Be a Buyers Resource PDF Print E-mail
Written by Graydon   
Saturday, 03 March 2007
Tequila shots has a good amount of interesting ideas... most of which I like for various reasons, but the primary reason I like it is because it gets me to thinking.

One such round of posts dealt with providing services that enabled potential buyers (home, auto, renters) to get information on their cell phone specifically for the "item" they were looking at right then.

This is all good... but I think there is a significant point missing in the ideas.  They are all about getting info to a person immediately and don't take into account a person's mindset in the "purchasing process".

What is the purchasing process?

I'm not a marketing behavioral expert, but I've gone through some of the typical major life purchases several times and will speak from experience.

The phases as I see them are:  Research, Refinement, Comparison, Selection and Purchase.

Individuals may progress at different speeds through these and occosionally get in a loop, but they'll work for this discussion.


Research:
Here's where the internet first puts the power in the buyer.  They have so many choices and with some selective filtering they start to narrow the choices down.  For real estate, it's MLS sites such as www.har.com.  For autos, it's www.edmunds.com or www.autotrader.com.  For apartments is www.rent.com.  Hell, there's a site geared towards the research of just about anything.


Refinement:

This phase takes on different characteristics depending on the item, but in general, it's what people have to go through when the find that 25 houses / cars / appartments / etc... meet their general requirements.  This is the time to start really figuring out if a split shower/tub is important.  One key item to remember is that depending upon the item, the refinement will be done differently...  specifically to my experience in home buying I refined based upon information in the MLS system (lot and room sizes as well as how the pictures represented the home.. remember that for later).  In some cases, I just had to spend time with the agent taking 15 minutes in a house to either reject or save for later.


Comparison:
Now that the choices have been narrowed down, it's time to start thinking about what is really important.  Item A has these features vs. item B having these vs. cost of item C relative to these features.  People have different ways of working through this (see creating passionate users Dan posts).


Selection:
I originally didn't have this, but realized that even after going through a comparison phase, there were often perceived intangibles that came into play... i.e. what's the heart say vs. what the brain says.  Sometimes getting past this requires outside help.


Purchase:
Alright, we've decided and we are making the commitment to move forward.  If things go smoothly and as anticipated, then the process is completed.


Now that we've got that out there, we'll take a look at how technology (preferably provided by you) can assist a person in progressing through that process.

Here's the key point
... if you can effectively move people through the process as a proponent of the buyer, then sellers will have a reason to be affiliated with you.  The desire of sellers to be affiliated with you will be the key to monetization of the service.  Take note that this is contrary to a lot of services that are geared towards the sellers.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 03 March 2007 )
 
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