Yahoo! has some interesting findings regarding how online engagement influences the agent selection process, which will be presented at the upcoming NAR Conference. The session will be titled “Building an Online Presence in a Fragmented Market” and it will be in the Convention Center on Monday, November 10 from 9:00-10:00am. The findings regarding agent websites caught my interest:
The Yahoo! study found that personal agent websites are a critical touch point for increasing the consumer’s perception and trust of the real estate agent. Consumers noted that an agent’s website increased their perception of and trust in the real estate agent they chose. If an agent’s site doesn’t offer enough information or looks unprofessional, this will create a negative experience for the prospective client. Thirty-six percent of consumers who rejected an agent said that the agent’s site didn’t offer enough information online.
Agents have the opportunity to increase awareness consideration by creating a professional, informative and trustworthy online presence. A large majority of consumers (67 percent) look at photos of properties and get an overview of the service. The study also found that increasing trust and perception through a credible website can affect consumers who use the site to get an agent’s contact information (53 percent). Search engines are a critical driver of traffic to these sites, as seventy-four percent of people who accessed an agent website got there with help from a search engine.
I’d love to get your thoughts as to what real estate technology providers produce the most professional agent websites — is it all about design or is quality information the real key? Further, what types of information (school data, listings, home values, crime, demographics, market analysis, etc) do you think are the most valuable to building credibility with your consumers?