January 25, 2017
Market and consumer research is crucial to success in real estate. It helps to understand markets and trends so you can do business better. Research also guides your association to make evidence-based decisions to serve your needs. The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) has greatly enhanced its research activity in the past year to serve you better.
In 2016, OREA engaged almost 5,000 REALTORS® who volunteer on a panel called the OREA Insights Community to take part in surveys on a regular basis. Their input helps to guide and direct OREA and track successes. As well as surveying members, OREA also polls consumers across the province.
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“We’re delighted with the scope and magnitude of OREA’s market research efforts,” says Ray Ferris, OREA president. “Detailed consumer research will greatly help us as REALTORS® in understanding better the real estate needs and characteristics of our local communities. Knowing more about the demographics and profile of your market is an incredibly useful tool for our members. This helps us all to develop a clearer picture of who our clients are, how they make decisions and how we can help them.”
What consumers think
A survey of consumers in 2016 revealed improvements in the public perception of REALTORS® compared to a year earlier, which is good news and evidence that the message about the value of using a REALTORS® is getting through. Almost 3 in 4 Ontarians agreed that it’s important to work with a REALTOR® when buying or selling a home. Three out of four consumers who took part in a survey said they would recommend using a REALTOR® to friends looking to buy or sell a home, and the same proportion agreed it’s important to work with a REALTOR® when buying or selling a home. Compared to a year earlier, consumers surveyed said REALTORS®:
- Can help home owners get a better price for their home when selling (up 6 points)
- Are a valuable resource when they are buying or selling a home (up 5 points)
- Are professionals (up 5 points)
- Can help buyers get a better price for their home when buying (up 4 points).
An advertising campaign to promote the value of a REALTOR® has helped to boost those public perceptions, says Ferris. A new phase of the ad campaign was launched by OREA this past fall. Visit www.WeDoTheHomework.ca for more details.
What REALTORS® think
As well as surveying consumers, OREA also aims to track the views of you, our members, in order to serve you better. By learning about the views of REALTORS®, OREA can offer products and services that meet your needs. A 2016 survey of REALTORS® showed that:
- 3 in 4 members say an advertising campaign to promote REALTOR® value is essential and 7 in 10 say it is relevant
- 7 in 10 members say market and consumer data is relevant, while 3 out of 5 say it is essential.
Insights and stats
A new provincial statistics page and monthly newsletter were launched by OREA in 2016 with the goal of giving you a more complete picture of the current real estate market. The OREA Stats page provides market data collected by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) with a focus on Ontario. Accompanying this page is OREA Insights, a colourful, short newsletter about the state of the market. Both of these new resources are available monthly to OREA members. The stats page provides residential sales, new and active listings, months of inventory numbers, sales-to-new-listings ratios, and average prices. The newsletter features colourful photos and a quick glimpse of statistics with a link to CREA numbers to keep you informed on a regular basis. Read the Insights newsletter.
Tracking the market
Another useful tool for REALTORS® is the Ontario Home Ownership Index, created by OREA and the market research firm of Ipsos Reid. Twice a year, the index provides valuable insights into the economy, real estate market and consumer attitudes on the economy and the real estate market to help you grasp current trends. The report also prompts media releases that highlight trends, confirming OREA’s role as an expert in the provincial real estate market. Results in 2016 showed Ontarians are decidedly more upbeat about the province’s economy than they were a year earlier. People were significantly more likely to rate residential real estate markets as favorable than in 2015 at all levels, with 6 in 10 seeing the economy in their city or town as good. More detailed results are arranged by region. See the full research.
Four on the floor
OREA completed an extensive research project in 2016 with the aim of profiling and segmenting the consumer market. The findings reveal four basic groups – (1) active owners (2) complacent owners (3) seekers and (4) free spirits – within different regions of the province. The study was called Uncovering consumer data for REALTORS®. It was designed to help you understand consumer behaviour better in your local market, giving a fuller picture of who your clients are. Demographic, geographic and financial profiles of consumers in your area are shown, including market size, social values, financial portfolios and media consumption habits. The study combines research from multiple sources, including leisure, lifestyle and media behaviour, plus national census data and postal code information. The study can be accessed through the OREA website.
For the first time ever, OREA produced a webinar exclusively to unveil findings from the above consumer and market research, Uncovering consumer data for REALTORS®. The June webinar examined the findings of the study. More than 1,200 people registered for the research webinar, the first of its kind offered to OREA members. Watch the webinar video now.
This past year, OREA embarked on a partnership with Cottage Life magazine to better understand the cottage market and cottage buyers and sellers. OREA surveyed REALTORS® who work with cottage properties as well as cottage owners. Read the full news release.
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