Real Estate Photography Building Blocks: Know your Customers – The Home Search Process

Ready to dive into the 2019 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers Report with us? This week we’ll be pulling out all the relevant information on the Home Search Process and explaining how you can use it to better demonstrate your understanding of your customers’ needs.

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Welcome back to our Know Your Customers topic in our ongoing Building Blocks video series.

Throughout this series, we’re sharing findings and interpretations from the 2018 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers Report. To access the report for yourself, just click on the previous link and then select “Buy Full Report”.

**Please note that we do not receive any financial advantage through the sales of the report. We are just suggesting it as an effective vehicle for keeping up to date on the latest trends in Real Estate.

This episode is focused on chapter three, the Home Search Process.

Understanding the Home Search process is very important to us, as real estate property media content creators.

Our business is about delivering the tools buyers use during the search process, so we need to know as much as we can about their home search, that way we can position our services to them, and our clients, their realtor.

There are three parts to the Home Search section that we find particularly interesting and relevant as a service provider:

  • The information sources used during the home search
  • The length of the home search
  • And the value of specific website features during the home search
Preferred Information Sources

Even though the places people go to find information during their search has been trending in the same direction for the last decade, when we talk with realtor clients, it is important to know and be able to speak to this important statistic.

For more than 10 years, Internet websites have been the most important source of information for home shoppers. Last year 93% of shoppers were looking online for their next home.

Real Estate agents came next, with 83% of home shoppers sourcing information directly from them.

Open Houses and Yard Signs are number three and four respectively, with roughly half of home shoppers using them to look for a home.

If you knew that 93% of your clients were going to the same website to choose a real estate photographer for their next listing, you should make every effort to create a great impression on that website.

You would want to grab that client’s attention, show them everything you have to offer, and compel them with some powerful marketing to look no further.

Now, compare that to selling a home. While you may have ten competitors in your markets, home sellers have dozens, if not hundreds of competitors, fighting for the home buyers’ attention.

Knowing where your clients’ customers are looking for their new home is important, so you can help them get the best return on their money and marketing energy.

The Length of the Home Search

This information is particularly compelling for our industry and a great way to frame and illustrate the value of your services.

In 2001, people spent seven weeks looking for a new home. Contrast that to 2018 where we see people now spend an average of 10 weeks looking for a new home.

In every other part of our lives, the internet has made shopping faster, easier, and more convenient. It would be easy to assume that as people became more comfortable with the internet, people would have been able to find their perfect home faster, but instead they are spending 43% longer.

With buyers spending all this extra time looking at homes today, it has become even harder for realtors and their listed homes to capture buyers’ attention in the first place and create a lasting impression.

It is our mission to help our clients and their homes create a lasting impression.

Lets recap; we know where buyers look for home information, and we know how long they spend looking for a new home. I then want to know what information buyers are looking for.

The Value of Website Features

These website features are the information tools buyers want to see when they are looking for a home.

The NAR study tells us that buyers want to see:

  1. Property photos
  2. Detailed property information (like room measurements and floor areas)
  3. Floor plans
  4. Virtual tours
  5. Neighborhood information

If your client, the realtor, wants to do a great job and stand out, it starts with offering these minimum service expectations. These are the tools and information that they are looking for.

If we needed to point to a reason why iGUIDE is so successful and used by so many top producing agents throughout North America, it would easily be our inclusion of these five tools. There is no faster, more cost effective way for realtors to create and share the information tools that buyers want.

The NAR profile of the home buying process offers us great insights into where buyers search for homes, how long they spend looking for a home, and the tools they want during the search process.

If your clients want to win more general leads and more referrals, it is critical for them to establish value while creating a lasting, positive impression. They can do all this by giving buyers what they want, when they want it, and where they want it.

As a real estate photographer, reading these reports and understanding this information will empower you. The more knowledge you can show, the more trustworthy you will seem and the easier it will be for clients to justify your services to themselves and their sellers.