Most buyers find the “house of their dreams” by doing weeks and sometimes months of research online. Zillow’s latest Group Report on Consumer Buying Trends says the same is not true in terms of finding an agent.

Zillow says that most buyers, 53% of them, find and consider multiple agents, usually three, before deciding which agent to use. 33% of buyers find agents through referrals from friends, family, work colleagues. 26% of buyers find agents on line. (29% of millennial buyers find agents on line.)

Once a buyer does contact an agent, however, that buyer expects a fast response from that agent. 78% of all buyers expect a response within 24 hours. Longer than that and forget it. 52% of the oldest buyers expect a response back from an agent within just a few hours from their contact to that agent. 47% of Boomer buyers expect a response back from an agent within just a few hours. And 40% of both Gen Xers and millennial buyers expect a response back within a few hours.

How do buyers evaluate agents once an initial contact process has been established? A positive first impression either in person, online or on the phone is key. After that, buyers are looking for…

60% – market knowledge
58% – their personal review of the brokerage website
56% – polling their family and friends about the agent
50% – online agent reviews – millennials rank online reviews higher at 60%
46% – reviews of sales history
44% – interviewing agents on the phone and/or face-to-face

What do buyers want agents to do for them?

67% – private home tours
58% – notifications about new listings
46% – prescreen homes
34% – referrals to industry professionals such as inspectors, designers, landscapers, etc.
31% – listings outside their expressed criteria or location
25% – referrals to lenders

How do buyers want agents to communicate with them?

33% – by phone
27% – in person
21% – email
15% – text
4% – video chat

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