The National Association of Realtors recently collaborated with Google to research digital habits of home buyers, to “better understand the evolving role of digital media in the consumer home search process.” The result? A realization that today’s home shopper is über-connected, to say the least. The report, called the Digital House Hunt, takes a careful look at home shoppers in the digital age, specifically as they shop for real estate.
“Consumers are going online at a rapid pace to look for information to support their buying decisions,” says the report. “They watch ‘how-to’ videos on YouTube, they read review sites, they look up specific brands on search engines, and even research on the go with their smartphones and tablets.”
Google calls this the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT): “the idea that shopping is no longer about showing up in a store, or in our cases at a brokers’ office or an open house, seeking advice or counsel on what to buy or how much they should spend.”
Over half (52%) of today’s home buyers turn to the internet first when they begin their property or home search, and 9 out of 10 rely on the web as a primary search resource.
Google says real estate searches have grown 22% year-on-year, and 253% over the past 4 years, while Google real estate related searches on mobile devices grew 120% percent year-over-year from 2011to 2012.
Today’s home shopper is digitally connected from multiple access points, requires flexibility, mobility and an ‘always on’ shopping atmosphere.
Don’t miss these key findings:
- 69% of home shoppers who take action on a real estate brand website begin their research with a local term (i.e. “Houston homes for sale” on a search engine)
- 52% of actions on real estate brand sites come directly from a local search on a search engine
- Homes hoppers using search engines are 9% more likely to take action on a real estate brand website than those who do not search
- Real estate consumers who use the internet while researching a home are more likely to use multiple sources
- YouTube is the top video research destination for home searchers
- 88% of buyers use an agent
- Finding an agent and agent related searches on YouTube has grown 46% year-over-year
Read the full report HERE.