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The Digital Search for Real Estate in 2015

Category : Real Estate

According to a recent report, by the National Association of Realtors®, technology is changing real estate. The report takes a look at how home buyers use technology to search for property listings and how real estate agents need to use technology to stay ahead of the game. What does this mean for Southwest Florida home buyers and Southwest Florida real estate agents?

“In 1964, 40 percent of home buyers read newspaper ads to find a home and seven percent drove around looking for an open house. In 2014, 43 percent looked for properties online first.”

There is talk that technology is changing the game of the real estate industry. Let’s face it: Connecting with the consumer in 2015 is now more prevalent than ever before in the real estate industry. Home buyers are no longer driving around town looking for open houses and reading newspaper ads to find property listings. The search for property listings have become primarily digital; the internet has transformed the way consumers buy, live, and work. Research shows that 90% of purchase decisions are first researched online. This means that home buyers are using search engines to research real estate agencies and researching available listings online before they come knocking on a real estate agents door.

The Internet is now the number one resource that consumers go to for information. Home buyers are able to educate themselves and do their research online before committing to a purchase decision and a committed relationship with a real estate agent. The internet is merely a tool to help home buyers during their property search and it’s now an agent’s responsibility to help home buyers interpret the data.

The Connected Consumer Has Changed the Game for the Real Estate Industry

“Online searching maximizes the ability to compare and contrast homes on the market by selected features”

With all the tech tools available, consumers are now able to educate themselves about the real estate market before they speak to a home seller and/or real estate agent. Home buyers are using tablets, mobile devices, and desktops to search for properties online. They are also using these devices to research real estate agents in the area in which they’d like to buy into.

How Do Realtors Connect With A Connected Home Buyer In Our Digital Age?

Dealing with tech savvy buyers has posed a threat to some real estate agents, changing the way experienced agents are having to communicate. Home buyers now need information at their fingertips – and right away. A challenge for some real estate agents is to know how to best harness those buyers from a digital perspective.  To stay connected real estate firms need to offer more services in order to stay relevant.

Real estate agents need to enter the relationship confident that they can help the consumer, and set clear expectations from the start. Home buyers are looking for real estate agents that will help them navigate the entire home buying process and help the home buyer understand what’s happening every step of the way.

Steps Taken In the Home Buying Process

Source: NAR Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report 2015 & 2014 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers

The actual process of home buying has changed greatly. The internet is everyone’s first stop, according to NAR.

15% – Contacted a real estate agent

12% – Looked online for information about the home buying process

7% – Talked with a friend or relative about the home buying process

6% – Contacted a bank or mortgage lender

6% – Drove-by homes and neighborhoods

Do Realtors Need A Web Presence?

Source: 2015 Member Profile

91% of Real Estate Firms Have a Website

7% of Real Estate Firms DO NOT Have A Website

Understanding the power of the Internet is huge for real estate agents. Very few home buyers find listings in newspapers or by driving around town. Instead, home buyers are turning to the internet to look for property listings. It is imperative for real estate professionals to have a significant online presence, where they can reach a wide range of clients that are searching for them.

If you are an agent with a strong online presence those consumers are likely landing on your website. Real estate agents with a strong online presence will stay ahead of the game and increase the amount of traffic to their business. First impressions are everything to home buyers, a realtor’s

job is to capture a home buyer’s attention almost immediately.

“Did you know that 90% of real estate firms have websites, and the most common feature on their websites were property listings?” – REALTOR

The most common feature on real estate agents’ websites were property listings at 95 percent, according to the 2015 Profile of Real Estate Firms. Make sure your firm is providing more than just property listings for your clients.

Can you keep up with technology?

A major challenge for the real estate industry is agents keeping up with technology. According to the report 46% of real estate firms claim that technology is the biggest challenge today. Technological change has accelerated at an incredible pace in the past few years. The pressure on real estate firms is heating up. Indeed, keeping up with technology is extremely time consuming and frustrating for most firms. Remember keeping up with technology is an important part of evolving your real estate career. If you are an agent that is implementing technology into your firm you have a better chance at staying connected to those tech savvy home buyers. The bottom line: Keep up with technology or be left behind!

The Digital Search for Real Estate in Southwest Florida

Agents are still a trusted resource and homebuyers are seeking out those agents that understand the digital movement. Jill Kushner uses the latest technology to help her clients save time, stay informed, and stay educated in the southwest Florida real estate industry.

Jill Kushner has been able to provide convenient property searches for users and is able to engage with her clients to better assist them in the home buying process. If you are a homebuyer interested in real estate in Bonita Springs, FL contact a seasoned professional today!

What are your thoughts on the digital search for real estate? Leave your thoughts and/or questions in the comments below!

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