What are Buyers Databases?

by : Joshua Keen

Some real estate buyers don't find the best homes - the best homes find them. Popular new Internet buyer databases make it easy for buyers to quickly establish an online profile, and have details on the best properties sent directly to their real estate agent. With more sellers and agents searching these databases every day, a profile can mean the difference between having to search everywhere for the right home, and choosing from dozens that fit the bill.

Buyer databases work because they provide an easy solution to the missing half of the real estate puzzle: buyers themselves. For decades the industry was focused only on the obvious half, property for sale, while buyers had to do all the work finding homes. Now buyers and sellers can meet in a forum where both parties know the other is serious about a real estate transaction, and work quickly towards a sale. For real estate professionals, buyer databases are an opportunity to provide much more effective service.

In contrast to home listings, buyer databases require a commitment from the buyer - that's what makes them so attractive to sellers and agents. Buyers can 't simply go online, see some homes they like, and get in touch for a showing, they have to register and provide information for others to search. In many cases, buyers working alone can't even register on a database - they must be working with a real estate agent. This makes the database even more valuable for sellers, because it only shows people who have formally begun their home search, and are potentially pre-qualified for financing. The service is also attractive to Realtors because it allows them to maintain the client-agent relationship when they register buyers and deal with sellers on their behalf.

In reality most buyers starting a home search probably aren't even aware of buyer databases because the services aren't directly related to the home search, and don't produce instant results. For the most part buyer databases are targeted at real estate professionals looking for another angle on behalf of their clients.

Another advantage of buyer databases is that they can provide access to homes not listed anywhere else. Sellers and their agents may choose to search a buyer database before making a listing, in order to advertise directly to the right buyers. Smart sellers will contact as many buyers this way as possible to promote competitive offers, but the end result is still advanced access to listings.

Buyer databases are a risk-free way for real estate agents to expand their services, and a chance for buyers to seek even better deals on the homes they want - a definite step ahead for the industry.