THE "SATISFACTION QUOTIENT", A KEY ELEMENT TO A SUCCESSFUL SALE IN TODAY'S REAL ESTATE MARKET...It's Not the same thing as a "Comfort Level" since that can be reached with relatively little input from the agent and has less to do with the process of actually buying a home. A "Satisfaction Quotient" deals with the buyer's feelings about how they are being treated in general, how the critical information they need is given to them, how the inventory they are looking at can fill their housing needs and how they feel about the buying process as the agent has explained it to them.
I am sure that the market here in Southampton and the other Hamptons is similar to all the other markets out there, in the way the buyers respond to the brokerage community and how it serves them.
In the Hampton's market place today, I have found that the outcome of working with a buyer can turn out several different ways; below and in no particular order are the most frequent outcomes I have found in this very chaotic real estate market:
- The Buyer walks away after seeing just a few houses and leaves you with no idea why, never responding to your emails or phone calls.
- The Buyer takes a totally different route and decides to look elsewhere with another agent.
- The Buyer is an enthusiastic one who wants to find and buy a house without delay, but is very nervous and hard to convince that this IS a very good time to buy---This buyer ends up not making an offer and loses the house they like so much to another buyer.
- The Buyer decides to buy a FSBO.
- The Buyer is looking for a bargain that does not exist--stops looking when he/she realizes that.
- The Buyer who is looking to finance a home is disappointed when they are turned down by a bank. Usually this happens if they have NOT sought out a mortgage company or a bank before-hand.
Now, there may be more than those 5 but those are the most frequent outcomes that I have experienced.
I wrote this post to give you all an idea of what has happened to me in the process of working with home buyers; it is a diverse list of outcomes but they all have one thing in common: The "SATISFACTION QUOTIENT" is the one thing that is needed in order to get the deal done!
If a buyer today does not feel satisfied that they have the right agent, the right house, the right area, and the right price in a home---they are GONE!!
WHAT DO I MEAN BY "SATISFACTION QUOTIENT":
When you work with a buyer, I'll bet you have a keen sense of just what the buyer is looking for after the initial interview, and that is what you follow. I do too and I have recently taken note of the fact that the buyer in this market, and in today's world, is not as predictive as they were just a year or so ago.
If they have not reached a level of confidence that I call a "SATISFACTION QUOTIENT", then I can not expect them to begin to formulate an offer on a property...in fact nothing will allow them to go forward in the process until that quotient has been reached.
CUSTOMER SERVICE="SATISFACTION QUOTIENT":
- Today's buyer is much more educated, about real estate in general, than in the past; they expect much more from an agent they choose.
- Today's buyer has a fear that is almost palpable; they do not want to make a mistake and this keeps them from acting.
- The buyer in this market has a roster of places, addresses and specific locations, and nothing else will do.
- The level of awareness of market activity on the part of the buyer is much higher today than in the past; this gives them the confidence to pursue the purchase of a home but also keeps them from acting very quickly.
- Today's buyer has no patience for a stubborn seller---they move on if they don't hear the price they want to hear when bidding.
- Getting a buyer to commit to a property is the hardest thing to do in this kind of market. They want to continue looking until they have exhausted ALL their options; this could mean losing a few possible houses to other buyers.
As a result of all of the above, over thinking and overwhelming anxiety can set in and it takes a polished professional to work the buyer into a calm, confident state of mind so that the deal can happen.
The one thing that primes a buyer to make an offer is when they have reached a certain level of satisfaction that they need and have gained the confidence needed in order to buy a home. If these two ingredients are missing when working with a buyer, the agent can expect that nothing will result!
THE REASON BEHIND WHY I IDENTIFY THIS "QUOTIENT" IN MY BUYERS:
The level of frustration in the marketplace on the part of real estate professionals---with the competitive nature of the business and the apparent improvement in the level of professionalism (at least in the Hampton's market!) has created an almost clinical approach to handling the buyers who are out there.
The more casual and uninvolved attitude may have worked at one time for the real estate agent who was around before 2006-2007. It no longer works for the buyer in this market...there is a need for a hands-on, emotional connection with the agent in order to make the buyer feel "satisfied" that they have found the right agent. Buyers need to feel that they have the "inside scoop", the best area information and the real facts about the marketplace they are looking in, or they go to the next agent who will supply it!
I HAVE FOUND THAT A "SATISFACTION QUOTIENT" IS ESSENTIAL TO A GOOD OUTCOME:
- A satisfied buyer is the only kind of buyer who will make an offer and proceed to contract.
- The "Satisfaction Quotient" is necessary to give the buyer a comfort level about the whole idea of home ownership.
- If a buyer has concerns about a house, get it inspected without delay; if a buyer does not want to make an offer right now, move on to the next house. Nothing will be accomplished until the buyer has reached his/her "Satisfaction Quotient" about the process.
- Agents can save themselves from frustrating experiences if they recognize this need for the buyer to reach a level of satisfaction with the process. Cut to the chase and know that unless the buyer feels satisfied with the showings, the agent, the information provided, the inventory and the process, they are NOT going to buy a house.
- It is important to recognize that buyers in today's market are very dependent upon the agent they have chosen; they will need financial direction too if they are financing a home and they will count on you to come up with a trusted mortgage broker or bank.
TODAY'S REAL ESTATE MARKET IS MORE COMPLICATED, MORE CHALLENGING AND MUCH LESS PREDICTABLE THAN IT WAS IN THE PAST....PLEASE SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCES WITH ALL OF US...ESPECIALLY IF YOU HAVE A WAY OF DEALING WITH THE DIFFICULTIES.
**ALL INFORMATION AND CONTENT IN THIS BLOG IS ORIGINAL TO PAULA I. HATHAWAY
Paula I. Hathaway, Senior Broker Associate, Douglas Elliman Real Estate
Southamtpon Village Real Estate Specialist since 1995; Also Specializes in North Sea, Noyac, Water Mill and Bridgehampton, New York
Diamond , Gold and Chairman's Circle Awards; Top Producer since 2005
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