Google and NAR team up on housing study
With housing search data from Google combined with buyer and seller behavior from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the story of today’s home buyers and sellers is unfolding, and it is clear that the web plays a dominant role in the real estate process at an accelerated rate. According to Google, housing related searches on Google.com grew 253 percent over the past four years, and NAR reports that 90 percent of home buyers searched online during their home buying process.
The new study reveals that 89 percent of new home shoppers use a mobile search engine at the onset and throughout their research, with 68 percent using mobile apps, a sharp rise when compared to five years ago. As depicted in the image above, even though using mobile devices, the majority actually use mobile search while in their own home, not necessarily while in front of a home.
Of home shoppers that view videos, YouTube is their number one destination. Fully 86 percent view video to find out more about a specific community, 70 percent tour the inside of a specific home, and 30 percent watch client testimonials, offering insight to real estate professionals seeking to implement or improve video in their marketing efforts.
Today’s buyer is extremely diverse in their reasons for buying, with the top reason being simply to own their own home, while 11 percent desire a larger home, 9 percent are relocating for a job, and 4 percent move to obtain a smaller home. The white picket fence and nuclear family American Dream has shifted in the last decade, with reasons for buying varying and the stigma surrounding renting fading.
Nearly half shop online for 120 days or more
We were intrigued that new home shoppers are undecided and shop around online, and while nearly one fourth complete an action on a real estate site the day they start researching, fully 40 percent do so 120 days or more later.
The joint report notes that 78 percent of shoppers visit three or more sites prior to taking an action on a real estate site, which contrasts sharply with the NAR research showing that the majority of home buyers hire the first real estate professional they interview.