How do real estate agents acquire new business?

January 12 2017

Despite the abundance of real estate information available online, homebuyers and sellers still rely heavily on the knowledge and skill of real estate agents. According to NAR's 2016 Profile of Homebuyers and Sellers, 88 percent of buyers and 89 percent of sellers recently worked with a real estate agent.

How did real estate agents acquire these clients? As you might expect, referrals and repeat business played a major factor.

Homebuyer Numbers
Forty-two percent of homebuyers used an agent that was referred by a friend, relative or neighbor, while 11 percent used an agent they had worked with previously. Eighty-eight percent said they would recommend or use their agent again.

The hands-on experience and insight of a good agent can't be understated, as 50 percent of surveyed buyers saw working with an agent as helpful for finding the right home. And 79 percent of buyers said the real estate agent was a very useful source of information.

Seller Statistics
Sixty-four percent of sellers found their agent via referral or used an agent they had worked with before. Sixty-one percent felt very satisfied with the sales process, and 85 percent of sellers said they would definitely (70 percent) or probably (15 percent) provide their agent referrals for future services.

The typical seller has referred two people to their agent since the sale of their home. A sizable 33 percent of sellers, however, referred others to their agent three or more times since the sale of their home.

Buyer Demographics
While married couples made up the largest group of buyers once again (66 percent), the percentage of single women buyers has grown. Single women accounted for 17 percent of buyers, more than twice that of single male buyers (7 percent). First-time homebuyers also increased, rising to 35 percent.