Where Do Real Estate Buyers and Sellers Find Their Agent in 2018?

As you may know, I've been re-reading "Think and Grow Rich" and chapter 2 is about having a burning desire backed by faith.

It’s invigorating!

However…

I have a confession to make.

I’ve been drifting for the last year or two.

Have you ever felt that way?

…like your business was lacking something new and exciting, but you just kept pressing on? I call it “embracing the grind”, because I know in “the grind” is an exciting new breakthrough just waiting to burst onto the scene.

However, after 23 years in lead generation…

You question things like…

“Are we relevant? Is technology going to displace us?” or “Is real estate really a relationship business that starts with a conversation?”

AANNNDDD…

“Is my view of the first conversation with a buyer or seller outdated?”

After all, we live in an Internet, text messaging, social media age that has transformed many industries, literally overnight.

Taxis, GPS systems, hotel room rental (Airbnb) all MASSIVELY DISRUPTED and transformed in the flash-of-an-eye…right?

So, let’s take a real hard look at real estate…

…and see if technology is impacting us in a similar way. Is it “transforming” your day to day real estate practice.

To break down that question, let’s dig into the NAR Buyer and Seller Generational Trends report. NAR began publishing it in 2013. Since then, I’ve kept a library of all six years, so I can go back and look at trends.

I’m a data geek...take advantage of my research!

So how much has technology changed your sources of business?

Where is your business coming from today vs. six years ago?

After all, we’re constantly hearing how Facebook is “changing the game” and the Internet is revolutionizing real estate.

If that’s true, then the underlying numbers should support that, right?

So, the key question is…

“Where do buyers and sellers find their agent today?”

We need to know where buyers and sellers find their agent, and then be in those places whenever a real estate discussion occurs.

Make sense?

So, if buyers and sellers are shifting in mass to the internet or social media, like everyone selling social media stuff says, then those numbers should be growing…right?

And if those numbers are growing…the business coming from other sources must be shrinking…right?

Those HUGE flows of business now racing through social media or being generated from YouTube and Google must be coming from somewhere.

Well let’s look at the NAR numbers.

From 2013-2018, “How much business came from the Internet, Social Media, and Referral and Repeat sources?”

Drum roll please…

BUYERS From The Internet…

2013 – 11%
2014 – 9%
2015 – 10%
2016 – 10%
2017 – 9%
2018 – 9%

Here’s the 2018 graphic…

BUYERS From Social Media…

2013 – (wasn’t tracked)
2014 – (wasn’t tracked)
2015 – *% (less than 1%)
2016 – *% (less than 1%)
2017 – *% (less than 1%)
2018 – 1% (finally broke 1%?)

Here’s the 2018 graphic…

BUYERS From Referral and Repeat Sources…

2013 – 59%
2014 – 62%
2015 – 60%
2016 – 61%
2017 – 61%
2018 – 60%

Here’s the 2018 graphic…

SELLERS From The Internet…

2013 – 3%
2014 – 4%
2015 – 4%
2016 – 4%
2017 – 4%
2018 – 5%

Here’s the 2018 graphic…

SELLERS From Social Media…

2013 – (wasn’t tracked)
2014 – (wasn’t tracked)
2015 – *% (less than 1%)
2016 – *% (less than 1%)
2017 – *% (less than 1%)
2018 – *% (still hasn’t broke 1%?)

Here’s the 2018 graphic…

SELLERS From Referral and Repeat Sources…

2013 – 69%
2014 – 71%
2015 – 67%
2016 – 73%
2017 – 70%
2018 – 69%

Here’s the 2018 graphic…

When you look at the cold hard facts, the big scary Internet monster and the social media silver bullet, they're like the wizard behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz...they lose their power to scare anybody.

The Internet was going to end real estate agents, and social media has been a “game changer”…yet…23 years after the launch of Realtor.com, and 12 years after the founding of ZILLOW-monster, the last six years have been as steady as ever, no sign of massive disruption anywhere, as far as I can see.

Could it come?

Sure, it could.

However, the trend line heavily favors repeat and referral sources and you learning how to leverage all your hidden assets – your listings, client closings, and learning how to outgun the big three lead-stealers on your local turf!

You can do it…I promise you that you can.

In fact, to help with that watch our quick 7-minute video that can help you with all three of those things. It's the easiest way to get the best listings and most qualified buyers in almost any area...