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Expertise Beats Referral When Finding a New Real Estate Agent: REW Survey

Local knowledge in neighbourhood or building cited as top reason to choose one real estate agent over another, with many buyers considering switching agents next time

Vancouver, BC (April 4, 2017) – In a new survey released by real estate website REW, a high level of neighbourhood or building expertise was cited as the number-one reason consumers choose one real estate agent over another – beating out personal recommendations.

This finding was despite more than half (53%) of all buyers (first-time and repeat buyers) saying they found their most recent agent through a recommendation from family or friends.

Local expertise was cited by 39% of first-time home owners as the top selection factor when finding a new real estate agent – notably higher than a referral from family or friends, at 27.5%, and an agent’s reputation for getting the best deal, also 27.5%.

The local expertise factor jumped even higher, to 51%, among repeat property buyers who said they would consider looking for a new agent the next time they purchase a home – followed by recommendations (38.6%) and reputation (22.8%).

What’s more, nearly half (48.1%) of first-time home owners said that they would either consider using a different real estate agent or would definitely switch the next time they buy a home.

Joannah Connolly, editor of REW, said, “It certainly seems that a referral from friends or family does not carry the weight that it once did – leaving the door wide open for agents with local expertise to pick up new clients. With data becoming more readily available, we have to ask ourselves whether the way we choose our real estate agents is changing."


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REW polled 2,244 people in BC in February 2017. Results are based on consumers who had purchased a home in the past seven years.

About Real Estate Wire
Real Estate Wire (REW) is a real estate marketplace and information hub in BC and Ontario. Whether you're buying, selling, learning, or simply perusing, REW provides you with a fast and easy home search experience, and arms you with the information and connections you need to take on your real estate goals.

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