How much do you know about your customer’s home buying journey?

How much do you know about your customer’s home buying journey?
How much do you know about your customer’s home buying journey?

There’s nothing quite like beginning the search for a new home to invoke almost all the emotions that we have - anxiety, excitement, frustration, fear and sheer joy!

For the typical home buyer, the home buying process can take anywhere from six to eighteen months; from research to making a decision and finally settlement. With the range of emotions that your buyer goes through, they will value and appreciate a sales agent who will ease the way throughout their buying journey.

If you can be this guide for them, you not only have one happy customer, you’ll have ongoing referrals and a successful sales process that can extend to the rest of your team. Sounds like more work? It’s actually less work. It’s about working smarter, not harder simply by having the right data. When you have visibility about who’s on your website, what they’re looking at, and when they’re looking at it, you’ll provide a better experience to your customer, right from the start.

90% of research about a property is done online

People will do 90% of their research online before they pick up the phone or send an email to connect with an agent. That equates to many hours online, researching suburbs, new estates, developer history and credentials, house and land options, and more.

A typical home buyer will go through four stages when buying a home:

1. Developing awareness
2. Researching options
3. Making a decision

And it doesn’t stop there. Even when a prospect becomes a customer, they still need care and attention to get them comfortably through the fourth phase:

4. A smooth settlement

Your job as an agent doesn’t stop until the very end. Understanding your potential customer’s buying journey gives you a competitive edge, and puts you in a better position to look after them at each stage through to the final sale.

Developing awareness

At this very early stage of the buying journey, people have made a decision to start looking for a home. If they’re looking for a house and land package, they’re probably asking questions like:

- Where do we want to live?
- Which suburbs are close to work and school for the family?
- Is this a good time to buy a property?

They’ve come across your website online during their initial research, or your development while driving by, but unlikely to reach out and connect with you. At this point, they’re still thinking about where they want to live.

Researching options

Once they’ve answered the questions above, they want more specific information.

- Will the suburb grow in value?
- What’s the value of property in the area?
- What are the people like living here?
- What schools, shops and transport options are there?
- How close will we be to family, friends and work?

They may register with your website to find out about upcoming property. They may call you to ask more questions. When they do connect with you, remember they’ve done most of their research already and you’ll be the most helpful by being able to offer specific properties to suit their needs. They don’t want to be taken through the whole “research” process again.

Making a decision

At this point, the potential buyer wants to make a decision. They’ve probably received pre-approval for finance, so they know how much they can spend. They’ve chosen the suburbs they like and shortlisted the developments they prefer.

At this stage, they’re asking questions like:

- Am I paying market value for this property?
- How much do I offer for this home/package?
- Who am I competing with?
- Does this development have titled lots?
- How easy will settlement be with this developer?
- What else is happening in the area I need to be aware of?
- How long until settlement?

By this time, you’ll have gathered plenty of data about your prospect and what they want in a home. You’re in a position to offer a final selection of homes/packages that matches what they’ve been looking for. You know this because you’ve got sophisticated analytic tools on your website which give you up to the minute business intelligence about your buyer’s journey.

Finalising settlement

The time between finalising the transaction and settlement is just as important as any other part of the transaction, as any seasoned real estate agent would know. It’s an opportunity to cement the relationship and guide the process to a smooth settlement, whether that’s three months or one year down the track.

Maurice Molan

Maurice Molan

Maurice has over 20 years of experience in the property industry including both residential and commercial agencies combined with 12 years with REA Group as the Director of Strategy in the Developer Sales and Marketing Team for APAC. A shareholder in the business, Maurice is responsible for overseeing the ongoing daily business relationships, current and future commercial strategy, and the development of the company to accelerate growth.

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Real Estate Property Marketing

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