Do You Meet Buyer Expectations?

A new report provides insight into what buyers want from real estate practitioners and how pleased they are with the service they’re getting.

February 1, 2006

Results of the 2005 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, released in mid-January, take the guesswork out of what qualities buyers value most in real estate practitioners.

If you aren’t focusing as much as you should on improving these qualities — and communicating your expertise in these areas to prospects — perhaps you should start.

Results of the survey are based on more than 7,800 responses to a questionnaire that NAR mailed to a large national sample of consumers in 2005.

Buyers identified certain tasks that they want their real estate practitioners to accomplish. Leading the list is help finding the right home, followed by help with negotiations, paperwork, and finding data on comparable homes. Lower on the list: help determining how much home they can afford, finding and arranging financing, finding renters for a property.

The survey also looked at how buyers went about choosing their real estate practitioners. As you might expect, respondents said that professional reputation and knowledge of the neighborhood are the first and second most-important factors they consider.

When it comes to what qualities buyers consider to be “very important” for their practitioners to have, these are their responses:

  • Knowledge of the purchase process (94 percent)
  • Responsiveness (93 percent)
  • Knowledge of the real estate market (92 percent)
  • Communication skills (82 percent)
  • Negotiation skills (82 percent)
  • People skills (80 percent)
  • Knowledge of local area (79 percent)
  • Skills with technology (40 percent)

So, how satisfied are buyers with the service they received from their real estate practitioners? The survey asked about that, too. Buyers said they were “very satisfied” with their practitioners’:

  • Knowledge of purchase process (83 percent)
  • Knowledge of the real estate market (81 percent)
  • Knowledge of local area (78 percent)
  • Communication skills (76 percent)
  • Responsiveness (78 percent)
  • People skills (79 percent)
  • Skills with technology (68 percent)
  • Negotiation skills (68 percent)

Overall, two-thirds of buyers said they would “definitely” use their practitioners again, showing that the majority of those in the real estate business are doing a pretty good job of meeting customers’ needs and living up to expectations.

But with one-third of buyers uncertain if they would do business again with their practitioner, the study also shows that there’s room for improvement.

(c) Copyright 2006 Realty Times. Reprinted with permission.

Blanche Evans is a writer/editor and CEO of evansEmedia. Formerly, she was a senior editor with Realty Times, where she was named by REALTOR® Magazine as one of the most influential people in the real estate industry.