Key data from the Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report 2017

The National Association of Realtors in the US recently released their annual Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report for 2017. It has some interesting things to say about what’s going on in the real estate market in the US, and the popularity of real estate marketing tools like photography, floor plans, videos and virtual tours.

The NAR have also helpfully released this infographic with some key data points relating to different demographics across the country:

The photos are the most important part of a real estate marketing campaign:

Buyers looking at properties online rated photos as the most “useful” feature, higher even than detailed information about the property, and twice as useful as contact details for the agent selling the property.

Here are the full stats from this survey:

Website feature:

Percentage Ranking Feature “Very Useful” Among Buyers Who Used the Internet:



Detailed information about properties for


Floor Plans


Virtual tours


Detailed information about recently sold


Real estate agent contact information


Interactive maps


Pending sales/contract status


Information about upcoming open houses




Real estate news or articles


What does this mean?

I don’t think any real estate agent would consider advertising a home they are selling without including their own contact details.

But as far as buyers are concerned, more of them consider the photos to be “very useful” than they do contact information.

Would any real estate agent think about doing a real estate marketing campaign without including detailed information about the property?

More buyers consider the photos to be “very useful” than they do detailed information about the home they are looking at.

If an agent is doing an open house for that listing then they would definitely include information about that.

Yet buyers would still prefer to see photos than they would the times for that agent’s open homes.

So here’s where we are at – every real estate agent in the country is going to include things like:

  • their own contact information
  • specific details about the property
  • times for upcoming open homes

… but so many won’t think about the quality of the photos, which buyers seem to consider are more important than all of the things an agent will include without a second thought?

It doesn’t make sense.

If you’re a real estate agent and you would automatically and without question include contact information and details about the property, why don’t you also hire the best real estate photographer and provide buyers with what they want above everything else?

Can you see what else is really interesting in there?

Buyers love floorplans!

It might surprise some agents that 55% of buyers love floor plans, although it wouldn’t if they had been a buyer themselves in recent years.

When you’re looking to purchase a home for your family a floor plan is absolutely wonderful, especially when it includes approximate room dimensions. There is so much information communicated in that floor plan in terms of room arrangements, space for furniture, and access to land and outdoor living areas around the home that it’s a wonder more agents aren’t including them in their marketing campaigns.

What else do buyers love?

Buyers also love videos and virtual tours!

When you combine those numbers 76% of buyers find either videos or virtual tours “very useful” when purchasing a home. But again, a lot of agents don’t seem to get it.

As was quoted in another article called “Can video help agents get more listings“:

“If you’re not using video in your marketing strategy you’re going to start falling behind. When we were at Inman (the large real estate convention) every top producer agent we actually heard from did mention video in some form or another.”

However, the really good agents who are the top producers do get it because they deliver at least two out of the big four:

  • Professional photography
  • Floor plans
  • Video tours
  • Virtual tours

If you are a real estate agent then you might like to test this out on your next listing. Hire a high quality real estate photographer (because not all photographers are the same) PLUS one of the other marketing tools on that list, and see what response you get from buyers and your seller. If you haven’t used those marketing tools I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

So why should a real estate agent bring in a professional photographer?

Real estate agents should have the needs of their buyers and sellers as the focus of all of their activities. We know that buyers love all of those marketing tools we mentioned earlier, especially high quality real estate photography, and if buyers love it then an agent is going to generate more interest in a property, and that makes for faster sales for higher prices which in turn is going to lead to them getting more sellers to come to them as well.

Better photography leads to more interested buyers

… which leads to better sales which leads to more listings

… which leads to better photography which leads to more interested buyers

… which leads to better sales which leads to more listings

… and the circle continues ad infinitum, and you could call it “The Circle of Happy Agents, Buyers and Sellers”.

So remember this:

The Circle of Happy Agents, Buyers and Sellers all starts with high quality real estate photography. That’s what gets the Circle started and keeps it rolling.

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