Online Real Estate Searches Represent Golden Opportunity For Local Businesses, Brands

A recent study from Google suggests new homeowners and those shopping for homes are a significant target market. While they're searching for a home, people will buy things they never knew existed or shopped for in the past, per the Google study. This phenomenon represents a trend that suggests big decisions can trigger smaller ones, not just in the immediate future, but for the long haul. The point is that the home-buying process  presents an opportunity for consumer product brands, luxury retailers, financial services and other companies to build consumer relationships during this time.

When asked if they plan to purchase a home in the next year, 18- to 34-year-olds were twice as likely as 35- to 54-year-olds to say yes, per a Google Consumer Survey published July 2014. Half of all Millennials in the U.S. visited real estate Web sites in July, per Google, and 36% visited real estate Web sites or apps on mobile devices, according to Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke of comScore Media-Metrix data.

The search occurs on mobile devices, not just desktops. In June, mobile phones accounted for 27% of total searches related to buying a home, up 19% since last year. Millennials are more than twice as likely as the average person in the U.S. to explore real estate information on a mobile device. Millennial real estate mobile usage grew 81% from May 2013 to July 2014, according to Smoke's analysis.

It makes sense that searches related to home buying occur during the weekend more often on mobile devices, but overall mobile queries for open houses grew 36% in June, compared with that month in 2013, while desktop searches remained the same, per Google data. House hunters used their mobile device most to search for listings and find directions while out looking for a home. And it turns out, mobile homes and small houses are becoming more desirable options, per search data.

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