• Shannon

Questions we wish NAR would ask in their surveys



When it comes to real estate consumer surveys, the NAR does a bang-up job in the consistency arena. Where they fail, woefully, is in the types of questions they ask survey respondents.


For instance, in the 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, they asked participants which step they took first in the homebuying process.


While that’s a perfectly valuable question, digging deeper would bring far more value to their surveys, at least for their members.


Here are the questions they should be asking.


The home search process

The first step 44 percent of the survey respondents took was “to look online at properties for sale,” according to the study. The report goes on to tell us that the first step for 17 percent was to contact an agent.


And, there they stop.


How did the remaining 39 percent respond?


We will never know because, apparently, whomever wrote the report doesn’t think we need or want to know.


To add value to this question, they should give us the complete answer to the question.


The buyer’s agent search process

Eighty-seven percent of buyers used the services of a real estate agent in the purchase of their home. When asked how they found an agent, 41 percent said a friend, neighbor or relative referred the agent, 12 percent used one they had previously worked with.


Here we go again, NAR.


That’s only 53 percent of the buyers you surveyed. How did the remaining 47 percent find an agent?

I don’t know about you, but that information would be quite valuable to me if I were still selling real estate.


To add value to this survey question, they should, again, give us the complete answer. Then, I’d like to see a follow-up question:


What keywords or keyword term did you enter into Google while looking for an agent?


And, another:


Did you read agent reviews or the agent’s testimonials before settling on your agent?


Listing agent search process

NAR tells us that “Sixty-three percent of sellers found their agent through a referral from a friend, neighbor, or relative or used an agent they had worked with before to buy or sell a home.”


We wish they would’ve broken down that statistic:

  • How many sellers found their agent through a referral?

  • How many agents used the agent they worked with previously?

  • How did the remaining 37 percent find their listing agent?

  • Again, did they rely on testimonials or reviews when choosing their listing agent?

The answers to these questions would help real estate agents understand where to direct their marketing efforts and dollars.


Additional questions

We’d like to see the NAR ask the following questions. I mean, they are using agent money to conduct these surveys – how about they make it of value to their members?


1. When you decided to buy/sell, which aspect of the process was most confusing to you?

2. Which type of real estate agent website content did you prefer: video, blog posts, podcasts?

3. Did you use social media at all during the process of choosing a real estate agent? If so, which platform did you use the most? Second and third?

4. When searching for a real estate agent, what quality was most important to you?


Personally, I find it offensive that your association is so cavalier with these study results. Again, you pay them gobs of money every year; the least they could do is kick some of that down for decent, valuable research.

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