In a recent article from the Economist Outlook, they referenced the National Association of Realtors (NAR) estimate that 51% of all home buyers found their home online. That is a staggering statistic, especially compared to the previous years (8% in 2001). And the trend of buyers finding their home through digital channels only seems to be increasing.
With real estate search engines like Zillow investing heavily in their digital platforms, mobile apps and overall user experience, it’s safe to say that this trend will continue and more and more people will be finding their eventual homes online. This only further emphasizes the role of the broker in today’s digital age. While there are instances of ‘back pocket’ listings where having a broker in the know is beneficial, the days of the broker finding and presenting active listings to a potential home buyer are long gone.
Today, buyers are tapped into all the latest in listings updates and can be notified of any status change almost in real time. Through property listing update emails, mobile notifications through SMS and other online features, buyers are receiving information the same time as most brokers. Additionally, open houses are advertised more than ever these days and are extremely accessible to everyday home buyers, allowing them to visit the property without the help or assistance of a broker.
What does this all mean? Well, one could argue that the role of today’s broker is highly concentrated in their ability to negotiate a deal versus finding property. This was impetus for BuySide Broker – We have recognized this trend and have leveraged it to put real money back in the home buyers pocket as an added benefit – To the tune of 1% of the sale price.