I love statistics. I don’t always trust them, but I love ’em. Its quite the conundrum. There are always different ways to interrupt numbers. However, yesterday I received the NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers 2008 and one of the super cool folks from NAR Center for REALTOR® Technology sent me a link for their report. But having information doesn’t do anyone much good, unless it’s placed in context.
The Numbers: Where did they find the home?
The Context: Why does this matter?
Whereas some agents are dwelling on the issue that the Buyer is finding their home on the internet 32% of the time and only 33% of the time by the agent; I prefer to look at the fact that consumers are only find the home they buy in the newspaper less than 3% of the time. Knowing this should help agents save some money. To me, fear of the “future” is less productive than knowledge of the present.
If the seller is demanding expensive newspaper marketing, I can show them this report and then show them all the marketing I can do, just by using Postlets.com. You can show that you’re covering 80% of the most useful marketing venues, just by being an agent, putting a sign in the yard and using MLS with IDX, Postlets, Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia, Craigslist, etc…
The Numbers: What did they do when they found the home?
The Context: How can I use this to my marketing advantage
Its also important to know what the actions of the consumer are, once they actually find your client’s home online. Too many agents tell me that their webpage or IDX doesn’t work because they get reports showing lots of “hits”, but no phone calls. Well knowing that only 12% of consumers will find their agent via the home search should help you explain to your clients that 35% may have passed in front of the house and it just wasn’t appealing. People form an opinion of the home within 6 seconds of being in front of it. That’s why curb appeal is so vitally important. Also, knowing that 9% of consumers had some engagement with the mortgage process via their online home search, just might help you get a lender to co-sponsor a web marketing campaign.
Make your own context
These are just two small items from a plethora of information available to you as REALTORS®, that will help you during your 2009 business planning. Take this information, find some friends and brain storm over what the information means to you, in your context. Use your critical thinking skills and stop seeing these numbers as something that your Broker needs to know!