Sharing the Home Buying Experience

tl;dr: People search for homes with other people.

Zillow Group’s Consumer Housing Trends 2016 Report makes good reading, and I’m often tempted to print out all 159 pages.

One interesting point in Zillow’s report that confirms a societal sharing trend – 86% of buyers “co-shop.”


Home shopping is a shared activity, with 86 percent co-shopping with a spouse or partner (73 percent) or a friend or other family members (13 percent). Half (50 percent) of buying households include children under the age of 18, with one quarter (25 percent) of all buyers indicating their children had some influence on their home purchase. (Jim’s note: read Flipping the Switch with your Parents)

Seventeen percent of younger Millennials (ages 18-24) are shopping for a home with a friend or roommate, with an additional 51 percent shopping with a spouse or partner. Older Millennials (ages 25-34), are more like the average buyer, as 73 percent are shopping with a spouse or partner.

I’ve said for years that my role as a Realtor is to become the second (or third) person to whom my clients direct their questions – after Google, and parents/friends/peers. Zillow is facilitating that sharing.

There is nothing ground-breaking in Zillow’s research, yet its confirmation of what we already know is good. If getting confirmation from friends and peers helps ease the buyer’s rash decision to buy or not buy a home, great. 

If you use Zillow, you probably have seen these changes evolve.

Right now, the most effective way to share listings with clients is email … I’d like to get some using Slack, but for those not already using Slack, I can’t see the value in them learning a new tool to use for only a few months (or years).

Right now, people know Zillow, so they’ll use it.


A recent update to Zillow’s app reflects sharing’s perceived value

Google is taking the “if you like that, you’ll like this” approach. I suspect Zillow will do that too.

But … Zillow’s adaptability will have to improve.


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