A range of forces affect conditions and behaviour within a housing market, such as economic activity, legislative changes, technological innovation and evolving social awareness, as seen in the affordable housing or green/sustainable building movements.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), the professional association for nearly 10,000 REALTORS®, conducts research annually to help its members gain a greater understanding of these emerging trends and to heighten awareness of changing public expectations of REALTORS®.
|On this page:|
|• Understanding Expectations|
|• Home Buyers and Sellers Survey|
|• Professional and regulatory framework|
|• How research helps|
In 2009, the REBGV commissioned Skunkworks Creative Group Inc. to conduct its latest body of research, Understanding
Expectations, in partnership with the BC Real Estate Association and the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board. The research takes a close look at what consumers expect from their REALTORS®, and what gaps may exist between client and REALTOR® expectations.
The study found that, with improved technology and the increased availability of information, homebuyer expectations of their REALTORS® are shifting away from traditional norms.
Today’s homebuyers use the internet to familiarize themselves with the market and begin a property search. They don’t expect their REALTORS® to be an exclusive source of property information. While the property search is still an important role they expect from REALTORS®, homebuyers say it’s even more important to work with a REALTOR® who will guide them through the intricacies of making an offer and negotiating an acceptable purchase price on their behalf.
In contrast, according to the research, the majority of REALTORS® believe their most important function to a buyer is providing property information. This difference presents an opportunity for greater symmetry in the REALTOR® client relationship.
The study also found that REALTORS® may underestimate the importance sellers place on the REALTORS® role in establishing proper pricing levels for their home. Consumers reported they are twice as likely to rely on their REALTOR® as the most trustworthy source of information rather than themselves. ∧ top
Last year, the REBGV and the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board also commissioned the Mustel Group to conduct the 2008 Home Buyers and Sellers Survey, which questioned 1,100 residential homebuyers in the Lower Mainland.
The survey revealed that, of all newly built homes purchased through the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in 2008, 53 per cent of the transactions in Greater Vancouver and 65 per cent in the Fraser Valley were purchased as a pre-sale, meaning before the home was built.
The study also looked at buyer and seller satisfaction with the final saleprice. The majority said they paid about what they expected, with 31 percent in Greater Vancouver and 23 per cent in Fraser Valley saying they paid more than they anticipated.
Home sellers generally agreed that their home sold for what they expected or more in the last year, with 77 per cent of home sellers in the Fraser Valley and 69 per cent in Greater Vancouver expressing satisfaction with the sale price.
Research is also conducted to determine whether the professional and legislative framework in real estate protects and satisfies the home buying and selling public.
In each of the past five years, the REBGV has commissioned Ipsos Reid to conduct polling of the public (groups who have and have not used a REALTOR®). The survey consists of five statements about REALTORS®, and respondents are asked to indicate whether they agree, disagree or hold a neutral viewpoint.
The results show that the public generally holds a positive view of the real estate profession. About 75 per cent of respondents typically say they view REALTORS® as knowledgeable professionals. Seventy per cent indicate that REALTORS® adhere to a high standard of professional conduct and enjoy a positive public image, and just under 70 per cent say REALTORS® are highly skilled professional service providers.
The same survey results indicate that 58 per cent of public respondents believe a legislative framework exists that supports consumers in the buying and selling of real estate. ∧ top
Research is critical for understanding how buying habits can change the type of homes built in our communities. For example, 2003 marked the first time that the number of annual condominiums sales in Greater Vancouver outpaced sales of single-family detached homes.
Today, nearly 60 per cent of homes purchased in the region each year are either condominium or townhome properties.
Through these polls, surveys and studies, REALTORS® aim to ensure their efforts align with the needs of their clients.