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2013 Report Reveals How and Where Buyers Shop For Homes

January 6, 2014
From Loan Officer Eddie Kirby

From Loan Officer Eddie Kirby

Every year, the Association of Realtors conducts a survey about the preferences and habits of home buyers and sellers. The 2013 report contains some new insights on today’s market you need to know when marketing to buyers, anticipating their needs, and making it convenient to work with you.

Looking ahead, how might some of these highlights affect how you work in 2014?

  • Internet usage in the home buying process continues to be huge. No surprise there. More than 9 out of 10 buyers went online to look for homes in 2013. What might surprise you, however, is that 42% of buyers who eventually bought a home found it online first.
  • Conclusion: Your online presence and listings need to be as polished as you are. Your properties must include high-quality photos and strong descriptions that encourage prospects to contact you. Your LinkedIn profile should be complete and written with the expectation that potential clients will read it. Your career experience should convince buyers and sellers that you are a sharp professional who can help them find the best house for the money.
  • Mobile device usage is also growing. The numbers still lag behind desktop, but they are catching up. Just under a quarter of Americans spend more than six hours every day accessing the internet using their mobile device.* For some in younger demographics, the mobile device is they only access point to the internet!  Fine tuning that data specifically to home buyers, 43% of buyers used a mobile app or website on their device to search for homes, and 22% of people found the home they ultimately bought that way.
  • Conclusion: Your website needs to render well on mobile devices or buyers will move on. According to a recent study by Netbiscuits*, 76% of people say they’ll abandon a site if it’s not mobile-optimized!  Even a one-second lag in loading content leads to 7% fewer conversions. Think about how you use your device in your own life. If you’re not yet mobile-optimized, you need to be in 2014.
  • Buyers are using real estate professionals more than they did a decade ago. That surprising fact seems to conflict with internet statistics above, doesn’t it? In actuality, it may indicate how buyers want information and assistance at different stages of the home buying process. When identifying and narrowing down properties, the internet offers instant information, but when it comes to the actual buying or selling, they still want the help of a in-person professional. In 2001, 69% of buyers purchased a home through a real estate agent or broker, but in 2013, it was 88%! That’s good news!

For more details on how to maximize your effectiveness in both traditional and online marketing, contact your Loan Officer.

*http://blog.ness.com/spl/bid/93369/Survey-Finds-Mobile-Users-Remain-An-Impatient-Bunch

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