Clearly, consumers have migrated online. Over 90% of consumers start looking for property information on line. There is a wealth of that information, and a plethora of on line tools now available, with new ones launching daily.
With so much information available, consumers have delayed contacting Realtors until later in the process. It’s common practice now for a Buyer to connect with a Realtor with a short list of favorite homes that they want to see, complete with detailed information and research on the individual properties and on the neighborhoods. A high percentage of them have already started working with a mortgage lender and have been pre-qualified.
Sellers have also done their homework. They have their “Zestimate”. They’ve been to the county website. They’ve done research on similar close-by homes, both available and sold. They often have a fairly clear idea of the value of their property when they meet with us.
How does this change our behavior and value proposition?
How does this change affect what they want from us as professionals?
How can we better serve the “New Age” Consumer?
The New Age Realtor is, and must be different. A lot less “happy talk” and more real value and knowledge. Less “howtheheckareyou?howboutthemCowboys!” and a little more “Here’s what I can do for you”, and “This is why you should choose me”. Maybe a little “I’m a specialist” thrown in just for good measure. It might even help to be very clear on what your real value proposition is, and why they should care. A little differentiation from the crowd would help too.
Those of us who recognize the new consumer realities, will be positioned to capture market share from those that aren’t.
Which side of this line will you be on?