The use of social media for property selling and buying in the Philippines is expected to increase this year, top property listing site Lamudi Philippines said on Tuesday.
Lamudi noted that most prospective homebuyers in the Philippines have already made use of the internet and are increasingly relying on social media to lead them on their search and their ultimate property discovery.
Lamudi cited data from the US-based National Association of Realtors (NAR) 2015 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, which showed that 92 percent of homebuyers used the internet as an information source, while 65 percent of internet homebuyers drove by or viewed a home they saw online, and 44 percent of buyers first found their home on the internet.
Locally, based on a survey conducted by Lamudi Philippines last year, almost 80 percent of homebuyers said they use the internet as a starting point for their property searches.
The impact of the internet on property buying and selling is expected to even grow stronger this year, Lamudi said.
“This trend will ultimately lead to increased social media usage for real estate, both among buyers and sellers,” Lamudi added.
Meanwhile, property sellers have taken notice of social media’s potential to increase their sales.
“Developers and agents are finding out that increasing their brand’s visibility and boosting quality traffic through social media is boosting their sales,” the property listing site explained.
This sales growth caused by advertising on social media sites is partly due to the increased visibility of properties to international buyers searching online.
The shift of the real estate market towards the online arena is driven by the rising internet penetration in the country.
“In the Philippines, internet penetration grew by 26 percent between 2014 and 2015 and it now stands above 45 percent,” Lamudi said.
“This increase in internet usage has led to property hunters becoming more and more reliant on the internet for their house hunt,” it added.
Real estate professionals have noticed the trend towards the online market and are now spending more on digital compared to before, Lamudi said.
Based on a report by the property listing site, 88 percent of real estate agents have noticed the internet being used very frequently during the house-hunting process in the Philippines.
“This trend is common all over Asia, and so we can observe that consumer behavior is changing when it comes to searching for a home,” Lamudi said.
Lamudi cited the case of Sri Lanka, where 42.9 percent of local real estate agents rated social media apps as being ‘very important’ to the house-hunting process.
Moreover, apart from the internet and social media, another trend to make waves in the real estate market this year is the use of Virtual Reality (VR) in selling properties.
“Today’s home buyers want more than photos, and with VR technology, buyers can now experience their prospective home in a 360° environment from home or while on the move,” Lamudi said.
“It is likely that users’ dependency on technology will increase and that property portals and apps will become practically indispensable both for property seekers and agents,” Lamudi concluded.