THE FUTURE OF INTERNET REAL ESTATE SALES Have you heard how the Internet can be the single most powerful tool in your real estate toolbox for getting solid leads? Check out the facts below to see how the “tide has turned” in making the Internet a core staple of the young tech-savvy real estate shopper and what it means for the future of real estate and your career as an Agent. What Makes Internet Real Estate Sales Unique and Different From Traditional Real Estate Sales? Difference #1: Reaching the New Home Buyer Market Has Changed: A Majority of Buyers NOW Use the Internet To Find their New Homes. FACT: In 2000, only 28% of people surveyed by the California Association of Realtors had used the Internet as part of their real estate search. By 2006, the same group reported that 83% of all homebuyers in California begin searching for houses using the Internet. FACT: Research says 70% of people reading a daily newspaper are 65 years and older, but only 35% of 24 year olds do. The latter group is more likely to use Google or Yahoo to find services than the newspaper or the Yellow Pages. FACT: In August 2006, the Pew Foundation reported that just over half (51% or 72 million) of American adult Internet users had taken a virtual tour of a distant location online. In fact, on a typical day, more than five million people are taking virtual tours in cyberspace, up from roughly two million in 2004. FACT: Online clients can NOW find EVERY active real estate listing in a large city and surrounding environs on the same MLS site that used to be only available to real estate agents. What Does This Mean For Real Estate Agents? Real estate shoppers are less frequently driving around on Sunday with gas at $3 a gallon and looking for houses for sale. Open Houses are less and less productive. Serious buyers begin by using the Internet and save the driving for after they have identified some houses they like in neighborhoods they have checked out in advance. This Internet shopping is even a more important resource for homebuyers from out of town. Even in a local market, traditional marketing like newspaper ads, brochures, flyers are likely to be less effective with the generation likely to be buying a house. Guess where this generation is shopping for houses? Good new for Agents: Guess how much money you can save on print advertising? Difference #2: How the Buyers Choose Their Agents. FACT:: Of all the homebuyers searching on the Internet, 63 % also find their agent on the Internet. Statistics say that 81% of these Internet buyers stay with the first real estate agent that contacts them. FACT: Internet buyers tend to interview a median of 1 agent before they settle. Traditional buyers interview an average 3 agents. What Criteria Do Internet Shoppers Use to Select an Agent? FACT: A majority of Internet buyers interviewed said response time was the #1 factor they used to choose a good agent. By comparison, traditional buyers listed “faster response by my agent” as the one thing they would change about their traditional agent. FACT: Email is the preferred method of communication requested by Internet buyers. What Does This Mean For Real Estate Agents? Give the Internet buyer good service in a timely and responsive manner, and they are likely to choose you to complete the sale. Since email is the customer’s preferred means of communication, being responsive to the client’s request is much easier for an Internet realtor than for traditional agents who cannot return a call 24-7. Difference #3: Internet Real Estate Sales Tends to Promote Repeat Business. FACT: 97% of Internet buyers say they would use same agent again, as opposed to only 50 % of traditional buyers. What Does This Mean For Real Estate Agents? Turns out that selling homes on the Internet is also good for repeat business. For realtors worried about listings as well as sales, note that local buyers usually are selling a residence too. Guess whom they choose to list their home once they chose an agent to help them buy a house? If distance clients are new to a town, you could be their listing agent when they sell the next time. Difference #4: Expands Your Client Outreach. Internet real estate expands your outreach far beyond the local neighborhoods dominated by people who already “know a realtor.” People moving to a new area from a distance are more likely to use the Internet and more likely to “need” the help of a trusted agent “to be their eyes and ears on the ground.” Agents fairly new to a neighborhood can get up to speed quickly specializing in a specific neighborhood and occur as competent as the agent who lived in the town for generations. FACT: In Seattle 60% of Internet home seekers are out of town buyers. FACT: The approximate distance between the traditional buyers’ new and old home is 25 miles. For Internet buyers the “average” distance is 242 miles. What Does This Mean For Agents? Clients from a distance are often “serious” shoppers with realistic deadlines like commitments to new jobs. People moving a longer distance for a new job are likely to be more affluent, have more stability, and thus more likely to be pre-qualified for loans. Out of town shoppers