We aren’t the only ones talking about lifestyle search for real estate. The WAV Group just released a new white paper, The Lifestyle Search Opportunity, which spells out what’s happening in various sectors of the marketplace in regard to lifestyle and consumers’ expectations of the market leaders. You can download the full paper here, but here are the top 10 trends and observations from the WAV Group that are not to be missed:
- The real estate industry is doing only 1/3 of its job for buyers. The WAV Group says a homebuyers' fundamental needs are property details, lifestyle needs (or the "context" of the home), and the local culture and vibe. Currently, the industry is succeeding at IDX, but has yet to excel in the other areas.
- Consumers under 40 want to conduct business on their terms. Rather than socializing with the realtor, they simply want the facts and to get “on with it”. If the real estate industry is going to remain vital over time, agents and brokers must adjust their habits and offerings to build relationships with consumers in the way they want to be communicated with.
- Providers should stop advertising and start edutizing. Consumers no longer want to be “sold” in this market. They have become cynical about traditional advertising claims and want to understand what you can do for them that is backed up by legitimate information or insights. One stat shows that only 14% of consumers today trust what they hear in advertising today.
- Gen Y’s demand more online insight than what they are getting. Gen Y’s are the most tech savvy group and want information from trusted advisors. They prefer automated responses to requests for information delivered via the web, webinars and dynamic information to help narrow down their options to best suit their preferences.
- You should care about Gen Y if you want your business to survive in the coming years. In just ten years there will be more Gen Y consumers in the U.S. than Boomers or Gen X’ers.
- Consumers are looking for service providers who can educate them. The ideal brand will demonstrate expertise, professionalism and guidance about the real estate process rather than regurgitating a database.
- Buyers are looking for quality of life information. IDX is simply just not enough anymore, but rather consumers are looking for agents to help them find a home that will support the quality of life they are looking for. They want to move into a community, not just a home.
- Lifestyle search provides the remaining 2/3 of the consumer needs equation. Lifestyle search can help find the right home match for a consumer by using factors that are more fundamental to the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of the homeowner.
- Fundamentally, lifestyle search can help sell real estate. Once the consumer has defined the areas they are interested in, the search tool can (and should) also help them conduct a listings search.
- The best lifestyle search implementations will be very relevant to the consumer. Resonating with buyers means incorporating the most important lifestyle factors within the market to be used to make the tool as relevant as possible.
These are just ten reasons why we have been excitedly developing the Lifestyle Search Engine. As Pete mentioned previously in his post about defining lifestyle, we are right around the corner from seeing our the first interpretations of lifestyle by our beta partners. We're excited to finally show off what we've been buzzing about for awhile. Stay tuned...
Image Credit: Geralt on Flickr.com