Real Estate Consumer Evolution: The Times They Are A Changing!

Real Estate Agent with The Corcoran Group

In 1981 The Corcoran Report started covering New York City real estate market trends. The market reports became widely quoted in the media and established Corcoran as the residential experts. The quarterly reports are considered the "bible" of market statistics and trends in the city.

In 1995 was the first Manhattan real estate firm on the web.

In 2008 Corcoran began annual Consumer Reports from a series of survey questions on - a kind of window into the psychology of the market. Results of consumers thoughts on a variety of real estate and lifestyle-related topics are compiled in the report.

In 2010 Corcoran launched an iPhone app

The consumer reports can be dowloaded at

Many of the questions in the report are specific to Manhattan, I excluded them from this post and only included the #1 answer for each question. The information is useful for real estate agents to know what real estate consumer's are thinking.

I was suprised that only 9% of those polled communicate with their real estate agents face-to-face and to learn that the majority of respondents not only use an iPhone as their main mobile device, but that they have over 40 apps on them!  While over 60% of those polled said they were engaged in social media on some level, it still hasn’t caught on as a way to engage a real estate agent or find out about available properties.

Below are some of the results from the latest Consumer Report:

How do you primarily communicate with your real estate agent? Email 65%

How do you prefer to communicate with your real estate agent? By Email 52%

Have you ever contacted an agent to buy or sell an apartment based on an article you read? No 71%

Do you use social networking sites? 60% Yes

Would you hire a real estate agent you met through Facebook or Twitter?
76% No

How did you find your real estate agent? On the Web 40%

Did you ever refer your real estate broker to anyone else? Yes 59%

How many agents did/would you consider before hiring one to sell your property? Two 34%

When hiring an agent to list your property what is MOST important? Experience 40%

Have you ever worked with more than one real estate agent at a time when looking to buy? Yes 60%

When choosing a real estate firm to work with, is it important that it has a good website? Yes 92%

Do you look at real estate market research before deciding to buy or sell? Yes 77%

Do you prefer to see photos of a property you are interested in furnished or unfurnished? Unfurnished 51%

Do you surf real estate websites for fun Yes 70%

Are you actively looking to buy or rent? 85% Yes

Do you plan to move this year? 75% Yes

What is the #1 reason you would consider a new development? 48% Toatally New

Which of these design features is most important to you when buying in new development? Modern layout 24% Large windows 36% New kitchen 28% Latest tech 12%

Are you happy with your current home? No 58%

What age were you when you bought your first home? 20-30 50%

How long have you lived in your current home? 1-5 years 51%

Does a rainy day prevent you from going to an open house? Yes 54%

Do you go to fewer open houses in the winter months? Yes 58%

What’s more important for you in choosing a home? Neighborhood 72% (location, location, location)

Do you read the classifieds when looking for a new apartment or home? No 51%

How do you get your daily news? Online 78%

What type of mobile device do you have? iPhone 44%

Do you have a land line in your home? Yes 52%

Results aggregated from information gathered from’s interactive homepage poll, between April 2009 and March 2010. Average survey duration 7 days. All information copyright The Corcoran Group 2010.

Courtesy of:

Mitchell Hall, Associate Broker, The Corcoran Group


Re-Bloggged 4 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Lenn Harley 06/23/2010 06:58 AM
  2. Donald Bradbury 06/23/2010 07:30 AM
  3. Marty Remo 06/23/2010 02:07 PM
  4. Josette Skilling 06/28/2010 05:57 PM
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Comments 35 New Comment

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Christa Ross
Helping you buy and sell Pittsburgh's Best Homes
RE/MAX Select Realty - REALTOR and Green Homes Specialist

Great statistics, thanks for the insight.

June 23, 2010 10:14 AM
Mitchell J Hall
Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan, NYC
The Corcoran Group

Steve, Real estate is never boring. New challenges keep it interesting

C Llloyd, Thank you

Roger, Thanks. Some of the questions about local neighborhoods and lifestyle questions were suprising too.

Jeff, Yes, I guess I should cancel open houses when it's raining. lol

Lenn, Consumers clearly find agents on the web, experience is most important, a good website is important but not social media .

Claudette, Thank you. There is so much hype about twitter and facebook but not much evidence that it is really viable yet.

Kathryn, Yes, Love all those people are buying and renting. One I left out that suprised me is 35% the largest percent said they look for a new home in the summer.

Michael, I agree, it lets your SOI know what you're up too.

Philip, LOL, I agree. I know an agent that gets listings talking to people on the cross town bus.

Leanne, I found the unfurnished picture question interesting too. We are constantly being sold on the importance of staging but I've never had a problem selling an empty apartment. I've never beleived furniture makes it look bigger.

Jennifer, Absolutely. I see areas where I can adjust strategies

Lenn, I'm glad I don't pay attention to social media gurus just like I never paid attention to the SEO blog key word gurus either. I just write my blogs about my market and never think about key words.

William, Thanks, inspiration is good


June 23, 2010 10:20 AM
Surprise Arizona Realtor Jim Braun Sun City Grand Active Adult Communities
Surprise AZ real estate Phoenix West Valley
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Jim Braun Sun City Grand Az

Very interesting and this helps define some things I took for granted or heard someone talk about. Thanks for sharing this.

June 23, 2010 10:35 AM
Michael Bertoldi
@Homes Realty Group

Very interesting information here. It's funny how back in the day everyone needed a website. These days, blogs are the new websites and the trend is toward social media, blogs, etc... Better fish where the fish are!

June 23, 2010 12:21 PM
Margaret Goss
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate
Baird & Warner Real Estate

Makes me feel a little better about not working so hard on Facebook and Twitter!

