6 Reasons you’re losing leads
Home buyer leads on the internet have gone up 300%. Are you getting your fair share?
A recent survey* of over 13,000 home buyers and sellers demonstrates that this year 28% of buyers age 50 and younger now find the real estate agent they purchase a home through via the internet. This is up 300% over NAR’s earlier 2016 survey** stating that about 9% of home buyers in this group find the agent they work with online.
Of concern to real estate agents is that home buyer leads through the internet in this group nearly equal the number of buyer leads directly referred to agents from friends and prior clients (28% of leads via the internet vs 31% of leads via direct referrals). This is a huge market shift.
Based on this market trend, today you should be capturing and signing as many clients through your website as you have directly referred to you. Consistent leads from multiple sources mean steady income and an upward growth trajectory.
Based on honest feedback from home buyers here’s what you need to do to get your fair share of leads.
Home buyers are judging you before ever meeting you
According to this more recent survey* most home buyers are evaluating and judging you prior to ever interviewing you, and this likely holds true even for buyers directly referred to you.
Essentially you need to prove your specific real estate and neighborhood knowledge, display your reviews, and even present your prior sales, ever before having a chance to talk with or interview with potential clients. There’s only one way to do this: on the internet.
“Buyers aren’t replacing the expertise of real estate agents with online research—but they are doing a tremendous amount of research online before contacting an agent. Buyers who utilize online resources during their home search are significantly more likely to also use an agent.” *from ZG’s 2016 survey
Is your website demonstrating this requisite information about you? If not then someone else is likely capturing the 300% increase in internet leads.
How & where buyers evaluate you
Four out of five actions potential buyers take to research this kind of information about you are all done on the internet—with a major step of evaluating and judging your website. They’re doing this online before ever considering emailing or interviewing you.
You can’t take referrals for granted
The days of gaining an “automatic client” through referrals are waning. There are just too many ways for potential clients to research your skillsets, knowledge, reputation, and sales activity on the internet. With 59% of Millennials and Gen-Xers considering more than one agent you really need to take control of how your information and skills are presented. Obviously the internet location you have the most control over is your personal website.
How the internet has completely reshaped the real estate industry is undeniable
NAR’s own statistics* show how buyers find the home they actually purchase has long since shifted from the majority of information coming from the MLS through agents, to the buyers finding the home they purchase by themselves via the internet.
The most active and largest group of home buyers, those 50 years old and younger, are nearly twice as likely to find the home they actually purchase by themselves via the internet than having an agent find it for them through the MLS.
This is a huge irrefutable trend and one that cannot be stopped. So maybe it’s better that you use the actions the market loves to do—search for homes—to your advantage.
The marketplace is absolutely addicted to real estate information, with 97 million visitors to just the top four web portals each month. You can either ride this trend by helping feed the market’s real estate information addiction or be left behind.
It’s a funny thing (strange, not humorous) that home buyers have been telling agents for decades what they most want: “help finding the right home to purchase.” Yet most agents’ websites do not do this. Finding a home they love is the number one desire of home buyers year after year—being 400%* more important to them than their second biggest desire “help negotiating the terms of the sale.”
Finding their perfect home is 400% more important to your buyers than any other aspect of the entire home search and purchase experience.
Yet the home search technology every one of two million agent websites offers is over twenty years old and based on criteria that do not make a buyer fall in love with a home: Price Range, Bedroom Count, and Bathroom Count.
Certainly these are base requisites for each home buyer, but not the reasons they fall in love with and buy a particular home. Why do you make them use such archaic home search tools?
Real Estate is a technology industry that happens to sell homes
Does your website demonstrate your skills, knowledge, areas of expertise, neighborhoods, reviews, prior sales, and most importantly help buyers fulfill their greatest desire of finding a home they truly love?
The marketplace has told you who and what they are looking for, how they are evaluating you, and where they are researching you—all before ever considering calling you. Differentiating yourself from the 2 million other agents and their websites is now up to you.
Knowing everything buyers expect from your website is just part of success. The real secret separating the pros from the amateurs is taking action and taking advantage of this knowledge.