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How Do Home Buyers and Sellers Choose an Agent? Yahoo Knows

yahooreport2I was cruising around the Yahoo real estate section the other day and stumbled upon an interesting research study about how home buyers and sellers choose real estate agents.  I definitely think it’s worth your time to read, especially since it’s pretty recent, from April of 2008.

The report is called “Online Engagement Affects Agent Selection Process”  and it’s here, on the Broker page – it’s the second report in the list at the bottom of the page.

Here are a few facts I picked up from the report:

  • Most people (74%) rely on word of mouth to initially choose an agent for consideration, then they follow it up with research for confirmation.
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  • People use an average of five sources to research agents.  (See the graph on pg. 9 of the report, which breaks the five sources down further.)  Seventy-seven percent use the Internet.
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  • Of people who use the internet, 50% spent 4 to 20 hours researching agent information online (pg. 10.)  Hey, that’s a lot of time!  (How did your website fare?)
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Page 19 starts off a really interesting quadrant analysis using this format:

yahooreport

Keep in mind that while topics in ‘3’ are less influential in selection, they are still highly researched, so having information about them on your website or other marketing increases your chances of people finding you in the first place.

There’s a good section about how people use real estate agent websites in hiring an agent.  I just want to point out, regarding page 24 where it says that 31% of people used the agent website only to get the agent’s contact information:  I think in a lot of cases that’s because the agent uses a generic company site and the only pertinent information on there is the contact information. 

(In other words, the 31% is not a reflection of the fact that websites are unimportant.)

There’s more interesting stuff on there and it’s definitely worth your time to look over.  (Plus, lots of graphs – it’s a quick read.)  Another good one on that page is “Embracing the Online Real Estate Market.”

Here’s a link to the Yahoo Broker page with the reports again.

Irene Nash
 

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