The U.S. National Association of Realtors confirms the general trend that we are all aware of. The real estate marketing moves on the online. Yard signs and open houses will probably still be used by real estate agents in the future. But the reality is clear. They are a thing of the past.
The mobile technology takes over open house presentations, as the 2014 NAR’s Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers shows. For the young age categories included in the research, the percentage of people that use the Internet in their pursuit to find a new home is just a few points under 100%. While the percentage of those that benefit from the services of a real estate agent are slowly dropping under 90%. The same trend seems to show among mobile or tablet usage versus yard signs and open house presentations. As the first is moving over 50%, the latter is slowly loosing authority and dropping below 50%.
The general percentage of people who practically find and buy their home over the internet was of only 8% 13 years ago. Since then, the number has grown steadily, reaching 43% last year. The research included first-time home buyers, representing a third of the people that participated in the research. The study included 6,572 responses to a 127 question survey performed this July. The number solely included home-owners, leaving aside investors or vacation home buyers.
The general feedback was that the Internet seems to provide a more organized and central tool for the home research. It outranked real estate agents in both frequency and usefulness. 43% of home buyers confessed that the Internet is the first tool they turn to when initiating the home research process.
Virtual Tours in Real Estate Marketing
A new trend is showing up, however. Like the 8% that started using Internet for home buying, 13 years ago. 9% of home sellers confessed that they sold their home themselves, without involving a real estate agent in the process.
The most useful information found online was mentioned in a very clear order, by all home buyers surveyed by NAR. It is photos, detailed property info, interactive maps and virtual tours that they look for, when doing their research. As the virtual tour is one of the newest marketing tools on the market, its inclusion shows another emerging trend, for the future.