If you’re a Realtor looking to justify the investment of time and money that you’ve made into your website and/or blog, this article from RISMedia about Yahoo!’s recent study of real estate consumers’ online behavior should give you some reassurance. It might have you considering shifting your budget even further towards support of your site and/or Pay-Per-Click campaigns.
In a recent study of 500 consumers, Yahoo! confirmed that people use the Web to ensure that the selected agent will best meet their specific needs.
Key findings include:
- 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% of people who accessed an agent website 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% selected an agent within one week of starting their search
Online resources provided introduction to new agents as well as promotional deals:
- 45% of respondents used the Internet to learn about agents they didn’t know existed
- 41% discovered special deals and promotions offered from an agent through the Internet
However, there is a disconnect between advertising dollars and consumer behavior. Based on Yahoo!’s study, 77% of respondents used an online source for information during their research process compared to 34% for print. But, according to a recent analysis by Borrell Associates, Realtor advertising dollars have yet to catch up to where home buyers are going – the Internet. While this year’s online media spend did in fact double from 2005, capturing 32% of the overall advertising spend, newspapers continue to get more share of dollars with 40%.
So, if you’ve been struggling with where to focus your advertising budget, these numbers should help resolve the debate. While print-advertising will always be demanded by your sellers, you’ll find your buyers via a well-optimized web site that is found easily on search engines. If you want some support, Union Street Media’s Internet Marketing Team is here to help. You can choose from a variety of services that suit your budget.