For most new parents (exhaustion aside), the first 100 days with a baby are marked with the extreme joy and excitement of a life with a new little person now in it. Back in early December 2015, many of us here felt a lot like new parents ourselves as we welcomed an exciting addition to REALTOR.ca: Consumer Accounts.
Up to this point, REALTOR.ca has been a useful tool for consumers to learn about the advantages of working with REALTORS® and engage with listings but it had one growing limitation: multi-platform compatibility. We were quietly observing how mobile technology has increasingly impacted the expectations and search behaviour of today’s consumers, who are doing their research from not one but from multiple devices (desktops, mobile phones, tablets etc.) and across many locations. And as those consumers visited REALTOR.ca, they were expecting to carry on their search activity across all of their devices—a challenge we were not able to fully overcome until the introduction of Consumer Accounts.
In exchange for providing a little bit of information about themselves and their real estate needs (and wants), a consumer with an account on REALTOR.ca is now able to customize some of their website interactions and, more importantly, save time on the repetitive tasks between devices (for example: start search at work on laptop, continue at home or on the bus or by mobile phone or a tablet). In return, the measurement of interactions of the signed-in users will provide REALTORS® a much clearer picture of who visits REALTOR.ca and how (and when) they connect with REALTORS® and their listings.
After only four short months, over 75,000 consumers have allowed us to learn from their interactions on the website. And, while we are still similar in some ways to new parents learning through those early stages, we already know that consumers who create REALTOR.ca accounts demonstrate more engaged visits and prove more valuable to REALTORS®:
- They look at, on average, 62 per cent more properties.
- They spend double the amount of time on the site.
- They are more than three times more likely to generate a lead for a REALTOR® or share a listing with friends or family.
- They are three times more likely to look at Walk Score® or Transit Score®.
The most exciting part is we know this is just the beginning, too! By late summer, consumers will be able to leverage account functionality on the new REALTOR.ca iPhone app and, later this year, we will be bringing this enhancement to Android app users, too.
As we continue learning about the evolving digital journey of REALTOR.ca visitors and specific user personas, we will be sure to pass along these additional insights to our REALTOR® members to power your understanding and help you with your business.