Consumer Demands and Expectations in the 21st Century
I have used this material in many ways, but first and foremost as an article. This version is from our book, "The Real Estate Technology Guide."
The successful Twenty-First Century real estate professional, what we call the, “New Real Estate Professional,” must be prepared to service the needs and expectations of the increasing number of Information empowered consumers. Today’s consumer is looking for all, or at least some of the following, when considering the hiring of a service or the purchase of a product:
Speed – Consumers want it now. Look at the popularity of fast food and remote control. Make them wait and you could lose a customer. The competition is just a “click” away.
Convenience – Convenience stores such as Seven-Eleven exist to fulfill this consumer demand while charging higher prices. Consumers will pay more for convenience. What are you doing in your real estate practice to bring convenience to your clients? The internet offers unparalleled speed and convenience of communication.
Choice: Consumers want selection and choice. While it is true that too much choice can confuse clients, and a confused mind always says no, choice of services and choice of fee structures are now more common in the industry. How are you positioning yourself?
Value-added: Getting more than you pay for is “Value Added.” Real Estate Professionals traditionally offer “Value Added” services.
Quality: Is another demand of consumers for which they are willing to pay extra. What is it about your company that makes it stand out from the others? Could it be the extra mile you go to communicate? Do you highlight these “differentiators” in your promotional material?
Service: Real estate is a service business. Say it out loud, real estate is a service business. A certain portion of the population will always be willing to pay for service.
Discounts: Everyone wants discounts. This demand is becoming more and more visible as consumers can use the internet to do more for themselves. There will always be those willing to pay for full service, so brokers not willing to discount their fees and commissions must concentrate on the other consumer demands. Remember, consumers will pay more for quality, service, and convenience.
Information: The ability to assimilate (gather), manipulate (repackage) and disseminate (distribute) information will be the hallmark of the “New Real Estate Professional.” The internet is the most significant library in history, giving consumers access to most of the information in the world. But, the fact is consumers don’t need all the information in the world when they are purchasing a home. They need the right information, and they need someone acting in their best interests to help them interpret and apply it to their particular needs and situation.
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