By JODI BAKST
Google, it seems, is the catalyst to all things. No secrets there; people have been “Googling” anything they wonder about for years now. But more than ever, Google is acting as an impromptu, 24-hour real estate agent for the masses.
Following a massive study conducted by Google, it was revealed that we spend on average 55 minutes per visit browsing real estate on our mobile devices. In an on-demand, tap-happy society where most webpages are viewed less than 15 seconds at a time, an average engagement of almost an hour is truly impressive.
More than simply providing a means to an end, online home shopping was widely reported to be “fun.” More than two-thirds of the people Google surveyed reported that they enjoyed shopping for real estate this way. In fact, only about 20 percent of the people searching for property were actually looking to buy. Real estate browsing has apparently become something of a hobby for these people.
Rather than worrying about losing business, savvy real estate agents can use this to their advantage.
When viewing listings, more than 70 percent of browsers watch videos. Real estate preview slideshows – often accompanied by mood-setting music – are a great way to drive viewer engagement. With a single file, shoppers can see all the dramatic angles and photos of a house and if it’s combined with a touching music selection, it can make them feel right at home. The best part is that less than five percent of real estate agents make videos like this.
In short, creating an online video to show a listing is a surefire way to attract buyer attention.
A few years ago, real estate agents were the surest way to find perfect properties. Aside from newspaper listings, they were the best and easiest way to sift through the housing market. With the advent of real estate websites and apps, agents may find themselves having to work extra hard to keep business up. But that doesn’t have to be the case.
In addition to using Google’s newly-revealed browsing habits to their advantage, agents still have certain old-school tricks that even the internet can’t replicate.
Open houses are still a major driver of home sales. If the photos or video look good online, serious buyers will set up an appointment or drop by during open houses. Real estate agents are experts at staging homes to wow visitors. There isn’t a mobile app on the market that can enter your home, arrange pillows and shake hands. Not yet, anyway.
Besides setting up open houses, agents are also able to provide in-depth advice to buyers and sellers alike.
Markets rise and fall and even specific features may not be popular in a few years. Real estate agents are naturally well-versed in what features buyers want and what features have withstood the test of time.
While real estate apps and sites are much more efficient at showing homes, real estate agents shouldn’t worry. By utilizing new technology and embracing the future, agents can work smarter.
Jodi Bakst is a guest contributor for The Buzz Insider and works for Real Estate Experts where she is known for her straight-forward approach to the real estate business. She has an unparalleled reputation for listening to her clients and delivering results, whether that be in finding the right home for buyers or selling homes.
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