A study done in December by UCLA found that consumers shop on line for convenience more than for any other reason.

The top three reasons listed for doing business online were Convenience, Speed, and access to Information. Contrary to what many would assume, getting the best price was actually near the bottom of the list.

Given this evidence, it's important for REALTORS, brokerages and associations to view their web sites from these consumer perspectives.

The question you need to ask yourself is "what does my site offer that is more convenient than the both the offline world as well as my competitor's sites?"

From the agent and broker's perspective, tools like daily real estate news, financial calculators, virtual tours, demographic information and electronic forms are much more important to the consumer than flashy self-promotion.

Realize that if the consumer can't find everything they need to know about real estate on your site, they'll find it on someone else's.

From an association's viewpoint, simply realize that if it's not faster, easier and more convenient to do something (such as registering for a class or ordering a lock-box) online than off, then the member will simply do business the old fashioned way: by fax and phone.

As a side note, The Yankee Group found that 29% of online transactions are lost simply because the site is too hard or complicated to navigate.

My rule of thumb here is that if they can't do it in three mouse-clicks or less, then they probably won't do it at all!

Keep this in mind as you continue the process of migrating your services to the Internet.


Copyrighted with all rights reserved by Stephen M. Canale