Real estate agents ignoring Internet, studies say
Bloomberg News Service
WASHINGTON Most real estate agents are still doing business the old-fashioned way, by phone, even as nearly three quarters of potential buyers say they plan to use the Internet to seek homes, studies show.
Almost half of 40,000 real estate agents surveyed said they don't use the Internet to generate business leads, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Only 11 percent said they generate 10 percent or more of their business on the Internet, up from 4 percent two years ago, the Washington-based trade group said.
In comparison, 70 percent of people who plan to buy a home within the next three years say they will start their search on the Internet, according to a report by Gomez Advisors Inc., an Internet research company based in Waltham, Massachusetts.
The discrepancy in Internet use means most brokers are missing opportunities, said Bradley Inman, chief executive of HomeGain.com, a real estate Web site based in Emeryville, California.
"The agents who are top producers are adopting technology like crazy because that's what the consumers want," he said.
While three quarters of real estate agents use e-mail, 49 percent said they use it for less than 10 percent of their business communications.
The study also found that the typical real estate worker is a 52-year-old married woman who earns $47,700 a year and has 13 years of experience.