in the 2008 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers released in October, the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) provided research that leads us down a path to understanding why MLS Websites become so popular, so quickly with consumers.
Russ Bergeron of SoCal MLS saw traffic on their new website grow beyond 100,000 unique visitors per month within a few months of launch with no advertising or promotion!
Although the sample was narrow, WAV Group reported in their MLS Website Consumer Effectiveness Research that consumers trust the MLS Website because it offers the most accurate and timely listing information with no sales pressure.
There has been an ongoing debate about how to measure the ecosystem/landscape of website usage in a marketplace. Traditional matrix only covers websites with more than 1000 visitors a day (ComScore, et. al.). NAR did an end-around on understanding the landscape by asking consumers where they shop for homes.
MLS Websites were number 1 with 60% used, followed by REALTOR.com at 48%, Broker websites at 46%, agent sites at 43%, FSBO at 19%, Newspaper site at 11%, magazine sites at 6%, and all other websites at 25% (Yahoo, zillow, trulia, et. al.).