What Information is Most Important to Real Estate Consumers?

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The amount of information available to a typical real estate consumer is vast.  In just a few minutes on the web, real estate consumers can find what properties are for sale, how the local schools are ranked, how easy it is to walk around, and much more.  New and interesting data is constantly coming available that can help engage real estate consumers and help guide them to making the right decision.  So what pieces of information is most important to real estate professionals and their potential clients?  When so much data is available, how do you prioritize what to include in your sales process? Last month, we conducted an extensive survey of nearly 400 real estate professionals and asked them questions on how they generate new business.  The results can be found in our exclusive white paper: Generating New Business in Real Estate.

One of the questions we asked was what type of information real estate professionals provided to their clients in their home-buying process.  Here is what we found:COMMUTE TIMES (1)

The most common piece of information real estate professionals provided was likely commute times with nearly 70% of respondents saying they provide this information during the real estate buying and selling process.  Understanding how long it will take a typical consumer to get to work was considered a valuable piece of information.

The second most common piece of information was around local schools.  48.17% of respondents say they provide information on schools at some point.  There is a variety of information on schools available now, from assigned school districts to school ratings and even student and teacher reviews. In addition to the location of the school, many respondents provided information on student to teacher ratio and even special programs offered within the school or the school district.

Interestingly, information on the property itself (beds, bath, price, square footage) was the third most common piece of information offered by the professionals.  44.79% of respondents said they provided this type of information, over 23% less than those who provided information on commute times.  Information on the property is often considered the backbone of real estate data, yet for many finding out the type of environment a home buyer or seller is looking for can be important even before they decide to put their home on the market.  Once you understand what a prospect values (i.e. being close to work, finding a good school), then finding properties within that type of area can come as a second step.local amenities

Only 3.10% of respondents said they do not provide this information, suggesting that real estate professionals value providing property and community information during the buying process.  When we asked why our respondents provided this information, many commented that providing this level of information is part of being in a full-service industry.  One respondent even filled in that he or she provided this information: "to provide concierge level service."

[I provide this information] to provide concierge level service.

Most of the respondents said providing this information was a matter of providing guidance through the sales process.  73.28% of respondents, the overwhelming majority, said this information was important because "it offered clients value and increased the likelihood of closing the deal."

Other information provided included details on the local area (demographics, crime, air quality, etc.).  38.87% provided this type of information, designed to give a better sense of the area.  Finally, 37.46% provided information on local amenities (grocery stores, gyms, churches, etc.).  The overview of respondents can be found in the chart below.

Nearly 4% said they provided "other" information besides what was listed.  When asked, most stated this information was around comparables, market trends, nearby sales and other data-driven metrics that would help present the shape of the market and this particular investment.  One respondent however, said that he or she provided "a million other things."  Seems like some real estate professionals believe that the more information you provide, the better.

What information do you provide your clients during the real estate process-

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