Is Online Marketing In Your Real Estate Marketing Plan?

It better be.  According to a recent study published by the National Association of Realtors and supplemented on MarketingCharts, 87% of home buyers start online.  While this is no surprise to Internet Marketing professionals there has been some inconsistency in this percentage over the last four years depending on who you talk to in the real estate industry.  Now we know.

Here’s the skinny:

  • 87% of home buyers used the internet to search for a home purchased through a real estate agent,
  • 72% of non-internet users were more likely to purchase in a private transaction directly from a builder or from an owner they already knew.

What information source did home buyers use:

  • 87% Internet
  • 85% Real-estate agents
  • 62% Yard signs
  • 48% Open houses
  • 47% Print or newspaper ads
  • Fewer buyers relied on home books or magazines, home builders, television, billboards and
    relocation companies.

When asked where home buyers first learned about the home they purchased:

  • 34% said a real-estate agent;
  • 32% cited the internet;
  • 15% said yard signs;
  • 7% said from a friend, neighbor or relative;
  • 7% said home builders;
  • 3% said from a print or newspaper ad;
  • 2% learned directly from the seller;
  • 1% from a home book or magazine.

Bottom line is that while the real estate industry has remained pretty traditional in method – using an agent, driving around looking at neighborhoods and finding open houses – online is and has been playing a significant role as an information resource to home buyers and you must be there to take advantage of it.  No online marketing company is going to tell you they will sell homes for you, and if they do, you shouldn’t believe them.  Hiring professionals to put together an online strategy that can be incorporated into your marketing plan will be the best bet.  The key is visibility, online presence, and lead generation.  Home buyers want to find the perfect home, and you might just have it, but you’ve got to be online so they can find you, thus providing a forum for them to reach out to you and visa versa.

Get the most up to date Real Estate stats regarding:
First Time Home-Buyers, Current Down Payments, Agent usage by Buyers and Sellers, Foreclosure Purchases, Features and Incentives,  and Additional Demographic Information by reading the full article at MarketingCharts.

About the study:
The 2008 National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers is the latest in a series of large national NAR surveys evaluating demographics, marketing, preferences and experiences of home buyers and sellers. NAR mailed an eight-page questionnaire in August 2008 to a national sample of 133,000 home buyers and sellers who purchased their homes between July 2007 and June 2008, according to county records. There were 10,053 usable responses and the adjusted response rate was 7.9%. All formation is characteristic of the 12-month period ending in June 2008 with the exception of income data, which are for 2007. Because of rounding and omissions for space, percentage distributions for some findings may not
add up to 100 percent.

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