This is not a rhetorical question.
Nor is it about testing you to see if you have more real estate knowledge than your clients do. Presumably your experience and training provide that, although there may be exceptions.
What are buyers and sellers searching for online? It is being aware of what your buyers and sellers are doing online – what they are searching for, where they are searching, and what information they are finding.
There are a plethora of websites out there providing information to consumers about everything real estate. And no lack of major sites for searching for homes for sale (e.g., Realtor, Zillow, Homes, Trulia, Redfin, Estately, Homefinders - to name a few), not to mention numerous brokerage sites. Let's explore three things you might not know what your real estate clients know:
What they are searching forThe list of things consumers look for online about real estate, besides listings, is probably endless. Anything even remotely associated with buying and selling homes is fair game, although clearly certain topics are more popular, looking at Google: home inspections (88+ million results), getting a loan (122+ million), how to buy a home (1.48 billion), how to choose a real estate agent (49+ million), home owner's insurance (201 million) - to name only a handful. And of course homes for sale – 1.14+ billion results.
Where they are searchingWhere consumers are searching is perhaps more important to be aware of. I’m not referring to Google here, but to specific websites.
Are you familiar with these major sites? Not just by name – we all know them - but from a consumer experience perspective? Have you visited them and tried them out? Do you know what these sites offer consumers?
What can you offer buyers and sellers that these sites don’t or can’t?
What information they are findingLastly, it’s important to have a good idea of what consumers are finding out about real estate online. What they are learning about the buying or selling process, property taxes, home owner’s insurance, escrow, title insurance, home inspections, making offers, dealing with multiple offer situations, negotiating, hiring an agent, and so forth. We know information is there. We also know it may not always be accurate, and might be contradictory. No doubt it can be confusing.
Knowing what your buyers and sellers are learning online puts you in a better position to counsel them, correct wrong information, and educate them about what all that stuff really means and how it impacts them personally in their house purchase or sale. Otherwise they are just guessing, and making potentially poor decisions.
It also means we can fill in the gaps with information that consumers might not be finding online -those little tips we all know, for example.
So do you know what your real estate buyers and sellers know? You should – it will make you a better REALTOR®, and you can bring greater value to the relationship.
Learn more about Jeff on his website: www.jeffdowler.com
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