More than 80 percent of real estate consumers search online, according to the 2006 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. According to NAR, consumers are:

• 5x more likely to buy a home found online vs. a newspaper
• 24x more likely to buy a home found online vs. a magazine

Shift of ad dollars from offline to online As more and more users begin their information searches online, the opportunity for advertisers to capture the interest of these proactive consumers grows. Local online advertising, which includes real estate, is one of the hottest new segments in 2007-2008. Spending in this category is expected to grow to $7.7 billion before the end of 2007, a 31.6 percent increase over 2006 according to research and consulting company Borrell Associates. This upward growth should hit $9.5 billion by 2009. At the top of the list in local online advertising growth is real estate –above auto marketing, credit and mortgage advertising. Borrell reports that real estate advertising should account for 21.8 percent of all local online ad spend in 2007 alone.

In allocating your advertising dollars, the key is to work with a Web site that provides you with a highly targeted, loyal audience base that is serious about real estate.