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NAR's Digital House Hunt

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chalkboardsociety is changing at a faster pace. Libraries, encyclopedias and other slow sources of information are becoming extinct. This leads to the basic fact that in today’s world, information is overwhelming our senses as smart phones and tablets create an instantaneous bridge between questions and answers. To confirm this theory we just have to look at our individual internet habits. We roam the internet for information at work, while waiting in line at restaurants or even at friend’s houses. Our connection to the internet is in everything we do.


Recently the National Association of REALTORS® and Google conducted a joint study of the Real Estate market on the Internet. The study is called ‘The Digital House Hunt: Consumer and Market Trends in Real Estate’ and can be found at www.realtor.org or click here for a direct link. This study focuses on the consumers’ internet habits and how those habits influence their house hunting.

This article is a condensed explanation of the report. The findings are very interesting and in some ways a reverse on what our previous thoughts were. We hope that this explanation does the report justice and helps you navigate this new, uncertain world of internet marketing.

Section 1: The Online Path to Purchase Real Estate
In today’s internet world, the internet user is a more dynamic shopper when they use the internet to shop. For example, an internet user will perform around 11 searches before they take action. They are 9% more likely to take action on a real estate website like Zillow or Trulia than a non-internet user. Finally, 69% of searches on a search engine will start with a basic search like “Medford homes for sale”.

What we are learning is that internet users are very active in their searches and will spend a lot of time searching before they take action. For local brokers they need to create a website that is user friendly and optimized for specific searches. To repeat, 69% of searches start with a basic search. If the search takes them to Trulia or Zillow, then the metatags for the local sites should be looked at.

Homebuyer searchNational Association of REALTORS® and Google also found that new home buyers are accessing the internet almost everywhere they go.

As the graph above shows new home buyers are using their smart phones to access the internet at work, restaurants and even waiting in line. Smart phones are making information available to people where ever they go and people are accessing it.

Search GraphWhich leads us to the next graph:

Potential buyers that use the internet in their home search also take more advantage of the old school advertising and marketing methods that REALTORS® use. They are more aware of yard signs, open houses and any advertisement. The internet using home buyer use these various avenues as an opportunity to research more about the house being advertised.

Basically, in today hyper informative world if a home buyer finds something interesting they will research it. If a yard sign captures their attention, they will learn more about the house. If an advertisement makes them curious, they will learn more. The study found that research happens across multiple screens (devices) and touch points at the same time. This means that home buyers will research on the internet when watching TV, reading the newspaper, and/or listening to an advert on the radio.

Finally we come to the point where home shoppers will use their mobile device to call a brokerage 28% of the time, locate an agent 21%, and email a brokerage 18% of the time. Increasing your internet footprint is vital to take advantage of these buyers that use the internet to find and contact a person to help them buy their house.


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