need local agents to check on the reality of the Internet listings. Unlike traditional agents who have to “pay their dues” in the firm to get a million dollar customer, experienced agents new to a city s can occasionally pick up a million dollar sale because distant shoppers have no “already-established” real estate connections in the new town. They will judge by your service not by your community “connections.” Difference #5: Internet Clients are twice as unlikely to Waste Your Time and Theirs Previewing Totally Wrong Houses. Internet buyers are better prepared and farther along in their process as serious shoppers before contacting the agent than are traditional buyers. Typically Internet clients have spent an average of 5 weeks doing their own research, eliminating “not quite right” choices, and selecting a short list of Favorites. Since traditional buyers are often starting from ground zero they view houses as a process of elimination, which results in hours of chauffeuring by the agent. Internet buyers are more likely to use the agent to view houses they are already have determined they are interested in buying. FACT: Agents selling to Internet Buyers work 2.2 weeks on the average showing properties before a sale. Traditional agents typically spend 7.7 weeks. FACT: On the average Internet buyer’s preview 6.7 homes before they buy; Traditional buyers preview 15.4 homes. Difference #6: Internet Real Estate Sales Is VERY Likely To Be The Trend For The FUTURE! If creating satisfied customers is a criterion for continued success, the future is bright for Internet real estate agents. FACT: Internet buyers were more satisfied with their agents, rating them 4.3 on a scale of 1-5 where #5 means “surpassed excellence.” Traditional buyers rated their agents 3.3. What Does This Mean For Your Career as an Agent? You decide! However, don’t wait. Like any futuristic trend it is always wise to get in at the beginning. Why wait for a “some day” future when you could create that future right now If you are a traditional real estate sales persons tired of the pervasive real estate conversation that this is a “bad market”, your current lack of leads may be a perfect opportunity for you to consider “taking the leap.” At Seattle PowerSearch the future is here TODAY At this time Seattle PowerSearch has more solid leads than we have realtors. We need people who want to spend 85% if their time working those leads. We are looking for tech-savvy realtors who are a fit with our company’s new model. We also encourage successful sales professionals interested in changing industries to consider real estate.. If this new real estate model intrigues you, visit www.seattlepoweragents.com to learn more. Wondering How The Seattle Real Estate Market Is Doing? READ ON Seattle Times front page headline, October 6, 2007. “Let the Buyer Rejoice: Home Sales and Prices Fall. “ In a Buyer's Market, a buyer-focused Internet Site is the place to be. For Seattle PowerSearch agents and buyers, this is good news. S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, October 2007 The Seattle real estate index outperformed the rest of the market with a year over year gain of 9.1%. Portland ranked 3rd in price appreciation at a 5.7% gain. While most of the country suffered declines in values the Pacific Northwest all the way into Vancouver British Columbia have continued marching higher. Suzy Orman, Oprah, October 19, 2007 “Seattle is a beautiful part of the country, and the prices are still reasonable. Put the house in California on the market tonight and move to Seattle.” KING 5 TV, Oct 30, 2007 “For the 12th straight month running, Seattle area real estate has been the highest appreciating real estate in the entire country at nearly 6 %.” The Seattle Times, December 2006/ Northwest Multiple Listing Service, November, 2007 In 2006 in the Times Matthew Gardner real estate economist predicted houses would appreciate about 7 percent in 2007. Northwest Multiple Listing Service, November, 2007 reported median house prices were up almost 11 percent in the tri-county region (King, Snohomish and Pierce counties). http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/realestate/2003501549_realpredix31.html CNBC/ Today Show, Sept 20, 2007 Jim Cramer from Mad Money says “Don’t buy now except in Seattle.” http://www.raincityguide.com/2007/09/27/jim-cramer-says-dont-buy-nowexcept-for-seattle/ ------------------------------------------------------------------ Seattle PowerSearch.com To get more information or look into working with Seattle PowerSearch in this new “wired” real estate market in this most “wired” city, visit www.seattlepoweragents.com. Take the quiz to see if you have the ‘Right Stuff” to be a top performer in our company. Check it out today! Top sales professionals with a love of technology and customer service should apply, even if you do not have a real estate license. We’ll wait for you to qualify for a license if you match our top performer profile. And, if you have a license, but know the only thing holding you back is the lack of leads, we definitely want to hear from you.
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