The needs of today’s home buyers are changing, and it’s more important than ever to understand your client’s journey to buying a home. The buyer’s journey is the active research process a potential buyer goes through leading up to a purchase. The journey is just three simple steps: the Awareness Stage, the Consideration Stage, and the Decision Stage.
The home buying journey takes around 11-27 months. Your lead nurturing plan could span several months, so it’s important to build a foundation for a long-term relationship. Here are the different stages of a real estate lead lifecycle and what you should know about nurturing leads at the right time and in the right way to maximize your ROI.
The awareness stage occurs around 2+ years from closing. The home buyers in this stage are just thinking about buying and have likely not actively pursued an agent. Your first contact should be an introduction, letting them know you’re available to answer questions without pressuring them to make a decision. Let them browse, but make yourself known. Remember, the first agent to make contact with a real estate lead is 238% more likely to convert.
Use the awareness stage as a time to be a high-level resource. Supply light tips on home decorating or helpful hacks on lawn care sent via email or a monthly newsletter. These should only complement the fact that these leads are potentially interested in homeownership. Pinterest boards offer visual inspiration for homeowners—from infographics to interior inspirations—and can be a great point of contact.
During the consideration stage, the home buyer will conduct both online and active research, around a year prior to purchase. At this stage, home buyers are thinking: What can we afford in our area? What are the demographics, schools, etc. like in the area? Leads in this stage have started to browse listings but are not yet ready to buy.
Ninety percent of all home buyers start their home search online and are more likely to communicate via the web. Once the prospective home buyer begins active research, they are ready to start touring homes with an agent. Real estate leads in this stage are aware of what they want and can afford and want specifics about the buying process. As an agent, you should make yourself available for showings and offer recommendations based on their criteria. Timely response in this stage is crucial, so be prompt in your communications.
At this stage, home buyers need an agent to negotiate contracts and guide them through the purchase process. They are thinking: How much should we offer for this home? What are the contingencies? Are we competing with other buyers?
Provide exceptional service and guidance, resources and referrals. It takes on average 23 days to negotiate a home purchase, so be upfront about the timeline and logistics. Bottom line, you want to give them a reason to work with you again, and by establishing trust, you are doing just that!
It’s important to understand what your buyer goes through when buying a home. Knowing these details about specific buyers will help you cater to their needs and give you a better ROI. Overall, the buyer’s journey is a tool that all realtors should use when working with buyers and it’s imperative to know where their head is at.