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NAR Reports

Top methods real estate agents use in 2016 to market homes

(REAL ESTATE NEWS) Do listing agents rely on social media or print newspaper ads to market homes for sale? Find out in this year’s report

market homes


This summer, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) surveyed 5,465 home buyers and sellers for the 2016 National Association of Realtors® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. The study shows that in the past five years, affordability has tightened, and the time spent home shopping has fallen.

While only 1.0 percent of buyers say they found their home through a print newspaper ad, 11 percent of homes listed are promoted using this method. Our readers know that print ads are for much more than just showcasing a listing (brand awareness, overall lead generation, etc.). What other methods are being used to market homes? Let’s dig a bit deeper.

Top 10 methods agents use to market homes

Among sellers who said they used an agent to sell their home, the following ten methods were use to advertise their listing (pay attention closely to see what’s missing from the list):

  1. 89 percent: Multiple Listing (MLS) website
  2. 70 percent: Yard sign
  3. 52 percent:
  4. 50 percent: Real estate agent website
  5. 47 percent: Open house
  6. 45 percent: Real estate company website
  7. 42 percent: Third party aggregators
  8. 11 percent: Print newspaper advertisement
  9. 11 percent: Online Classified Ads
  10. 10 percent: Direct mail (flyers, postcards, etc.)

What about social media, magazines, television? They’re not even in the top 10. Sure, flooding Twitter with endless “look at my listing” posts is culturally unacceptable, it is possible that sellers were unaware of their agent passively promoting listings on social media. Regardless, the top 10 hasn’t changed too much in the last decade (barring aggregators).

So what of the rest of the list?

  1. 8.0 percent: Video
  2. 7.0 percent: Other websites with real estate listings
  3. 7.0 percent: Real estate magazine website
  4. 6.0 percent: Real estate magazine
  5. 4.0 percent: Social networking websites
  6. 4.0 percent: Video hosting websites
  7. 2.0 percent: Other
  8. 1.0 percent: Television

The takeaway

If you’re marketing listings, knowing the national trends can help manicure your own efforts. While trends locally are still the most relevant to any broker or agent’s career, knowing the national trends can help pinpoint adjustments that should be made locally, or affirm decisions already being made.

The practice of real estate is changing given these rapidly altered circumstances surrounding home buyers and sellers, and it is important to be informed!

Click here for hundreds of other stats from this report.


Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.


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