Realtors® and their clients are still mostly on the same page when it comes to how Realtors® are perceived professionally, according to a new study by Keystone Analytics®.
What gaps in perception do exist reveal opportunities for members to hone their craft and improve the quality of the service they provide to their clients.
The study revealed that:
- Word of mouth and good customer service continue to be a Realtor®’s greatest marketing assets, according to homebuyers. Fifty-five percent of recent homebuyers indicated that they hired a Realtor® based either on a friend or family member’s recommendation or by using a Realtor® they had used in the past. Realtor®-focused marketing like TV, Internet, newspaper and social media advertising only connected four percent of respondents to a Realtor®, while 15 percent found a Realtor® through an open house or for sale sign. These statistics indicate that while these marketing tools are used by Realtors®, they are used more to promote listed properties than to promote the licensee listing them.
- PAR members have not shifted much in their perceptions of the quality of the services they provided nor in what qualities they perceive customers value the most in a Realtor®. No major changes exist regarding the importance of various qualities that Realtors® believe customers think about when defining a professional Realtor®. Every measure of professionalism tested in 2010 and re-tested in 2015 charted similar measures of importance, with one exception – dressing appropriately and having a good personal appearance, which saw a 21 percent drop in members deeming that quality very important in determining how professional a Realtor® is.
- Homebuyers who have used a Realtor® continue to be far more likely than not to have considered investing in a Realtor® to be worth it. In 2015 as in 2010, homebuyers were far more likely than not to give high marks to their Realtor® and express satisfaction with their home buying experience. Ninety-one percent of respondents were at least somewhat satisfied with their Realtor®’s work, compared to 88 percent of respondents in 2010. And 81 percent of Realtors® said they would be at least somewhat likely to use a Realtor® in the future, whether they used a Realtor® before or not. While opportunities for improvement exist, it is clear that many Realtors® continue to carry themselves well among recent homebuyers.
A follow-up to surveys first conducted in 2010, the current professionalism study serves as both an opportunity to identify trends in Realtor® perceptions in the marketplace, and to discern areas where Realtors® can make better connections with individual clients.
The survey interviewed 304 active members of the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors®, as well as 303 Pennsylvania residents who stated that they have bought or sold a home in the past two years. The full document of results is available online.