MEG’s Ongoing Survey Activity Serves REALTORS®
One research activity that lies at the heart of MEG’s commitment to the real estate industry is our regular surveying of homebuyers across the country.
By collecting accurate data, we can then extract reliable findings that REALTORS® — in every state and in practices, large and small — can use to make decisions about their own business, about their own techniques for engaging a changing market.
Importantly, this research is often supplemented by invaluable local market studies. As science-based researchers, we understand that findings are in many ways bounded by the nature of the audience we survey. Both national trends and local market realities must be part of every real estate professional’s knowledge base.
Below is a quick summary of a recent national survey. How will you use these findings to improve your own business?
Gen Y Homebuyers Have Pretty High Expectations
for Response Time from Real Estate Agents
Early in 2013, we conducted a telephone survey of 800 Gen Y homebuyers who had purchased a home in the past six months.
Gen Y is a notable population group to investigate because this age group (roughly in their 20’s to early 30’s) not only represents a large number of people, but also because they are just now making their major purchase behaviors felt, in an economy that desperately needs a boost.
It’s this simple: the businesses that observe the unique behaviors of Gen Y-ers and learn about their needs and expectations will be the businesses that beat the competition in the coming years.
In the first chart (to the right and above), we summarize an important aspect of Gen Y purchase behaviors — perceived response time by agents relative to the homebuyer’s expectation for a timely response. As all agents know, when a deal is being negotiated, you’re on the homebuyer’s clock, not your own. And it appears that Gen Y homebuyers — fresh from childhood and adolescent years marked by almost immediate response times in the online world — have very high expectations for response time when it comes to professional relationships.
Only 6% of Gen Y homeuyers report that the actual response time by the agent was faster than the homebuyer’s expectation. Another 14% report that the actual response time by agents matched their expectation.
And that leaves the third case: 80% of Gen Y homebuyers felt that agent response time was actually slower than they expected.
That’s right, the overwhelming majority of Gen Y homebuyers found agents to be too slow when it came to meeting the homebuyers’ expected response time.
And now, for some added perspective. Let’s take a look at just how fast this new class of homebuyers expect agents to respond.
As you can see on the right, “Instantly” is the expectation for almost 60% of Gen Y homebuyers. Who can sastisfy that expectation? Apparently 26% of agents did. Will you be in this 26%? If you can manage it, it will give you access to the largest group of Gen Y homebuyers.
The rest of the chart is interesting as well. You’ll see that “4-hour”, “Same Day” or “Next Day” response times — not so long ago the standard — are now unacceptable.
Basically, Gen Y homebuyers are giving fair notice to REALTORS®
who expect to do business with them:
“Respond within the hour or I’ll work with someone else.”
Are you up to the challenge? Your business may depend on it.