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With online search becoming more intuitive and the explosive growth of mobile devices, the real estate industry has had to adapt to changing consumer behaviour originating online, while spanning a longer time horizon.

REW (Real Estate Wire) conducted a poll of 2,500 people across Canada, to learn what the path to home ownership looked like, as well as the key behaviour buyers undertook before purchasing a property.

31% of respondents who had purchased a home in the last two years, said they were thinking about buying a home for over 19 months before they made their purchase. For agents, this statistic tells us that establishing relationships online and nurturing leads is a long-term game.

Of those who had purchased a home in the last two years, 65% contemplated purchasing a home over a six to 24-month timeline, while 35% of respondents, first thought about buying a home in less than six months.

In order for real estate professionals to capture even a slice of that 65% segment of home buyers, establishing strong rapport and maintaining a consistent brand message is a must. Marketing efforts should be in place prior to the initial point of contact, all the way through to the final buying decision.

Nearly 40% of those that had purchased a home in the last two years, started their search on a real estate portal such as This is followed by nearly 20% who used a search engine.

It’s easy to see why ranking high on search and being well-profiled on real estate portals is vitally important. Consumers prefer to undertake their own research in their own time before consulting outside sources, as evidenced by only 14% reaching out to friends and family for their recommendations.

The majority of home buyers limit their search activity to few sites and apps. For agents, this means focusing digital marketing spend on channels that have the highest traffic and/or best targeted returns. Don’t spread your dollars too thin and try do everything all at once.

Of those that had purchased a home in the last two years, nearly 72% used a real estate agent to purchase their home, indicating that consumers continue to see a lot of value in having a professional guide them through the home search process. Whilst the initial search starts independently, agent expertise is required in tandem with the resources found online.

The home search process is changing, and agents continue to play a leading role throughout the journey. Home buyers are fueled by data and information, with easier and faster access right at their fingertips. Making sure your brand and expertise are present throughout their process is crucial to success in today’s marketplace. Every point of contact is an opportunity for agents and brokers to provide guidance and support, until that ideal moment when a prospective buyer or seller finally becomes your client.

Real Estate Wire (REW) is a real estate portal providing buyers and sellers with a fast and easy home search experience, as well as the agent connections they need to take on their real estate goals.

Learn about REW’s suite of agents products designed to promote your brand and introduce you to new clients.