Santa Claus: He’s easy to believe in, because when you do, you get lots of gifts. There’s a clear financial benefit to closing your eyes to reality in the case of the bearded fat man.
There are other Christmas-time myths that aren’t so beneficial. Yet, some people believe in them despite the cost. For example, most people know that traffic to realestate.com.au (and our similar sites around the world) is usually a bit lower in December.
The mistake comes when they assume the same is true in January.
In fact, the opposite is true. Every year in January, realestate.com.au’s traffic takes a big step up from December—and even from every month of the prior year.
Let’s turn to the numbers, as provided by Nielsen//NetRatings’s Market Intelligence service. In the 06/07 Christmas season you see something really striking. By the time November 06 rolled around, traffic reached a high point for the whole year.
Traffic slowed down a bit in December, but then came back so strongly in January that it surpassed November’s high by more than 10%.
I’m also told that realestate.com.au’s internal tracking reveals the website sends to up to 36% more email leads to agents in January than in November.
The same thing happens in other countries. To show you that this isn’t just a function of REA Group websites, I spent some time trolling around online for comparisons. What I found is fascinating.
The United States’ largest real estate website, realtor.com, exhibits a very similar pattern.
In January 2007, traffic to realtor.com hit a higher level than in any of the previous three months.
My personal reading of the data is that January is one of the most important months of the year to advertise online. You don’t need to believe in Santa Claus to know how to give yourself the gift of increased enquiries and new business.
Homebuyers (and sellers seeking an agent) are rearing to go after their holidays. They want to make post-New Year’s resolutions changes to their lives—for the better.
Agents planning a break might want to reconsider whether they want to be away from the office in January. That’s especially true in vacation and second home hotspots, where visiting renters from out-of-town might be interested in considering an investment property while they are in the area.