Interpreting Buying/Selling Signals in a New Way
“Digital Body Language”, written by Steven Woods is my current read in progress. I’m interested in the subject as we become proficient in communicating and reading the body language of our clients in Digital Land. I’m sure as I move along further in this book, I’ll have more to share from his perspective, but again, the subject is one that if we don’t stop and take a closer look at digital behavior – it’s possible to be left in that cloud of dust.
With many buyers/sellers using the information that we provide to them (I hope you are providing them information), they do a lot of their research and prep work before we have the chance for face-to-face. We don’t have the benefit of the clear signs of rolling eyes, arms crossed, eyebrows raised; we have to learn to interpret the interest and motivation in a buyer through their activity – some they choose to reveal by giving it to us and some can determine by evaluating their online behavior.
Using Online Behavior Analytics
Statistics and data serve a lot of purposes – they support or negate the prices of homes and can provide assistance in the decision process of how to proceed in closing the deal. Research with digital behavior of a potential client or lead can also provide some insight to the characteristics we like to see in a serious home buyer or seller.
Usage of Web Sites
Here are some behavioral traits you can track with digital body language that will help you in prioritizing the level of interest and helps to evaluate what the next step should be with a lead: (Disclaimer: Exceptions to every rule, of course)
- Clicker: Is the person a clicker? Just clicking on all of your buttons, links, boxes to see what is next – only staying on the page long enough for it to load? Quickly moving on? This is common in someone just checking out your site design and the information you provide.
- Dreamer: The dreamers look at all sorts of homes in all areas. They are not even focused on a state, you’ll find them a lot in the higher price ranges, searching with no limits.
- Researcher: The length of time spent on the area pages/posts/information about schools and/or community you have on the site in combination with some housing searches can show a person is really researching the details.
- Interviewer: Home sellers will often spend some time looking at what marketing you are doing and your bio/about me page. If you have some “recent sold” statistics – pay attention to visits and length of time here.
- Revealer: Is information provided to you in an email or registration form that reveals a real name, email, or phone number? Or was it refused?
There are many ways to figure out level of seriousness – just be aware and pay attention. I look forward to implementing many of these into my own sites with stats to assist with knowing where to put most time and effort in the bond and nurture stage waiting for the ready and able.
April 29, 2009 at 11:12 pm
What I am running into is buyers who are frustrated losing on multiple offers (because of low inventory), using the internet to research and then contact the listing agent directly thinking they can gain an advantage over the other offers with the enticement of the listing agent double popping the sale on the dual agency.
I see the questions on Trulia all the time after they get in a problem transaction with an agent that is not capable as acting as a dual agent.
Over all most are very anonymous.
April 30, 2009 at 6:26 am
It is interesting to see what they are looking at and how long they stay. I have a huge bounce rate but it is getting smaller.
When the dreamers register we have to tell them to narrow their search as my IDX sends them new listings and their inbox will be overwhelmed.
April 30, 2009 at 8:09 am
Interesting topic – how do qualify/quantify them?
And what do we provide them to ensure they believe we have something to offer? (“I hope you are providing them information”) – and what is that information?
Ted – re “buyers who are frustrated losing on multiple offers (because of low inventory), using the internet to research and then contact the listing agent directly thinking they can gain an advantage”….
Hopefully, sooner rather than later, we’ve convinced our “visitors” that the execution can’t be done without us, that agents do have the expertise needed (OK – yes, most of them have to learn the hard way!)
Open source information is a great thing for the consumer…if you know how to use it.
April 30, 2009 at 11:20 am
Solid info, Kim — thanks.
Surely there are experts in behavior who can help narrowly define what serious folks look like. I don’t make use of an IDX because my business is spread to many states. Still, my leads, FAR fewer in number than everyone else apparently, are from folks who show their seriousness via their queries.
An example would be the story they tell for four paragraphs ending in them asking me for a possible solution/plan.
That’s serious. 🙂 I wonder if there’s a strategy for house agents using IDX that would allow them to elicit those kinds of messages from their visitors?
Again, thanks for the post. A superb subject in need of further exploration for sure.
April 30, 2009 at 5:11 pm
Thanks for the book referral. I’m going to check that out.
One of my favorite shows right now is Lie To Me – not because it’s a great show – it sort of dumbs down to its audience – but because the info is good.
May 6, 2009 at 12:23 am
Great post, interesting application to real estate – I would agree that it definitely seems like a better approach to try to categorize buyers into “clickers”, “dreamers”, etc, rather than look for an exact propensity to buy, as that depends on so many more factors.