Despite historical low interest rates, home ownership is down and real estate agents must work harder to get clients in a cut-throat market. While personal referrals are still the leading channel for new business, internet access is changing all that. Online reviews can’t be ignored. In fact, if you are an agent or broker, you better pay attention.
In April, 2015, ReviewInc conducted a study of 1,092 U.S. Consumers about the process they use to engage the services of a real estate agent or broker. Consumers use a combination of several pieces of information aside from asking their friends or neighbors for a reference. The study showed, that 61.5% used internet based research to gather information about a broker or agent. These included reading their online reviews, using search engines (e.g. Google or Bing) and checking with agent’s website.
In contrast, only 14% even read their advertising material. So if you are an agent spending hundreds or thousands of your marketing dollars on printed marketing material, now would be a good time to rethink that. While 37.3% would ask a friend/neighbor about an agent, a whopping 29.4% checked their online reviews on sites such as Google, Yelp, Zillow or Trulia. Checking reviews was even more important than internet searches or the agent’s website.
Consumers know that a good real estate agent or broker can save them time and money. According to U.S. Census Bureau there were 115.6 Million households in 2013 of which 64.9% were home owners. As long as long term interest rates remain low and with an economic recovery around the corner, a rebound in ownership is anticipated. Agents and brokers with great online reviews should expect to get a larger share of the home buying and selling market.
ReviewInc can help your real estate brokers and agents get more reviews everywhere and enhance your reputation. For a no obligation consultation call us at 877-9REVIEW or leave us a note here and we’ll contact you.
Listen to ESPN 1700, San Diego, on Monday April 24 at noon on at Lunch N Learn radio show hosted by Eran Sinai. Mr. Sinai will discuss this article and related reputation management topics with ReviewInc’s Henri Isenberg.