FOREM posts on a recent Yahoo! study regarding Internet influences, home buyers and sellers (house in the UK is actually the more used search term), specifically how the Internet influences consumers when it comes to buying a house and selecting an estate agent.
FOREM and the USA of course mention there is no great surprise in the results and we would agree, but this needs to mentioned in the UK again and again: Yahoo found that the Internet plays a ‘PIVOTAL’ role in the selection process and was ‘CENTRAL’ in helping consumers identify agents.
There is no link to the actual study, but the reported results make for interested reading (taken from FOREM). See point 3 especially!!
- Home buyers and sellers consider approximately two agents on average before making a final decision.
- The Internet impacts consumer trust. Forty percent of respondents credited a site in increasing their trust in the agent.
- 74 percent of people who accessed an agent Web site got there with the help of a search engine.
- The online research process is quick and intense: consumers spent an average of 12 hours online researching agents and 75 percent selected an agent within one week of starting their search.
- 45 percent of respondents used the Internet to learn about agents they didn’t know existed.
- 41 percent discovered special deals and promotions offered from an agent through the Internet.
Agents in this country ought to be looking at how these findings impact upon their marketing spend. Forget for a moment that many agents are still at stage one of online developing and just consider the basic finding. Near on 75% of people first turn to the Internet (I would say it is more than this, but I would) to look for a property, so where do you spend your marketing budget?!! Yes, online!! Or at the very least spend proportionally to marry up with your audience. It is not rocket science. Your customer is online!!