For real estate agents, data remains king, and information that offers tips on how buyers find the homes that they ultimately buy is key to success.

That and other information may be gleaned from the 2017 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, according to a report by Realty Times.

The profile also contains valuable and interesting information as to how both buyers and sellers find the agents that they ultimately use.

According to the report, 87 percent of buyers used an agent in purchasing their home. That number has increased steadily since 2001 when the figure was 69 percent.

An interesting detail is how that 87 percent found their agent.
The profile indicates that 70 percent interviewed only one agent, 17 percent interviewed two.

Getting on an interview list is the goal, and referrals remain the ticket. The profile indicates that 42 percent of buyers chose to work with an agent who was referred to them by a friend, neighbor, or relative (or an agent who was a friend, neighbor, or relative).

Another 12 percent of buyers chose to work with someone with whom they had previously bought or sold a home.

If you are a new agent, don’t be discouraged. Keep in mind the “friends, neighbors, or relatives” category, where 42 percent of buyers find their agent through referrals from them. You may know a lot of people who aren’t about to sell; but some of them know people who are about to sell.

Savvy new agents can make a list and make sure contacts know they are in the business. This can be done throughout your career.

Make a list and make sure your contacts know you are in the business. Not just the first month, but throughout your career.

The profile also found that sellers are just as likely as buyers to work with an agent, with 90 percent of sellers had their home listed on the MLS.

Like buyers, sellers aren’t much for shopping around for agents, with 74 percent interviewing only one agent; just 15 percent interviewed two.

Referrals and past business relationships were the dominant sources of agent contact, and the ticket into the game.
Moreover, 23 percent of sellers employed an agent with whom they had previously bought or sold a home.

Are you a listing agent? Note that a key factor in choosing a seller’s agent – 34 percent – was reputation.

In the end, agents who want to build a business should pay attention to the data and small details. Word gets around.

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