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Discover your potential buyers through demographic analysis

Commentary by Glade Jones

RISMEDIA, Sept. 16, 2008-“The times … they are a changin’.” As someone who is involved each day with real estate professionals, I find myself humming this tune occasionally. And while you can’t turn on the news or open a paper without getting blasted with some message regarding the evolution of the industry, more often than not you see Realtors® trying to conduct business today just like they did yesterday.

But the business has changed. And the customers have changed. And the way real estate customers make decisions has changed.

This evolution prompted our company to recently conduct a survey (with the help of National Polling Service) of more than 500 adult respondents regarding their buying behavior and processes, especially in terms of how they relate to gender. I believe that the results can overwhelmingly assist real estate professionals in better targeting and serving their customers.

For instance, we have all read the National Association of Realtors®’ (NAR) statistic regarding the nearly 90% of home buyers who include the Internet in their search for a new home. But did you know that 41% of women surveyed began their search for a new home online, while only 25% of all males did the same? Interestingly enough, more men (28.5%) initiated their search by contacting a real estate agent.

Also according to these results, women surveyed more properties than men online and 94% of all women said that photos of a home would be very helpful in their home search. Another interesting difference is the way the genders perceive the process: only 4.4% of all women considered the size of a home the primary feature to consider in their purchase, while 13.2% of men are most concerned about the home’s size.

Recognizing that you are dealing with a more-knowledgeable home buyer with higher expectations regarding the information provided about the homes they are interested in is key to success in today’s real estate market. By utilizing in-depth demographic analysis, like that which is found in this survey, real estate professionals can better serve that end consumer.

Glade Jones is CEO and president of Obeo.

For more information and to download this survey, please visit