A recent joint study by Google and National Association of Realtor, will help you to understand Realtor’s market, which is the home shoppers and home buyers.
As a real estate agent, you have to know what your potential clients are doing for home searching? what sources and tools they usually use? when they will want to contact you? and so on.
Home Shoppers Who Search Online
We know that most home shoppers (from the study it shows that about 90% of them) do their home search online and offline. But do you know that home shoppers using search engines are MORE likely to take an action on agent website than those who do not use search engines?
So study found that: for those who use the internet to search, 89% of them hire real estate agent vs. 71% of those who don’t use internet to search; similar situation for other traditional offline marketing channels, those who use internet to search home are more likely to use multiple marketing channels. Take open house as an example, 46% internet home shoppers will go to open house vs only 29% of non internet home shoppers. That is an obvious difference.
What home shoppers usually do when they arrive at Realtor’s website
Study found that:
– 51% of the time, they read general home information
– 48%, get directions to visit a home
– 44%, compare prices
– 35%, compare features
– 35%, search a listing company’s inventory
– 28%, call an agent
– 21%, locate a listing agent
– 21%, read reviews
– 20%, research mortgage financing
– 18%, contact an agent other than by calling
– 16%, watch an online video about a home
– 3%, other
So when home shoppers call an agent (28%), or contact an agent other than by calling (18%), they become qualified leads for Realtors.
Home Mobile Search
You may ask where do home shoppers use their mobile devices to do the home search. Study found that it could be anywhere. It happens any moment on the go. At home 77%, which is the most popular location for the search, one-thirds of home search happens at work, 28% waiting in line, 27% at restaurant, and 26% at other people’s house (I guess it could happen when they are at some open house, and do some search for more nearby open houses)
Another interesting factor the study found is that people are using multiple screens to search at the same time. So they could watch big TV screen, and at the same time do some quick search on mobile phone and tablets. So you will make sure that your website will look good on both big and small screen.
YouTube and Video Marketing for Realtor
Do you know that most web traffics go to video sites like YouTube? People would like to spend way more time watching videos than reading text, isn’t it obvious! Now this study found the same thing: video satisfies multiple research needs for home shoppers. They would like to know more about a specific community, like schools, parks, pool, library, and shopping area. They would like to have a virtual tour of a home for sale. They would like to compare features, agents, prices etc.
Imagine, if you could have series of videos to address their search needs, they would stay on your video channel watching one video after another, till they totally convinced that you are the right agent they want to work with. And you haven’t even spend a minute with them yet, face to face. Sure you spend a few hours shooting and preparing for those videos. But once videos are published to internet, they are there to work for you to attract qualified leads 24/7, don’t you think its way smarter doing such marketing.
Challenges for Realtors
Now you might wonder “I have uploaded videos to YouTube” “I have put videos on my site” “I tried to cover as many topics as I could in the video”, but why didn’t I get lots of phone calls from buyers or sellers.
You have to understand that home shoppers will perform an average of 11 searches before taking action on a real estate site. “Taking action” could involve one or few things they do, some happens on the site, for example, they may register your email newsletter, they may fill out a contact form, or locate where you or your agency are, or join your social network on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc.; some don’t happen on your site, for example, they may email to contact you, or make a phone call, those actions you probably have noticed already.
And you also have to understand that typical home buyers take 3 months to buy, but they usually engage with agents earlier in the home search process, usually in 3 weeks after they begin home search. They could engage with you in many different ways, make phone calls, write emails are traditional ways, they could also add you to their social networking sites.
New Home Shoppes Contact Agent Earlier
While new home shoppers (which I believe are usually the first time buyer), they are more likely contacting agent way earlier. Study found that 24% of new home shoppers contacted agent the same day they started searching. The reason behind could be that new home shoppers are undecided and tend to look for earlier professional advice.
But keep in mind that No matter whether it’s new home shoppers or regular home buyers, when they make their first contact with agent, they are usually in the first one-thirds of home searching phrase.
So It is kinda challenge for you, if you are their first contacted agent, to keep those leads hot during their whole search term till they become your clients. And it could mean big opportunities for any other agents who can get those ready-to-buy leads when they finally decided to buy.
How Traditional Offline Marketing Help
Study found that agents remain central to offline search. Though other traditional offline channels trail in importance.
Study found that 88% of home buyers use an agent and 67% of them use agent frequently. Agents role is very important because it bridge the gap between internet research and viewing/buying a home in real world. In the contrast, TV, billboards, and print channels play minimal role in research and decision making process for most home shoppers nowadays.
- We shall combine internet marketing with offline marketing strategies.
- You, as a Realtor should use Internet real estate marketing and spend more time incorporating online and mobile in order to complement your efforts in offline marketing and sales channels.
- Video marketing is playing an important role in leads capture and maintain process.
- Agent website is the first opportunity to present your professionalism before you could get another chance to present to the prospects face to face.
- You should Lower your advertising budget on TV or print media. And Focus on enhancing your visibility online everyday from now on!
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