Word of mouth has beaten online portals, newspapers and social media in a recent survey on the most valuable referral source for real estate agents.
In the survey of more than 600 Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) members, 24 per cent claimed word of mouth was the best referral source.
REIV CEO Enzo Raimondo said results matter to vendors and they clearly place a lot of trust in the experiences of their friends, neighbours and colleagues when selecting a real estate agent to sell their home.
“Word of mouth has had a strong track record as the most critical referral source, which reflects the importance of a real estate agent’s reputation. Vendors not only want to see that the real estate agent is successful; they also trust the views of the agent’s clients.”
Online listing portals and personal websites came next, with 22 and 20 per cent of surveyed members respectively nominating these sources.
“Online is also clearly having an impact but that does not extend to social media,” Mr Raimondo said. “After word of mouth, real estate websites, such as realestateview.com.au, and an agency’s website are considered the most valuable referral sources.
“Social media, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter had practically no value, endorsed by only one to three per cent of respondents.
“This reflects the fact that buyers and sellers are used to engaging with real estate online. They seek advertisements on real estate websites… but are far less likely to come across a real estate agent’s Twitter account.
“With regard to engaging with clients, social media has a long way to go until it is a familiar tool.”
Billboards tied with Twitter for last place, with just one per cent of respondents’ votes.