Real Estate Marketing December 12, 2018

Understanding the Home Buyer’s Journey from A-Z

By Jessie Trapp, Marketing Coordinator

moxiworksFor most, buying a home is among the several major milestones in life – it’s a big deal. It seems to start out as a mere fantasy that you picture happening in the very, very distant future. And then suddenly, before you know it, you’re holding the keys to your shiny new home and taking a cheesy picture next to the for-sale sign.

As an agent, the home buyer’s journey shouldn’t be viewed so much as a blur, but instead as a series of steps that present you with specific actions to take. In order to reach your end goal of helping those in your sphere purchase a home, it’s important to use the tools available to you to guide them through your sales flow without missing an opportunity to act and make the right impression.

Read on for a quick refresher on the home buyer’s journey, and a few tips for what you should be doing, when.

“Wouldn’t it be cool if we bought a house someday?”

For most buyers, it’s probably safe to say that the actual idea of purchasing a home is formed a few years prior to the actual purchase. It’ll likely be something small – a casual mention while at a dinner party or exploring a new neighborhood. Regardless of where it happens, consider it a cue to start moving them through your sales flow.

Make sure that their contact information is imputed into your MoxiEngage (if they are someone you already know, they should already be there), and that you’ve filled in all the information you can gather about them. Although they may be far from ready to actually purchase a home, getting involved in the process from the get-go will increase the likelihood of them bringing you on board when it is, in fact, go time.

“I’m not ready to buy, I’m just looking for fun.”

It’s a classic phrase among home buyers that really means they are ready to be moved to the next step in your sales flow.

As the simple mention turns into a thought that keeps them up at night, future buyers will begin browsing the internet without necessarily having a conscious intention of taking things seriously. However, the more they search, the more they will become inundated with every ad related to homes, home listings, home loans, home design, and HGTV’s Fixer Upper that exists (thanks for that one, Internet). The more they see, the more excited they will get about the prospect of owning their own home.

This is a stage where it’s absolutely essential that they’re subscribed to your Neighborhood News snapshots. The more you are able to paint the process as being simple and painless, the more quickly they’ll decide it’s time to make the move.

“It couldn’t hurt to go to that open-house, right?”

As they begin to plan out every detail of their future home design, research the loan options and start playing around with the numbers, the idea of purchasing a home will quickly start to become a reality. This means it’s time to take your role as their trusted advisor to the next level.

They need to know that you are an expert in the area of town that they have their eye on, that you’re able and happy to work with their budget, and that you’ll be on their team throughout the entire process. It’s up to you to be proactive about conveying all of this to them, so that the thought of working with any competing agents never even crosses their mind. Use MoxiInsights to learn more about them and their interests to engage with them on a more personal level – they’ll appreciate the extra effort!

“I can’t decide.”

Some clients may know their dream house the second they see it, but for others it may take writing endless amounts of pro/con lists and comparisons to make the decision.

Using MoxiPresent to show them direct comparisons between their top contenders is a great way to support them and ensure they feel confident in the house they choose to be their home. As they ask you questions about things like commutes, neighborhood stats, and how their prospective homes compare to the ones up the street, edit the info on your end and the presentation will update automatically.

“I don’t know if this is such a good idea.”

Ah, the pre-purchase panic. It’s a common step among buyers, particularly if it’s their first time. It tends to set in once the paperwork comes out and the numbers begin to become more set in stone. Don’t panic, this is when all the nurturing you’ve done for your client relationships will really start to pay off. Do the little things that say big things, like getting them helpful gifts or sending encouraging notes to ease their worries. Shift the focus from the negatives (spending money) to the positives (reaching a major milestone and getting to decorate a new home), in order to make this phase as short-lived as possible.

“Where do I sign?”

They are past (most of) the jitters and questions and they are ready to dot the i’s and cross the t’s. They are ready for this stage to be over so they can dive into the fun stuff.

The actual transaction is when it’s time to really show them what you’ve got, as it’s a valuable opportunity to wow them with the amazing customer service and killer negotiation skills that will get you the repeat and referral business you need.

“Thanks for finding my dream home!”

It’s the stage that every agent looks forward to. The moment when your clients are thrilled about their new home and the service you provided them with. Although you deserve some good relaxation and “me” time, the work doesn’t stop here.

Nurturing your clients needs to continue long after you help them buy a house, as you want to remain top of mind in case, they, or someone in their personal sphere, finds themselves in need of a real estate agent (which they will).

Keep them in the loop through your social media, blogs, and newsletters. Oh, and don’t forget their house-iversary gift!