Traditionally homebuyers and sellers would have to wait 3 months to view quarterly reports on the housing industry. During a fluctuating market, statistics would become outdated and no longer accurate by the time they reached the consumer.
Today through raveis.com, the popular William Raveis website, consumers can subscribe to a free newsletter that highlights market conditions for up to 5 towns of the consumers’ choice. The housing stats and charts are available in real time and updated monthly. The newsletter offers an unbiased summarization of trends in the towns chosen by the consumer and also includes easy-to-read graphs showing the number of homes currently on the market, the number of homes sold, the average days on the market for houses that sold during the month and the median sales price in the requested towns.
Another recent enhancement, which is specially geared to today’s time-pressed homebuyer, is the inclusion of all weekend MLS open houses. Buyers no longer have to sort through page after page of newspapers looking for open houses at various real estate companies when now they can find all MLS open houses in one place merely by clicking “Open Houses” on the front page of raveis.com. A pleasant surprise awaits any consumer who visits the page for they have the opportunity to win a free trip to the Bahamas by simply filling in the form.
According to William Raveis, “We’re especially excited about our housing newsletter which is sent out automatically and available to everyone. With mortgage rates at an all-time low, consumer interest is high and our newsletter keeps current statistics in front of them.”
“We are diligent in seeking out new features to make it effortless for our customers to receive the information they need,” he added. “Raveis.com is a one-stop website that offers extensive real estate services in one location so that the customer does not have to go from place to place. We are continuing to invest in raveis.com to provide the latest technological advancements to our customers.”
The website has also been upgraded to allow advanced search capability as well as a detailed analysis to the existing local housing charts. The consumer can now refine their search criteria to include the price range, number of bedrooms and square footage. In addition, a detailed analysis is available for each town that documents similar inventory by price range, price per square foot, sales by price range and days on the market.
New features have also been added to each individual listing. They include current market data graphs and notification in red if the property is newly listed along with the listing date.
Raveis.com continues to grow in popularity as the number of visitors to the site continue to soar. Usage reports reveal an extensive increase in website hits to one billion in 2008. Total visitors were up 31% to more than seven million and the e-mail notification subscribers has increased 39% over last year to 27,000 subscribers.
Mr. Raveis expects the number of visitors to the site to accelerate even more significantly in the future because of anticipated growth. “With our plans of expansion into the New York marketplace, we have now included property listings in Dutchess, Putnam and Westchester County,” he said, “offering site visitors the ability to browse among hundreds of New York property listings. We also anticipate moving into Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, making raveis.com the one source website for the entire Northeast.