‘Research to Action Lag’ with New Home Shoppers

by Peter Thomas Ricci


“Research to action lag” is particularly strong with new home shoppers; how can agents appeal to them and gain their business?

The Internet has produced an interesting evolution in modern shopping behaviors. Because shopping on the Web is so exceedingly easy, it’s become quite common for consumers to find something they want to buy, and then sleep on it – to bookmark the site, and percolate on whether or not they truly want to purchase the item. From jeans, to televisions, to Blu-ray Discs, we’ve all exploited the “research to action lag” at one time or another.

What’s surprising, though, is that the expense of the item seems has no bearing on this behavior! As a fascinating joint study by Google and the National Association of Realtors (NAR) has demonstrated, home shoppers who are looking for residences for the first time engage in the same kind of behavior, and the offer numerous opportunities for agents.

Research to Action Lag with New Home Shoppers

So without further or due, here’s what NAR and Google found when it came to the “research to action lag” for new home shoppers:

  • Twenty-four percent of new home shoppers contact real estate agents the same day of their home search; so, nearly a quarter of first-time home shoppers show quite the initiative!
  • The most interest stat, though, came from the homeowners that do not take action. Forty percent of new home shoppers conduct 120 days of online research before taking an action on a particular property.
  • That means that for roughly four months, 40 percent of those shoppers are doing simply that – shopping – and are not contacting real estate agents or taking any action for a specific property.

Engaging with New Home Shoppers

We should be clear – all of the aforementioned new home shoppers eventually contacted agents and purchased properties; yet, there does seem to be a huge opportunity for agents to reach out and meet new clients, especially when more than a third of all new home shoppers wait for four months before contacting anyone.

So what’s an agent to do? In a word, engage! And you can start by revisiting all of our entries in our “Google Real Estate” series. From targeted, local marketing, to a broad selection of materials, to a new commitment to Internet video, there are many tools at your disposal to reach out and contact new, interested clients, all of whom are tapping into the Web.

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