You’ve tried to avoid it for years…a real estate agent website. You figured word-of-mouth, newspaper, flyers and signage would cover your advertising for years to come. Well, if you haven’t crawled out from under your rock already, it’s 2010. We live in a digital world…where Facebook and BlackBerry addictions have supreme reign. Where blogging, texting and e-mails are our communication lines of choice. People use the Internet now to buy their groceries, rent a movie and order their favourite Chinese take-out. If your real estate business has yet to embrace the online age, where does that leave you? Probably miles behind your competition. So isn’t it time you capitalized on the Internet revolution?
Start by understanding that more and more people are relying on the web to learn about the entire real estate process. There has also been a shift in consumer from Generation X to Generation Y. First-time buyers from GenY will have different communication needs, purchasing behaviour and housing requirements than their earlier counterparts. Now more than ever, it’s vital for all real estate professionals to understand why the Internet is so crucial to today’s industry, and why choosing not to get involved would reduce their profits and competitive edge.
As today’s potential client has less time than ever before, they desire their information served on a silver platter. So why not deliver the information they want and make it available to them 24 hours a day? Give them a one-stop-online-real-estate-shop to help them buy their dream home? That’s what they’re looking for. Nowadays, they expect it.
So why are customers so apt to house-hunting online?
1. Well first, it saves them time, and plenty of it. Who has the energy to flip through a mile-high pile of messy newspapers? Or make 20 preview appointments with a REALTOR®? Certainly not the urban jet-setters, soccer moms or suits of today’s world.
These Internet savvy buyers will take an average of 4.5 weeks to look for information on homes and neighborhoods before ever contacting a real estate professional, as compared to a traditional buyer that takes only 1.5 weeks. However, once the initial information gathering is complete, Internet buyers spend significantly less time with their agent and preview far fewer homes, spending 2 weeks, compared to 7 weeks for the traditional buyer.
2. Online buyers also enjoy a greater sense of control. Real estate websites of today embrace a more user-friendly attitude than ever before. The Internet helps these buyers better understand the whole home buying process, and puts them in better control of that process. They can refine their needs and wants and comparison shop to paint a more detailed picture of their dream home for you. In the end it also helps save you time, so you can steer clear of what they don’t want, and deliver on what they do.
Just know that if they’re looking for a ‘4-bedroom, 3-bathroom raised bungalow with a salt-water outdoor pool and white picket fence, close to the highway yet nestled in a quiet community and close to a nature trail’…you’ll be the first to know.
3. Internet buyers tend to be global risk-takers. They are more willing and able to relocate now more than ever. These buyers are looking to move to different parts of the country, and use the Internet to scope out the hottest trends. They want to settle into a new lifestyle and status, not just a new home. With it they’ll earn a trend-setting label among friends and colleagues, and a life experience they’ll never forget.
Internet buyers are expanding their families at a slower pace, having children significantly later than their baby-boomer counterparts. As a REALTOR®, you need to appeal to their sense of freedom, mobile lifestyle and ability to live in an exciting new place, whether on their own or with a partner.
4. The information they need is available at the touch of a button, anytime, anywhere. Whether they’re searching for a home on their lunch break or at 2am, they have all the resources they need on their timetable. They don’t have to play phone tag to answer their questions. Everything they need is ready and waiting for them online.
Keep in mind that Internet homebuyers want as much detailed information as possible. Therefore, real estate professionals that offer websites with specialized, inside information and detailed listings including plenty of quality photos and virtual tours, will be more likely to capture these customers.
So, who exactly are these Internet savvy homebuyers, anyway? Let’s take a closer look at the Internet homebuyer profile and how they differ from traditional buyers.
They enjoy a controlled environment.The Internet empowers this type of consumer. They have control of the search process, by way of privacy and freedom. They can regulate the level of communication they choose to have with an agent or agency, and therefore feel less pressured and more comfortable in the decision-making process.
They are usually first-time buyers.The Internet buyer tends to be new to the real estate purchasing market, and is younger, wealthier, more likely to be married and better educated than a traditional buyer.
They want to be as informed as possible. These buyers want a complete understanding of what they’ll be jumping into. Not just listings and prices, they want information on the entire real estate transaction, from agent negotiations to legal procedures. They want all the real estate marketing tools wrapped into one complete package.
Internet savvy real estate professionals are at an advantage to fill in the gaps for these types of clients. Armed with this buyer profile and the proper real estate internet marketing tool, you can learn to better recognize and understand the requirements of this market niche. Think of real estate professionals like a GPS Navigation System for the Internet homebuyer. The Internet is their road map, but they still need detailed navigated directions to get to their destination; a guide to help them through the negotiation and transaction processes of home buying.
Remember, these Internet buyers will judge your competency based on your online perception. Establishing an online presence through a user-friendly real estate website and e-mail has become a benchmark of professionalism for all business. So, if you find your business is lacking in this department, keep in mind that valuable sales are being lost each passing moment. A website can therefore only compliment your role in the home buying process. Take action and get your real estate business online. Farming, referrals, sign calls and traditional advertising can only take you so far in the 2010 marketplace.
Read more: http://www.articlesbase.com/internet-marketing-articles/the-internet-homebuyer-reach-them-with-a-real-estate-website-519165.html#ixzz16767RIV2
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