Bechard
Royal LePage RCR Realty, Brokerage - Newmarket, ON

Great Post Laura, the whole package is the key!

May 21, 2014 09:28 PM