We’ll start the second part of our “Google real estate” series with an uncontroversial claim – the Internet and real estate are highly intertwined entities. Nine out of 10 home searches today start on the Web, and it seems that with the passing of every day, a new app or technology is released to further modernize the real estate trade.
Yet, as popular as the Internet and its various technologies may be, agents should not entirely discredit older forms of real estate marketing, a fact that was further supported by the joint study by Google and the National Association of Realtors on consumers’ Internet behavior in the home search process.
Internet Searches – Inspiring Diversity
The first part of our series looked at how Google searches often inspired greater action among prospective homebuyers, and the Google/NAR report found that using the Internet also inspired consumers to use multiple sources in their home search:
- For instance, among Internet users, 89 percent still used a real, living, breathing real estate agent.
- Similarly, 53 percent used yard signs and 46 percent used an open house when looking for a home.
- Even the two mediums that garnered the least attention – print newspaper advertisements and home books/magazines – attracted the attention of 28 and 19 percent of prospective homebuyers, respectively – or, nearly half of home shoppers.
‘Google Real Estate’ – a Broader Approach to Marketing
So, what does all this mean? That even among the most Web-savvy consumers, the traditional, physical components of the homebuying process (signs, open houses, ads, human beings!) still generate interest and sales.
Therefore, though you should embrace the Internet with open arms in your marketing efforts, it would be unwise to completely cut yourself off from those more traditional elements.
Landon Harper, an agent with @properties in Chicago, said that though he sees the Web as the best method for wide exposure, he still utilizes real estate’s foundational aspects.
“[The] Internet is definitely the best way to get exposure and something every agent should focus on, but we cannot forget what this business was built on,” Harper said. “Open houses and face-to-face contact is no doubt the best way to connect with your potential client, and signs are really good too. It’s our way of having product placement in our market.”