Internet vs. Traditional Buyers

Nadeem, Mar 22, 20

Internet vs. Traditional Buyers

Internet vs. Traditional Buyers

If you haven’t realized it by now, we’re junkies for real estate data.  Our latest fix comes from the California Association of Realtors, or CAR, which recently published their 2006-2007 Real Estate Research Report on Internet vs. Traditional Buyers.  This study is chock full of fascinating data points, and here are a few we found most interesting:

  • People who use the Internet as a significant part of their homebuying process (called “Internet buyers”) increased from 28% of all buyers in 2000 to 70% of all buyers in 2006.
  • Internet buyers spend roughly three times longer than traditional buyers in contemplating a home purchase and in touring homes and neighborhoods before contacting a real estate agent.
  • Internet buyers also spend, on average, about 2 weeks looking for homes with a real estate agent, versus 7 weeks for a traditional buyer.
  • Internet buyers look at fewer homes with their real estate agent than traditional buyers; about 7 homes for Internet buyers and about 15 homes for traditional buyers.
  • A whopping 72% of Internet buyers who used an agent used the Internet to find a specific real estate agent.
  • In terms of agents interviewed prior to selecting an agent, Internet buyers interview about 1.5 agents on average versus 3.3 on average for traditional buyers.
  • And here’s one that really blew me away: 96% of Internet buyers were either very satisfied or satisfied with the overall process of finding a home versus 66% of traditional buyers.  On top of that, 97% of Internet buyers said that overall they were either very satisfied or satisfied with their agent versus 57% of traditional buyers.

Now bear in mind, this study was conducted in California only, and given the very local nature of real estate there could be very different trends in other parts of the country.  All of this brings me to some burning questions that I have for you, Zillow Blog readers:

  • If you’re a recent homebuyer or someone in the process now, are you using the Internet to help in your search?  If yes, what are you using it for?  Is it helping you save time or do you feel like it’s using up more of your time?  What would you love to be able to do online that you can’t now?
  • If you’re a real estate agent, do you think that the Internet buyer is really different from the traditional buyer?  Do you handle these buyers differently?  Why do you think it is that Internet buyers come away so much more satisfied with the homebuying process and with you?  And finally, are you tapping into the Internet to find clients? How?

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