Most people have some sense of pride in some or all aspects of their daily activities. Because of my religious upbringing, the passage in the bible referring to pride comes to mind. I John 2:16 says, “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” I want us to examine pride of ownership as it relates to sales; specifically to real estate sales.
First let’s look at the important role that pride plays into a successful automobile sale. Auto sales people play on your pride from the time you drive on their lot. Why do we need all the extras; if it were not for pride? What if you went to an automobile dealership and told them you wanted to pay cash for a new car and the only extra you wanted was a spare tire; no A/C, no radio, no automatic windows, no electrically operated seats. They would think you are crazy and tell you they can’t even order cars that way any longer. You see it hasn’t been that many years ago that a basic automobile had very few amenities but the prices were much lower too. FYI my first new car was a 1965 Mustang that cost me a total of $2,130. Two weeks ago I went shopping for a new truck only to find out that anything I would want in a vehicle cost from $45,000 and up. That’s ridiculous! Most of the difference between that ’65 Mustang and these trucks, deals with the issue of pride. We want all the amenities we can get so long as we can pay for them. As long as we’re willing to pay, the price of automobiles will continue to go up.
Real estate is no different. We no longer, just, want a house that will keep us warm in the winter, cool in the summer and dry when it rains. We want a house that is nicer than our relatives and friends have. We are willing to strap ourselves financially for 30 years in order to have these bragging rights. This is one important fact that many real estate sales people should pay close attention to. So many times an agent will only ask a prospective buyer about their requirements for the number of bedrooms they want, or the size of house they have in mind, or the choice of schools and the amount they are willing to pay. The vast majority of agents omit the most important part of the buying process.
The first thing a consumer and a real estate agent need to do is to have a thorough, honest conversation. They need to get to know each other. I call this conversation a consultation because as a professional sales person, there are very important things I need to know about the consumer and their entire family. Some of these things are highly confidential and would not come out in a normal conversation. As harsh as it may sounds, I have very little interest in knowing how much a buyer is willing to pay for a property they like. My interest is in knowing how much money they have set aside to purchase that property. I want to know their total family income as well as their total family monthly and annual expenditures. I need to know the security of their income sources. I need to know how many people and/or pets will be living in the house and how many will be visiting and how often the visitors will come.
Another important aspect of the consultation is to find out the type house they currently have. I need to know the size, the average price of the other homes in their subdivision, and what their house would sell for on today’s market. This is something that most agents never inquire about and most buyers don’t consider it as important for you to know. So why are these important things for me to know? If I am employed to represent their best financial interest and if I have any hope of finding a property for them that they will like, then it is imperative that I know what they are accustomed to already. Very rarely do people downsize or downgrade from what they currently have; until they get into their later years in life. People that have become accustomed to luxury have no interest in things that are not luxurious. People that current have a large county kitchen will not be interested in house that has a small, confining kitchen. If they currently have large bedrooms, they won’t settle for small bedrooms. Just as important is the street appeal of both their current property and the property you are find for them.
All people enjoy praise. We all like it when people pay us compliments, or brag on us for some accomplishment. It just feels good. We like it when someone tells us we look nice; or you sure do have a pretty car; or you have a beautiful home; or what about, you sure do have a beautiful baby. You bet! That is pleasing to all of us. Then pride of ownership is an important part of our buying process; regardless of what we are buying.
Sales people I hope you have paid close attention to the common sense analogies that we have just discussed. Make up your mind right now to learn how to have an effective consultation. If you need help I’m just a phone call away. Once you learn how, make it a standard practice to have a consultation with all your prospective clients as soon as you come in contact with them. You will find it to be very helpful to both you and your client.
Should you have specific questions concerning various issues, please let me know and I’ll research the answer for you. I also want to encourage you to subscribe to our “News & Updates” weekly report so you can stay abreast of issues that might affect you when buying or selling real estate. If you haven’t visited my website, please go to www.AlabamaRealEstateInstitute.com and view previous articles.