New Survey Suggest Home Buyers Are Using Social Media During Buying Process

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By Michael D. Harris Jr

There has been plenty of talk recently regarding the use of the Internet during the home buying process.  We have known for a few years that consumers have found online resources beneficial as they make the most important financial decision of their lives.  Besides that fact that they can easily educate themselves on the process (mainly first-time homebuyers), they no longer have to physically visit their REALTOR to get started.  According to a recent survey of Internet usage commissioned by Prudential Fox & Roach as reported by an article in the Chicago Tribune, almost two-thirds of home buyers said they used other resources, beyond their agents, to identify potential homes, with five of the top six resources being on the Internet, including a real estate website (63 percent), the website of the agent’s real estate firm (54 percent), and a search engine (39 percent).

While these numbers are interesting and are steadily increasing year-over-year, what I found the most intriguing was the fact that we are starting to see social media mentioned in these type of surveys.  The same survey reports that thirty-five percent said they used recommendations found on social-media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube or Twitter.  This is staggering when you look at the fact that according to a recent survey by the National Association of REALTORS®  only 51% of REALTORS use social media in their businesses. 

While social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Twitter all hit the radar, Facebook was the dominant site identified,  by 69 percent of the respondents in the Prudential Fox & Roach survey.  Most likely the reason Facebook stands out amongst the other social media sites is due to a number of functionality factors that is unique to the platform.

  • Multiple methods of engagement
  • Photo and Video capabilities
  • Real Estate Listing Apps
  • Website Integration
  • Note feature for in-depth educational information
  • Blog and Twitter feed integration

So for all of you buyers and sellers out there, don’t leave social media out of your real estate endeavors.  These numbers will continue to increase and not do they offer another resource but a whole new way to conduct your real estate business.