Friday, April 17, 2020 / by Vanessa Saunders
April 17, 2020
From Vanessa Saunders, MBA, MIMC , Broker Owner, Global Property Systems
Analysts at the online real estate magazine Inman News wondered if the current pandemic has changed what real estate information people want to see. To find out, they did what we all do when we want an answer: they Googled it!
They studied Google's analytic data to make sense of some current trends and found "that people appear to be more interested in broader home-related topics than ever before, but simultaneously less excited about transaction-specific information."
Apparently, Google knows everything.
Searches for the word "home' rose steadily in March as the outbreak grew worse and worse every passing day. A similar but more pronounced result happened with the term "safe home." The data showed multiple major spikes at the end of March. Words searches like “family home,” “home office” and “living room” have also all seen more action during the pandemic.
What does this tell us about what's going on in people's minds? Perhaps we consider our home a safe place, one we can control. The home in and of itself creates this sense of control, particularly in this environment where there isn’t a lot of control.
The immediate concerns people have are practical and related to things like health, safety, and personal finance. Their searches reflect increased uncertainty and worry about the value of their largest asset.
But as people's yearning for safety and control increases, searches for activity directly related to real estate are down. Searches for the term “real estate,” for example, dropped in mid March and have remained comparatively low ever since. Searches for topics such as “house for sale,” “real estate agent” and “real estate broker” have also fallen over the last month as the pandemic spread.
A curious exception to that trend is searches for mortgage-related terms which have spiked, likely due to historically low rates and people looking for re-financing.
So why is this important? Inman's experts concluded that the crisis may drive long term changes to consumer preference. For example, more people may consider homes with an office to accommodate work from home. Or they may prefer larger homes with room for multi-generational households. This may be a silver lining to the epidemic, as it means people will have more options.
Let’s ask our readers: Are you feeling the need for comfort and security now more than ever? Feel free to write to us at Global Property Systems Real Estate.