Is Today’s Consumer Better Informed?

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Richard Weisser Realty

Today’s Consumer is Better Informed by Richard WeisserIt would be hard to deny the fact that today’s is MORE informed. With the plethora of data available at the push of a button or from speech into a microphone, one would assume that the consumer can be armed with everything they need to make good purchase decisions.

But are today’s consumers BETTER informed?

“Aye, there’s the rub.”

More information does not translate to better information. As a matter of fact, the deeper one delves into the data vault the more likely they are going to uncover outdated or incorrect facts.

I would go so far today to state that one is MORE likely to glean erroneous information than accurate facts in a preliminary search.

The reason?

Webmasters are more focused on traffic than truth. Bigger is better. There is no validation required.

 

And it shows!

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Ambassador
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Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

I got a call from a possible buyer today who said he had been through the home buying training from the county where he was prequalified and ready to go.

Sadly, it was clear in our conversation that he knew nothing about financing, qualifying or anything.

Nothing is better to prepare a home buyer or seller than a practicing real estate agent.

 

Jan 23, 2015 05:00 AM #12
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Richard Weisser
Richard Weisser Realty - Newnan, GA
Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional

Annette...

The sites survive on the consumption of data!  It doesn't have to be good data, it just has to exist!!!

Li...

I would say I agree!

Nicole...

Hopefully, they will involve a well-informed agent to help them!!!

 

Jan 23, 2015 05:07 AM #13
Rainmaker
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Gerhard Ade
RSVP Real Estate - Seattle, WA
What sets me apart, will set you apart.

More confused than ever without knowing it.

 

Jan 23, 2015 05:07 AM #14
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Richard Weisser
Richard Weisser Realty - Newnan, GA
Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional

Tanya...

I got a list of twenty homes that a buyer wanted to see. Only one was still available. That's a 5% correct rate for their source!

Carla...

Sometimes it takes a few failures before behavior changes!

John...

At least they feel that they have tried to be!

Jan 23, 2015 05:10 AM #15
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Richard Weisser
Richard Weisser Realty - Newnan, GA
Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional

Joan...

I think the worst thing is that consumers often incorrectly think that we are hiding listings or that we don't know how to find them!

Bill...

It takes a lot of time and work to undo the misconceptions!

Tammy...

I agree!

Vern...

Preaching to the choir!

Greg...

OK, that got an audble chuckle from me!

Lenn...

EXACTLY!!!

Gerhard...

That's the worst part!

 

Jan 23, 2015 05:14 AM #16
Rainmaker
505,794
AJ Heidmann ~ CRS
McEnearney Associates, Inc. - Alexandria, VA
YOUR Alexandria & Arlington, VA Real Estate Expert

Richard - Data without context is garbage useless... but try telling that to a large swath of buyers/sellers.  The proliferation of information (vetted or not) gives the consumer the impression that they are on top of the ball; but in many cases it doesn't apply to the market they are in, is dated, or just plain wrong.

Jan 23, 2015 05:22 AM #17
Rainmaker
908,388
Pamela Seley
West Coast Realty Division - Murrieta, CA
Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA

That is so true, the more traffic on a site the higher they rank on google. Long tail searches don't always pull up the information that one might be looking for, or that is needed, but not know it's needed. 

Jan 23, 2015 05:24 AM #18
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Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Helping you find your way home.

While I agree that consumers may be at risk of unearthing misinformation on the web, my experience has shown that consumers arrive at my doorstep, far more informed, than in the past, and closer to a decision due to their internet gleanings.

Jan 23, 2015 05:44 AM #19
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Richard Iarossi
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Crofton, MD
Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate

Richard,

I'm not worried about losing business because the public is better informed. As a matter of fact, they need us now, more than ever...just because of all the mis-information floating around.

Rich

Jan 23, 2015 05:56 AM #20
Rainmaker
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Richard Bazinet /MBA, CRS, ABR
West USA Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Phoenix Scottsdale. Sellers, Buyers & Relocations

Wow Richard Weisser , better truth never spoken. More data does not equal more information. Or better information. And then to eventually become knowledge. And here's the problem with data. There could be an accuracy, authenticity and validity problem with the source, it can take many shapes, subject to interpretation or misinterpreted, it can be manipulated to make a point, taken out of context and aggregated to mislead. There is a lot of distributed data out there of unverified and questionable sources.

 

Jan 23, 2015 06:47 AM #21
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John Meussner
Mason-McDuffie Mortgage, Conventional Loans, Jumbo Loans, FHA, 203(k), USDA, VA, - Walnut Creek, CA
#MortgageMadeEasy Walnut Creek, CA 484-680-4852

Couldn't agree more - there's a ton more information, but much of it is noise or misinformation.  Worse, when it's from a "credible" source, people take it as gospel, and often spread misinformation around.  More informed?  Absolutely.  Better informed?  Nah.

Jan 23, 2015 07:11 AM #22
Rainmaker
1,317,476
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

You hit the nail on the head with this post

But are today’s consumers BETTER informed?

I don't think so.

Jan 23, 2015 11:42 AM #23
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Fred Griffin, on leave of absence from ActiveRain
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

Excellent, Richard.  So much of what's out there is nonsensical, misleading, and outright false. 

Jan 23, 2015 12:17 PM #24
Rainmaker
593,126
Claude Labbe
Real Living | At Home - Washington, DC
Realty for Your Busy Life

Richard, you used the correct words.

Today's consumer has LOTS of information. That doesn't at all mean they are more informed. It's a natural though faulty conclusion to make from the relationship.

In the past, the professional would provide the information.  Now, the professional grades & qualifies the information.

Jan 23, 2015 02:07 PM #25
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Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

Consumers may be more informed but that doesn't mean they're able to complete a task as well as a professional in that field might.

Jan 23, 2015 02:42 PM #26
Rainmaker
4,432,093
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

I do feel that consumers are better informaed than they were a few years ago. 

Jan 23, 2015 08:39 PM #27
Rainmaker
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Rob Spinosa
Guaranteed Rate, Marin County, CA - San Anselmo, CA
Vice President of Mortgage Lending, Marin County

Your excellent post reminds me of a take on the old adage, "Practice makes perfect."  I heard someone say, "No, that's not exactly correct.  'Perfect practice makes perfect.'"

Richard Weisser your point reinforces that just having the information doesn't necessarily result in being informed.  Having the right information, and recognizing such, is the difference.

Jan 23, 2015 11:22 PM #28
Rainer
201,626
Richard Robibero, ABR, SRS
Panorama R.E. Limited - Toronto, ON
Selling Your Home as if it were My Own!

Good post Richard Weisser . I wish consumers would be better informed with some aspects but leave others to the professionals!

Jan 24, 2015 12:07 AM #29
Rainmaker
83,548
Ernest Villafranca
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate - Oakland, CA
3923 Grand Ave. Oakland CA, 510-418-9443

More informed and more confused. Too much information is not a good thing.

Reminds me of: "A fish doesn't need to know what water is to swim in it."

Or another way of looking at it: "Fish don't know they are in water."

Knowing less is better.

Jan 24, 2015 06:54 AM #30
Rainmaker
867,434
Debbie Walsh
Shahar Management - Middletown, NY
Hudson Valley NY Real Estate 845.283-3036

Wow I think that is so true that there is the chance of more erroneous information because of traffic.   My daughter turns to Google for everything whereas I would rather not than be overwhelmed with too much info.

Feb 13, 2015 01:24 AM #31
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