Young millennials have serious issues with real estate brokers.
That’s one of the biggest takeaways of a recent survey of 525 adults conducted in September that found that adults under 55 generally do not want to work with real estate brokers, and that brokers wield less influence over home buyers than a number of other resources.
“While older buyers are used to working with brokers and may continue to do so, younger buyers have no such bias, and we expect this trend of online browsing to accelerate as this cohort trades up in the real estate market,” reads a report on the survey, which was commissioned by the real estate marketing firm Neoscape.
Eighty-one percent of respondents between the ages of 18 and 24 said they do not want to work with a broker when buying a home, according to the survey, which was conducted by Research Now on behalf of Neoscape.
The negative sentiment towards brokers was softer among the second-youngest group surveyed in the study, but a slim majority (51 percent) of 25 to 34-year-old respondents still said they don’t want to work with a broker.
The share of respondents who say they don’t want to work with a broker actually ticked up among some older age cohorts, but plummeted among the oldest, survey participants aged 55 or older.
Only 38 percent of respondents in that group said they don’t want to work with a broker.
Plenty of people don’t like to use things that they use anyway, so you might expect that negative feeling towards real estate brokers might not line up with consumers’ actual usage of them.
That’s true to a degree, according to the survey — but perhaps not as much as real estate agents might like.
Even though 57 percent of total respondents who did not buy a home over the last year said they would not want to work with a broker, 54 percent of total respondents who did buy a home over the last year said they worked with a broker.
The finding that only a slim majority of buyers use real estate brokers contrasts sharply with NAR’s finding that 88 percent of buyers buy their homes through a real estate broker — a share which the trade group says has steadily increased from 69 percent in 2001.
Brokers are also less likely to influence a buyer’s decisions than some other resources, according to Neoscape’s survey.
Respondents who bought a home in the last year were more likely to cite property websites (85 percent), word of mouth (77 percent), raw data (67 percent) and media sites (64 percent) as influences than they were to cite brokers (62 percent), which tied with mobile apps as the fifth most-cited resource by respondents.
“There still remains a place for a broker in the transaction, even though their role may be changing,” Neoscape’s report says. “While the broker ‘opens the door’ to the new house, marketing materials, mobile apps and data help bring them to the door, and then close the deal.”