Understanding the buying journey


I found this chart really interesting and I wanted to share some thoughts on it. It really sums up what I hear from a lot of you about the changes in the industry over the last decade. It also helps put in context the role and importance of the REALTOR® moving forward to make sure we are taking stock of our own skills and how we need to improve in the areas that help our clients the most.

Laura Usher

Laura Usher

The slide was presented by Elizabeth Mendenhall, the 2018 NAR President at the New England REALTORS® Conference (NERC) this fall. She was discussing ‘The Buying Journey’ and the chart attached shows when a buyer is most excited versus most anxious in the buying process.

Buyers begin the home buying process at the most excited level when they are looking at properties online and dreaming of what could be. They become the most anxious when it ‘gets real’ and they have to set a budget and select a REALTOR®.

Understanding the emotional state of buyers helps to explain NAR’s new consumer marketing campaign, #GetREALTOR. The period when a consumer chooses a REALTOR® is one of the most anxious periods of their buying experience and therefore, the advertising REALTORS® do to get clients should be sensitive to buyer’s feelings of anxiety. Additionally, advertising the REALTOR® brand helps reinforce how REALTORS® can help and guide consumers through the most anxious parts of the home buying experience.

Buyers are also anxious when they are going through the negotiation process after they’ve selected the property they want to buy. That’s where our skills and expertise as REALTORS® in dealing with our client’s anxiousness and our savviness in negotiating needs to be at its best.

Clients are also anxious during inspections and when dealing with all the paperwork required to get the deal closed. That again is where our client relations skills, our focus on making sure everyone meets deadlines and ability to get the client to the closing table are our most marketable skills.

As Elizabeth pointed out, this is contrary to the way it was 15 years ago before listings were distributed online through company websites and portals. At that time, when a buyer selected a REALTOR® they were still in the search process and were in the most excited stage. As many of you know, REALTORS® have had to adapt to this shift and deal with clients in a different manner.

I believe this shift makes it incumbent on us as REALTORS® to adapt and grow our skills through professional development courses and certifications to ensure we have the best training, not just on sales and gaining leads, but more importantly on guiding the buyer through the entire home buying process and to the closing table.

By Laura Usher, 2016 President of the Cape Cod & Islands Association of REALTORS®