Millions of people browse through home listings online every month. The days when home buyers would contact local agents and check out houses locally are long gone. Not only do home buyers have the option of surfing the web to find exactly the kind of properties that they are looking for but also receive email updates, sms and whatsapp forwards about new properties on the market that meet their specific needs. The new breed of home buyers is internet savvy and thanks to the easy available of property listings online expects more from a real estate agent than previous generations did.
Statistics for online real estate research and usage proves that the future of marketing real estate online looks promising. At the moment in India, close to 65 % of potential home buyers use the Internet to look for real estate services, but as more and more people become more aware of the ease and convenience of online real estate companies and services, this number will only rise. As smart phone ownership increases, the number of people using online real estate websites will grow exponentially over the next few years.
Top realtors who use the power of Internet marketing to the maximum are seeing annual sales in crores of rupees in revenue. How is this possible? These agents have learned the secrets of aggressive online marketing and as in every sphere of business they have managed to outpace and outperform their peers.
What Home Buyers on the Internet Want
When a consumer decides to start looking for a home to purchase, some of them may go online first to check out what options are available in their local market. This is the time when one can win their trust in order to make a future sale. But for all the internet marketing advances that have been made in this field no one should fool themselves into thinking that personal interaction is not necessary anymore. That day is still very far when a customer will research and also conclude the buying process online. Buying a home is one of the most important decisions of a person’s life and it is far different than shopping online for bags or a pair of shoes!
Consumers in today’s world want to be educated and not to be blindly marketed to. We believe that brand building by educated and professional real estate agents is a must in order to stand out from the clutter. A real estate company’s website must offer a personal touch to everyone visiting the website and must offer a lot of information about what the company does, it’s history as well as the research and advisory services it provides. Potential home buyers going online to research the best real estate agents must find the best available homes listed apart from financing options and must be a one-stop shop for home buyers. We believe that a realtor’s website must be properly updated with accurate pictures, videos, descriptions and floor plans of currently available homes. Consumers also want to know what the “hot” projects are in their community.
Home 360 degree Virtual Tours
Virtual tours of homes are also becoming popular and as more and more buyers become aware of this service, any website or app that does not offer VR tours of homes will be left behind in popularity and rankings. The popularity of Virtual Home Tours cannot be ignored and definitely cannot be overemphasized in today’s times. These tours can save clients a lot of time spent traveling for an inspection and also give them a chance to quickly pinpoint their likes and dislikes about a property. In Virtual 360 degree tours, the number 1 thing is the kitchen, followed by the bathroom. The more detailed the pictures and angles are, the more you can end up drawing buyers. Pictures of the surrounding area are also helpful when creating virtual tours.
What Home Buyers Want
As Real Estate Consultants, we believe that it is also our job to look out for consumers and warn them ahead of time about common pitfalls when purchasing a home. Incurring goodwill and trust is an investment that keeps paying dividends. In 2016, a national poll conducted by the National Association of Realtors asked few pertinent questions to consumers. They were asked what service consumers wanted from their real estate agent or broker. More than half of those interviewed mentioned that the first priority was to get help to find the house that they wanted to buy and in a distant second, more than 10 % of respondents wanted help with price negotiations. Around 10 % said that they wanted help with agreements and paperwork and also want accurate market information on what comparable homes are selling on the market for. Only 2 % wanted help in finding and arranging financing considering that in today’s times most people who have a good financial condition and stable income and who have a good credit score can easily get a good home loan at attractive interest rates. The poll also asked consumers what actions consumers took when they trawled the internet for real estate searches. Almost 75 % people actually visited the homes that they liked online and 60 % checked the listing pictures and video thoroughly.
As the above figures and articles clearly demonstrate, as smartphone ownership climbs so will the online searches for property. A majority of research before buying a house is being conducted online and it is our best interests to be where the consumers are!
Chloe is a real estate advisor with Gupta & Sen Associates. With a combined experience of over 15 years in varied industries, she is a vocal and knowledgeable ally for buyers and investors who want to make informed choices when buying a property in India. With superlative communication and marketing skills, Chloe handles our PR, real estate marketing strategy and client management.