We have a lot of data these days. Much more than we had when I started in real estate 21 years ago. We can find out how many times someone clicked on one of our listings on any of the major real estate portal websites.
On some sites, we can see if our listings got more visits than similar listings.
We can also see if the listing was “favorited” by a buyer and if that buyer has a local agent we get that information too through “reverse prospecting”. When someone shares one of our listings with a friend we can see that it was shared.
The information is interesting but I have yet to see a correlation between clicks and offers.
It is true that people who are not planning to buy a house anytime soon will spend hours looking at them online. That is a good thing because those future buyers become more familiar with the housing market.
In the end, to sell a house we need one good offer. Only one person can buy it. If a lot of people are looking at it online we know that it is being well advertised and that the type of property and maybe even the price appeals to a large group of people.
I sometimes look at historic houses online because I like historic houses. I also get ideas for staging by looking at homes that are for sale. Looking at real estate photography has helped me to perfect my own real estate photography.
How many times does a home get shared, viewed, or saved before it gets an offer? Is the number a constant or does it vary by neighborhood and price range? Sometimes the offer comes the day the house goes on the market because someone saw a for-sale sign.
I have also found that some housing styles get more attention online yet they take longer to sell. Lofts are an example of that most of the time.
Don’t get me wrong it is nice to have all of that data but sometimes I think people attach more meaning to it than they should. We do know that people look at n average of 6 to 12 houses before they buy one but that doesn’t include time spent looking at pictures online.
I use analytics on this site which will turn 18 later this year. I know from experience that when the traffic goes up we usually see an increase in real estate buying and selling activity six weeks later.