Consumers are becoming increasingly knowledgeable about their property journey, however research shows that their confidence in this journey remains low and is starting to take longer from start to finish. In this session, REA Group Market Researcher Greg Braun unpacks the seller and buyer journey and discover the opportunities you have to make a meaningful difference to consumers.
With access to what seems like limitless amounts of information we’re seeing consumers become increasingly knowledgeable and taking more control. This evolution means that when they arrive at the purchase or selling decision, they are typically more informed. On the other hand, our consumer research shows that their confidence in going on this journey remains low and is starting to take longer from start to completion. Therefore the role of the expert will need to evolve to take account of these shifts. From providing more full and complete information upfront, demonstrating patience when they do make contact and filling the information gaps that consumers have.
Here are Greg Braun’s three biggest trends for both buyers and sellers, and the opportunities real estate professionals have to make a meaningful difference at this significant time in their lives.
Consumers want control
Our communication preferences have shifted. Only 27% of Australians used their phone to make a voice call in the last 7 days*.
Key Action: Respect that phones are not always the primary communication channel and respond in the way you have been contacted. Consumers will provide their number when the time is right, and the trust is built.
81% of buyers and 57% of sellers are happy to initially self-serve – looking for as much information as possible only contacting an agent once they are ready.
Key Action: Demonstrate patience, proceed at their pace and layer additional information that will help fill their knowledge gaps so they can confidently take the next steps.
Consumers demand simplicity over excessive choice. In real estate, choosing the agent to represent them is one of the hardest decisions property seekers will make.
Key Action: Make sure it’s easy for consumers to get the information they seek in a clear and consistent way. At the start of their journey, property seekers have rational needs (agent ability aka ‘have sold other properties like mine’, commission fee cost as well as ratings and reviews). These soon become more emotionally driven as they shortlist and finally chose the agent to represent them. This includes treating individuals as consumers, personalising your sales approach and showing you ‘know your stuff’.
Both buyers and sellers have high information needs yet there is a disconnect between what they want and what they get. This Information Asymmetry is bad for both buyer, seller or agent.
Key Action: Simply put, agents should start with providing full and complete information to help consumers with their knowledge gaps and take the next steps. The lack of listing information continues to be a pain point especially from buyers who are still requesting the same missing information as they were 5 years ago. This includes Property Price, Floor plan, Property address, high quality photos and better property descriptions.
81% of buyers like to consider as much information as possible before they contact an agent
The #1 frustration of consumers when trying to navigate the market is not having all the information they need
For listings, 65% of buyers cite ‘No Price’ as the biggest frustration when searching for properties, followed by No Floorplan (52%), No Address (40%), Poor Photos (28%) and Lazy Descriptions (22%)
- The Meaningful Agent Study, realestate.com.au, March 2018
- Consumer Satisfaction Survey, realestate.com.au, 2019
- Consumer Omnibus, realestate.com.au, 2020
About Greg Braun
Greg is a forward-thinking and multi-disciplinary researcher who believes there’s never been a more exciting time to be in the tech and property industry. He has spent the last 15 years tracking the ever evolving and complex species –’the Consumer’ –across a number of habitats from property, well-known global brands to niche luxury goods. Greg’s mission is simple: to provide meaning from the well of consumer data at his fingertips at realestate.com.au and to inspire change.
Greg also presented on realcommmercial.com.au Insights.
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