How do YOU select a real estate broker?
Yahoo! study reveals online resources vital to real estate professional selection
Yahoo! Inc., released the results of a study on how online resources influence home buyers and sellers – specifically when it comes to selecting a real estate professional.
Yahoo! found that online resources played a pivotal role in the selection process and was central in helping consumers identify agents. While friends and family are mostly responsible for recommending agents, the vast majority of home buyers and sellers still rely on the Internet to search for potential agents in their local markets as well as to verify their choices.
However, there is a disconnect between advertising dollars and consumer behavior. Based on Yahoo!’s study, 77 percent of respondents used an online source for information during their research process compared to 34 percent for print. But, according to a recent analysis by Borrell Associates, realtor advertising dollars have yet to catch up to where homebuyers are going – the Internet. While this year’s online media spend did in fact double from 2005, capturing 32 percent of the overall advertising spend, newspapers continue to get more share of dollars with 40 percent.
According to the Yahoo! study, consumers look to the Web to ensure that the selected agent will best meet their specific needs. Key findings include:
• Home buyers and sellers consider approximately two agents on average before making a final decision
• The Internet impacts consumer trust. Forty percent of respondents credited a site in increasing their trust in the agent
• 74 percent of people who accessed an agent Web site got there with the help of a search engine
• The online research process is quick and intense: consumers spent an average of 12 hours online researching agents and 75 percent selected an agent within one week of starting their search
• Online resources provided introduction to new agents as well as promotional deals:
45 percent of respondents used the Internet to learn about agents they didn’t know existed
41 percent discovered special deals and promotions offered from an agent through the Internet