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New study reveals how realtors can make money on the Internet.

A recent analysis of the responses from 2,546 consumers seeking home-buying or selling information on the Internet has revealed surprising news - real estate professionals may be missing opportunities for additional web-based revenue.

The study was conducted by Gooder Group, a Fairfax, Virginia-based publisher of lead-generating brochures, newsletters and other marketing materials. Consumers who requested direct response reports from Gooder Group's "Leads Online" program subscribers for the last two years were required to complete online questionnaires. The survey was designed to reveal when prospective customers plan to move, whether or not they are currently working with real estate or mortgage professionals, and if prospects are shopping locally or globally.

Dan Gooder Richard, president of Gooder Group, said "One of the most significant discoveries from the study is the fact that 74 percent of the prospects were not working with agents, and 65 percent had not pre-qualified for a loan. Most Internet prospects are unattached and uncommitted, because they're early shoppers. There is incredible business to be had on the Web if real estate professionals are prepared to follow up prospects who are just beginning their home search with information gathering."

Richard observed that 70 percent of prospects expect to move in four months or more. If you only want to skim off the 30 percent cream who want to move in less than three months, you're missing out on more than two-thirds of the Internet market," said Richard, author of the book "Real Estate Rainmaker" to be published in fall 1999 by John Wiley & Sons.

Among other analyses done, Gooder group compared the zip code of each prospect with the zip code of the Leads Online subscriber who received the e-mail request.

The zip code comparison revealed 63 percent of prospects already live in the same area as the subscriber. Of all prospects, 21 percent are living outside the subscriber's area and want to move to the subscriber's area. "It's interesting to note 11 percent of inquiries came from consumers who live outside the subscriber's area and are moving to yet another town," added Richard. "With these point-to-point moves, real estate professionals can use the lead information to generate referral business and expand their referral network."

The study also noted 3 percent of respondents are outbound domestic relocations, and 2 percent are international inbound relocations.

"Early on, some experts expected the World Wide Web to produce mostly relocation prospects. Now the numbers are in, and it's clear about two-thirds of Internet prospects currently live in the same zip code as the subscribing agent they queried. The biggest market by far is in our own backyard. Local prospects shopping locally," Richard said.

Gooder Group's survey also revealed 51 percent of respondents are currently renting, and 49 percent own. Further, 63 percent are interested primarily in buying, 15 percent in selling, 13 percent in relocating, and 6 percent in renting. Eighty-two percent are looking for single-family homes.

Leads Online subscribers receive prospects' names, addresses and phone numbers, plus complete contact and property profile information.

Interested real estate professionals can visit Gooder Group's website at http://www.gooder.com for a demonstration of the Leads Online prospecting service. Gooder Group can also be reached by phoning (703) 698-7750 extension 674, to find out more.
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Copyright 1999, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Mar 24, 1999
Words:541
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