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Blog by Kevin Wong

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Top 10 Information Sources Used by Home Buyers

Every year the National Association of Realtors conducts a Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers to help real estate agents better understand how to reach their target market.  This years survey of over 5,500 home buyers and sellers highlighted a few changes in the way people shop for real estate.  Most notable was the fact that the number of home buyers that use the internet as a starting point in their home search dropped from 91% in 2010 to 88% in 2011.

The following are the top 10 information sources used by home buyers surveyed in the 2011 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and sellers;
    1. Internet -                                 88% 
    2. Real estate agent -                   87%
    3. Yard sign -                               55%
    4. Open house -                           45%
    5. Print newspaper advertisement   30%
    6. Home book or magazine -         19%
    7. Home builder -                         16%
    8. Relocation company -                4%
    9. Television -                              4%
    10. Billboard -                                4%
 These percentages are for all age groups and in fact, the survey is broken down by age groups. Below is the same list of information sources but we also list the top age group for each source;
    1. Internet -                                  25-44/96%
    2. Real estate agent -                    24-64/88%
    3. Yard sign -                                18-24/59%
    4. Open house -                            45-64/47%
    5. Print newspaper advertisement    65 or older/39%
    6. Home book or magazine -          45-64/21%
    7. Home builder -                          65 or older/21%
    8. Relocation company -                 45-64/5%
    9. Television -                               18-24/6%
    10. Billboard -                                 18-64/4%
While these breakdowns look fairly predictable, two surprises we found in the age related data was that the 24-44 year old group beat out the 18-24 for using the internet as a real estate shopping resource and the 18-24 year old group  reported the highest use of television as a home shopping resource.

The bottom line for real estate marketers is if you want to reach the largest group of home shoppers, the Internet is still the best place to be.