New enhancements to residential listing site realtor.com® are giving consumers the features they want and ensuring that they can continue to rely on the site for the freshest and most comprehensive property listings. That was the message delivered today by Steve Berkowitz, CEO of Move Inc., operator of NAR’s official property listing website realtor.com®, during the Realtor® Party Convention & Trade Expo.
During the meeting, Berkowitz laid out future plans for realtor.com®, including connecting the website and brand with renters and a younger and more mobile audience, giving users a more personalized experience, and helping consumers find the right Realtor® who can help them achieve their home buying and selling goals.
He said realtor.com® is the most popular site for engaged consumers and that one-in-three visitors to the site is a serious buyer that is actively searching for a property. Renters are also tomorrow’s buyers and a high-potential market segment; 74 percent of renters who are actively searching the site are in the market and looking to buy a home.
When consumers visit the site, Berkowitz said they are searching for fresh, up-to-date market data; comprehensive and accurate listings; an easy-to-use platform; high-quality photos and videos of properties; and precise search and filtering capabilities.
“Realtor.com® is also giving consumers the information they want, where they want it: in the palm of their hand,” he said. “A growing number of consumers are searching for real estate listings using mobile devices. In fact, in March 2014 nearly 6o percent of viewed listings were accessed through a mobile device.”
The rising popularity of searching for listings across mobile platforms means realtor.com® has seen nearly a 60 percent increase in downloads of its mobile application since 2012. He said consumers using these devices spend more time reviewing listings and photos than desktop computer users, which likely means they are more ready to buy or sell and wanting accurate, real-time listings.
“Accurate data is critically important to consumers and Realtors®,” said National Association of Realtors® President Steve Brown, broker/owner of Irongate, Inc. Realtors® in Dayton, Ohio. “Realtor.com® represents what real in real estate and provides the most reliable data in neighborhoods across the country, helping consumers to make the smartest decisions about buying, selling and investing in a home.”
Realtor.com® recently launched a national advertising campaign, Accuracy Matters, to educate consumers about the site’s unique ability to deliver reliable and accurate property listings. NAR’s latest advertising campaign, to launch in July, will support realtor.com® messaging and further promote the Realtor® brand.
Berkowitz said that despite an abundance of online sources for property listings, buyers and sellers value the help of a real estate professional when searching for a home that fits their family’s needs, and that four out of five consumers engage a Realtor® early in the homebuying process. While consumers depend on an agent’s help throughout the buying process, they particularly rely on a Realtor’s® guidance when it comes to negotiating the deal, he said.
“Improved agent profiles and branding for Realtors® is also making it easier for consumers to find the right agent to help them make their homeownership dreams a reality in the offline word,” said Berkowitz.
Other recent site enhancements include larger photos, increased mapping and search capabilities, and greater insights into neighborhoods and home sale histories through a new partnership with remodeling website Porch.
The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.