June 23, 2010 02:11 PM
Catherine Ulrey
Equestrian and Acreage Property Specialist
Keller Williams Realty Portland Premiere

I love this insight!  It still amazes me that so many agents don't actively participate on the internet.  That's ok, more clients for those of us that do!

June 23, 2010 02:43 PM
DS News

Great article and stats, Mitchell. The online community is a large market that some aren't used to engaging, but definitely a resouce that should be recognized and utilized!

This may also be a great opportunity to update you guys on our 2010 Five Star Conference that's coming up because there are definitely some new, innovative tools and speakers added that could help us all out in finding qualified homeowners in todays tough market.

The people at the Five Star Institute have added a Servicing Symposium, 'Team Innovation', and more to the roster! Visit for all of the information, and click the link, for more on the Servicing Symposium:

And, if you need additional information on how you can sign up, contact: Jackie Gilbert or Kelli Snowgren


June 23, 2010 04:18 PM
Mitchell J Hall
Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan, NYC
The Corcoran Group

Perfect Timing:

Nice write up today on Corcoran's Facebook page from Curbed: by Joshua

"Anybody who's been paying attention to the digital landscape in New York City real estate surely knows by now that The Corcoran Group gets the Internet. From its own website, to Twitter, to Foursquare, the company is what we call a good time online.

Corcoran's Facebook page is no exception. Witty and educational, the page is a mix of need-to-know real estate info and fun snapshots of New York City life. It's also a place to download the Corcoran iPhone app, watch a series of enlightening conversations with CEO Pam Liebman, and comment on NYC goings-on."

Find out why thousands of New Yorkers already like Corcoran on Facebook. Become a fan today. >>

June 23, 2010 07:50 PM
Gregory Bain
Mezzina Real Estate & Insurance

Interesting stuff. Not sure how it relates to my area - I don't see that many iphones except in TV commericals and a few real estate agents. Smart phones, yes. Iphones wishers and wanna bees.

June 23, 2010 09:33 PM
Rob Lang
Local Expert in Lawrence Kansas Real Estate Homes
At Home Kansas /

I wonder how the average numbers have changed in the last 5 years alone... not to mention that some answers wouldn't have existed then.

June 23, 2010 09:52 PM
Mitchell J Hall
Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan, NYC
The Corcoran Group

When Corcoran started polling for the current report in March 2009, the market was still suffering the affects of the downturn. Consumers were more focused on enhancing their existing homes than on contemplating moves to newer, bigger, or more expensive ones. But by November 2009, people were itching to browse new listings again.

Buyers and sellers found common ground on prices and we saw a significant increase in sales activity. It’s no surprise that when we asked our online audience in March 2010 whether or not they planned to move this year, 75% said Yes. Their activity proved them right: we had 4.5% more visitors and 10% more new visitors to in March of 2010 than we did in March of 2009.

Social media wasn’t even a blip on our poll when we began two years ago.

June 23, 2010 10:40 PM
Michelle Francis
Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease
Tim Francis Realty LLC


This is absolutely fascinating information.  I love how you are on the cutting edge.  Great info.  Love that you have this now as an iPhone app.  The world is a changing.  

All the best, Michelle

June 23, 2010 11:01 PM
Christine Donovan
Broker/Attorney 800-610-7253 DRE01267479 - Costa M
Donovan Blatt Realty

These are interesting numbers, particularly the iphone since I had heard that it was a much smaller percentage.

June 24, 2010 01:10 AM
Catherine Condon
Pepperell MA Homes - Middlesex County - Hillsborough County
Short Sales - Integrity Residential Brokerage

Great Stats - thanks for sharing.

June 24, 2010 11:11 AM
Alice Taylor
Royal LePage Your Community Realty Inc.

what a fabulous post. We've seen evidence of much of these trends in Toronto Canada too, but never really knew the stats. I especially see that lack of land lines with the young folks in downtown condos.

thanks for the info

alice taylor, royal lepage, toronto canada 

June 24, 2010 11:37 AM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg Homes
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg IL Real Estate - Northwest Suburbs of Chicago

Excellent questions & results.  I was surprised by the Facebook/Twitter answer - anyone out there disagree?  We keep hoping they will find us there but the buyers just aren't doing it.

June 24, 2010 03:37 PM
Gene Riemenschneider
Turning Houses into Homes
Home Point Real Estate

Well things have really changed sense the first report.  I suspect the consumer responses vary by area and the Manhattan is more wired than other parts of the country.

June 24, 2010 03:38 PM
Jan Green
RE/MAX Excalibur Scottsdale REALTOR®, GREEN®
Scottsdale, Phoenix, Cave Creek, Carefree, Fountain Hills

Thank you for that valuable information.  Pretty neat to hear from such an elite realtor/group on AR.  Thanks for your input!!

June 24, 2010 03:39 PM
Mitchell J Hall
Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan, NYC
The Corcoran Group

Hi Everyone, Thanks for the comments. I just realized I don't have a landline anymore. I thought if you didn't have a landline all you had was a cell phone and not a home phone. I still have my home phone number but it's not with the phone company. A couple of years ago a client convinced me to get Vonage. When I signed up they got 2 free months. It's hooked into my cable modem. The cable company Time Warner also has digital phone. They have a package cable TV, high speed road runner internet and digital phone. A lot of people probably have that at home.

Lyn, Our CEO Pam Liebman talks about Facebook.

Facebook vs. Google


June 24, 2010 05:56 PM
Wayne B. Pruner
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI
Oregon First
Good post. Interesting statistics. I also think you have some very good comments.
August 20, 2010 12:04 AM
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Mitchell J Hall

Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan, NYC
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