The “Education Tour”
There is a phrase in the real estate industry that goes, “buyers are liars.” Insulting right?! I think so! Know where it comes from? It comes from agents in our industry who are doing a poor job of educating buyers and helping them narrow-in on their needs and wants.
What happens is agents meet with buyers and ask them, “What are you looking for?” They set up a search for what the buyers said they want and then start looking at houses. When it turns out that the buyers don’t like any of the properties the search comes up with, everyone gets frustrated. This happens because the buyer’s needs and wants have shifted. What they want has changed… And then agents default to this B.S. line of “buyers are liars.”
But Real Estate Agents can avoid this situation by doing an in-depth, honest consultation and by going on Education Tours.
Understanding your Needs with the Consultation
We already talked about the [Consultation] in a previous blog, but to review, step one is to do a better job of understanding what you, the buyer’s dreams are, what your goals are, what kind of REALTOR® partner you need to help you reach these dreams and goals, and to help you understand what is actually involved in the purchase process. It’s vital to ensure that you considered all the angles, that you actually understand what a “project house” means (for example), that you understand where the market you’re considering buying in is headed, and a whole lot more depending on your specific situation.
Refining What You Want with the “Education Tour”
This is a term we coined within SoldYEG this year that reflects what we do with first-time buyers, buyers new to the area, buyers making a significant shift in what kind of home they are owning, and pretty much any of our buyers who exhibit a need for it.
Essentially, we go out and see a variety of properties with no buying pressure and have a whole lot of conversations about the pros and cons of each one. It helps give context to what buyers think they want by actually standing in a home, getting a feel for layouts and construction, being able to talk about costs of specific projects, being able to drive through neighborhoods, etc. It provides information that helps to confirm what clients are looking for, or sometimes, completely change what they are looking for.
Buyer Journey: Si and Anna
So a story for you… Si and Anna were going to buy their first place. We sat down for a consultation a few weeks before they were really ready to get moving and went through what they wanted and dreamed of, how the home they bought would need to fit their lifestyle, the budget, neighborhoods, etc.
Then we booked an education tour. We went through about five new builds, talked pros and cons, and ultimately they decided that they may not be as big of a fan of the new builds as they thought initially. So we booked a second education tour. This time, it was more mature homes, but with enough renovation to be low-maintenance. As it turns out, they loved this batch and it completely shifted our focus. When they were ready to get out and pick something, these education tours helped us focus our time and energy on homes they were actually excited about and helped them make a faster and more informed decision because they had context about the type of home and market they were entering. Read Testimonial Here.
Skipping Education Tours can lead to seeing more places than you need to, which may sound fun, but it’s actually kind of exhausting. It also leads to confusion, drifting from your parameters, and in some cases it causes something we call “decision paralysis.”
So take those tours and revise your search parameters, which we talk about in the next blog in this series, Revised Search.