March 17, 2010

Buyers Embrace the Internet

Buyers are embracing the power of the Internet in their search for their next home, and consumers (buyers) are loving the freedom and the control they have with these incredible technology tools.  Somewhere between 85% and 90% of all home buyers in the U.S. are starting their search on the Internet.  This eXp Realty site is a response to what buyers and sellers have been wanting and demanding.  Buyers have wanted powerful ways to search the MLS in their area, to filter through the available homes with very specific parameters, and to do all this on a site that is easy to navigate, free to use, and doesn't require an agent in the process.

But buyers also love the fact that they can jump up on the Internet and do instant research on an area, learning about the community, the recreation, the housing, the economy, and just about anything they want to know.  Buyers love the beautiful photographs available on the Internet, the videos, and the virtual tours.  Twenty years ago none of this was even imagined.  Ten years ago it didn't exist.  It's only in the last five years or so that these tools have become consumer friendly.

Now listings can get broader exposure to thousands of potential buyers faster than anyone ever thought possible only five to seven years ago when print newspapers were still the primary means of advertising homes for sale.  And buyers are experiencing a freedom they never had before.

Agents who are on the cutting edge of marketing, who are embracing technology and the Internet are able to offer their selling clients and their buying clients so much more than the traditional brick-and-mortar brokerage.  The vast majority of agents are still way behind the curve on this, but the amazing thing is that consumers are not.  People are using the Internet and embracing its power 24/7.  The extraordinary growth of Google, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, and the unfortunate decline of print newspapers presents the most blatant case of a paradigm shift I've seen in 30 years in the real estate business.

The real estate business is changing rapidly.  It's a sea change of historic proportions, and we are in the midst of these changes right now.  As an agent I love what I can offer clients with these tools.  But the really exciting development here is that these tools and the Internet are consumer driven and consumer-centric.  Consumers are taking back control after years of big advertising firms deciding what products and services consumers will hear advertised.  Now consumers who have embraced the Internet decide what products and services they will seek out on the Internet.  And guess what?  For home buyers, the Internet has become the single most powerful tool in their arsenal.  Congratulations buyers!  And sellers can be thankful, because when a buyer finds their home for sale, the greatest challenge of marketing has been overcome.  Now it's the job of a professional Realtor to close the transaction.

[Chuck practices in Sequim, Washington, one of the most popular retirement communities in the Great Pacific Northwest.  See Sequim Real Estate.]

Posted in Buying, General
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