"Online is also clearly having an impact, but that does not extend to social media."
Social media has practically no value for real estate agents
In a survey of REIV members, it was found that the most important referral source was word of mouth.
Results matter to vendors, and that they clearly place a lot of trust in the experiences of their friends, neighbours and colleagues when selecting a real estate agent to sell their home.
Word of mouth has had a strong track record as the most critical referral source, which reflects the importance of a real estate agent’s reputation. Vendors not only want to see that the real estate agent is successful; they also trust the views of the agent’s clients.
Online is also clearly having an impact, but that does not extend to social media. After word of mouth, real estate websites, such as realestateview.com.au, and an agency’s website are considered the most valuable referral sources.
Social media, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter had practically no value, endorsed by only 1% to 3% of respondents.
This reflects the fact that buyers and sellers are used to engaging with real estate online. They seek advertisements on real estate websites, such as realestateview.com.au, but are far less likely to come across a real estate agent’s Twitter account.
With regard to engaging with clients, social media has a long way to go until it is a familiar tool.
Local newspapers remain strong; far stronger than the daily print media, in fact. With 13% of respondents citing local newspapers as the most valuable referral source, local media is seen to be more than twice as valuable as the daily newspapers, which only scored 5%.
These results highlight the importance of reputation for real estate agents.
The most valuable referral sources in real estate
Word of mouth 24%
These results are sourced from the 2012 Member Poll conducted for the REIV by Essential Research and completed by over 600 members.
Enzo Raimondo is CEO of the Real Estate Institute of Victoria.