With funding from the Advocacy Program, the Illinois Association of REALTORS® set out to find out more about recent Illinois homebuyers. So IAR commissioned Florida-based Strategic Guidance Systems (SGS)—a leading data-mining and political services provider for the real estate industry—to take a good look at the home-buying population. Using factual information that publicly exists about recent homebuyers and through a set of regional telephone surveys, SGS created a “data mine” to get the big-picture demographics and opinions of Illinois homebuyers.
This information is available for Illinois REALTORS® (for free) to examine from the Advocacy Program page of the IAR Web site, www.illinoisrealtor.org/advocacy. Launch the site by clicking on the state of Illinois map graphic. Take a look at the findings and data in your region.
In conducting the surveys, IAR was interested in the motivations and experiences of the home-buying public, including the following:
- Level of satisfaction with the use of the services of a REALTOR®
- Types of services used when searching for a home
- Factors that went into the home seekers’ decisions about where to buy, why to move and what they were looking for in a home, neighborhood, etc.
The surveys were done in June through August of this year. The respondents were those who purchased a home since January 2008.
Among the significant findings, we learned that young, first-time buyers ages 18 to 29 used a REALTOR® at the same rate as other buyers. Eighty-five percent used a REALTOR®, while 15 percent did not. And location remains the number one motivator over price even in this economy, while price and location equally matter for first-time buyers.
How should you use the data?
In many ways, the findings confirm some of what we know from our work in the industry. What the data mine does is give you the actual facts, the data and opinions to confirm that you are pursuing the right segment of homebuyers with the right message, at the right time. This information can be shared with your seller/clients to give them an idea of what’s on the minds of buyers in Illinois.
Illinois is a large state with varying demographics and real estate markets. With this in mind the data mine was divided into eight regions of the state. So IAR members can drill down to find data with more local meaning. On the Web site, simply click on your region to begin the search. Select a specific Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, to learn more about the area’s homebuyers including age, marital status, purchase price, dwelling type, mortgage amount, purchase date and political party.
So take a look at this new toolbox, and use the “Feedback” button to let us know what you think.
More surveys will be done in the future and we’d like to learn more from you about how to make the surveys help you.