Serving Different Types of Real Estate Searchers

How people search for real estate listings in your market will often vary dramatically based on their familiarity with the market. Here are a few examples:

Trade Up/Downs

Buyers who decide to make a move within the city or neighborhood they already reside within tend not to use neighborhood or school information during their search process. Why? Because they live there.


People relocating to new cities often search based on a landmark they’re familiar with. This may be the location of their new job, a school, or an area they previously had a chance to visit. Being new to a community, they may not be familiar with the names of counties, suburbs, neighborhoods, and other ways that locals describe the market. If your site requires that type of local knowledge, it will be very difficult for non-locals to navigate.

Motivated Buyers

The most motivated of buyers tend to pour over listings online, but also get out of the house to drive around neighborhoods and properties that interest them. When they turn to the web, they run searches based on cities, zip codes, property addresses and MLS numbers. They know what they’re looking for. Getting them to that content quickly provides a good experience to them.

The quality of listing presentations may be what convinces this type of buyer to rely upon your site for their online research. It also increases the chance that they’ll share your site’s versions of listings with their friends, thus introducing your site to future prospects in your market for free.

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  1. Aaron Dickinson - Edina Realty June 24, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    Notice how you didn’t mention sellers specifically? Most real estate web sites are very one-sided… the buy side is what drives the most activity.

    Funny thing though… in a transaction there has to be both a buy and a sell? How do we better reach out to the sellers of the world? Wish I had an answer for that.

  2. Ed Kohler July 26, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    Aaron, that’s a good point for another post. I’ll consider it. For now, the “what’s my home worth?” angle is certainly enticing to sellers. And, since the majority of the real estate market already owns a home, the buy side is often what leads to the sell side. That’s not always the case, but it’s often the motivation to buy that leads to the need to sell.