National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) put together a very interesting report about real estate in the digital age. The report not only looked at how how home buyers and sellers used the Internet for their real estate needs but also how real estate agents utilize the web.
Another important aspect of the report covered how the level activity they found in each area actually effects the industry and real estate agents’ businesses in general. Since real estate has come a long way in the past few years digitally (with still more to come to further disrupt the industry), this information is timely and compelling!
The Good News for Real Estate Agents
Let’s start with the good news. With all of the technology out there to help buyers and sellers with the home buying or selling process, you would think that real estate pros should be worried about how this could negatively affect their livelihood.
On the contrary, 88 percent of home buyers, for example, still used a real estate agent last year to find their homes.
What does this mean? Consumers still need their agents! They just enter the process more informed and a little more savvy about their options. This is a great benefit to agents, actually, since their clients can come to them with more ideas about what they want and have higher level conversations in general.
Interesting Findings about Home Buyers
Here are a few of the interesting data the NAR report found on home buyers and how they use technology to purchase their home.
- Mobile devices ruled the home search online, looking at photos, listings and info on the home buying process.
- Next step? Contact an agent, look at an average of 10 homes in 10 weeks, then make a purchase.
- The profile of the typical home buyer in 2016: 44 years old, married with no children at home and a median income of $88,500.
- Millennials and Generation Xers were the two largest groups of first-time home buyers, making up 66 percent and 26 percent of buyers, respectively.
What the Findings Mean for Real Estate Pros
Looking at this first set of data in the report, what does this mean for real estate agents?
- If mobile devices rue the home search online, then make sure your website is mobile friendly. If leads find your website or are referred to your site by family and friends, you can bet they will be on their smart phones. Make sure your site is responsive for different devices or that you have a mobile version of your website.
- Home buyers will still be calling, so be sure you are ready! This means making sure that you keep top of mind with a steady campaign to your target markets or farms so you’ll be the first one they call.
- Of course, the profile of the average home buyer is just that – an average. So don’t plan your whole marketing strategy around this. However, it is interesting to note this trend.
- Finally, demographics do make a big difference in how you market to the two largest groups. If you find that you do see your first-time home buyers falling into mostly one of these two categories, then it’s a good idea to figure out how to market to them and where to find them.
In our next post, we’ll take a closer look at the specific steps that home buyers take in the home buying process from a digital perspective and how that impacts the way real estate agents work.