Insightful Interview of 5 Recent Real Estate Home Buyers

5 Home Buyers Interviewed at San Francisco Real Estate ConnectThis July fellow co-founder Steve and I attended the Inman Real Estate Connect hosted in San Francisco. The conference had the usual badges, marketing and networking feel that goes along with these events. Yet, what made it different was that this year it was full of unexpected and pleasant surprises. Inman did a great job putting together this event. One of the big surprises was a live interview of five home buyers. It was full of valuable insight into the home buyer’s experience.

It’s one thing to interview recent home buyers one at a time, but you get something rather remarkable when interviewing them together. The following highlights a summary of questions and responses from the live interview. The names of the home buyers are kept confidential and some of the questions and answers are summarized to keep the article readable. Hope you enjoy.

Inman Real Estate Connect 2014 San Francisco

Q: When searching for homes online, did you contact the listing agent directly. Were you happy with their response?

Buyer 1: Yes

Buyer 2: Yes

Buyer 3: Yes, I sent the info to my Realtor first

Buyer 4: Yes

Buyer 5: Yes, I contacted them and sent the information to my Realtor

Q: What tools did you use when searching online?

Buyer 1: iPhone/iPad search

Buyer 2: Couldn’t remember the site but liked creating a route of the homes they wanted to see

Buyer 3: Craiglist

Buyer 4: Redfin

Buyer 5: Craiglist / iPhone / iPad search

Q: Did you ever call an agent from a for sale sign directly?

Buyer 1: Yes

Buyer 2: Yes

Buyer 3: Yes

Buyer 4: Yes

Buyer 5: Yes

Q: Did you go to any open houses?

Buyer 1: Yes, as many as I could

Buyer 2: Yes

Buyer 3: Went to all the open houses

Buyer 4: Yes

Buyer 5: Yes

Q: Were you referred to a Realtor by a friend or family?

Buyer 1: Yes

Buyer 2: Yes

Buyer 3: Yes

Buyer 4: No, I walked into an office and met an agent there

Buyer 5: Yes

Q: Did you interview any other Realtors? If so how many?

Buyer 1: Yes, 5

Buyer 2: Yes, 4

Buyer 3: Yes, 3

Buyer 4: No

Buyer 5: Yes, 4

Q: Who did you choose to work with?

Buyer 1: The referred agent

Buyer 2: Referred agent

Buyer 3: Referred agent

Buyer 4: Agent at the office

Buyer 5: Referred agent

Q: What made you choose the Realtor?

Buyer 1: Knew the Neighborhood

Buyer 2: They listened. I told them my criteria and would see what listings they brought to me. The Realtor I chose showed me exactly the kinds of homes I was looking for.

Buyer 3: Was good looking

Buyer 4: Only interviewed 1

Buyer 5: Sense of humour

Q: How was your experience working with your agent?

Buyer 1: I liked that my agent was excited about showing the Neighborhood, they did their homework and recommended local shops like a pizza shop, that was what impressed me

Buyer 2: Good, I liked them

Buyer 3: Good, the agent was knowledgeable about the neighborhood. I liked that.

Buyer 4: Terrible, I didn’t feel listened too. I would tell the agent what I was looking for, and they would show me listings that were completely different than what was on my list.

Buyer 5: Fine

Q: Did home staging make a difference to your buying decision?

Buyer 1: I think so. There was a house that I probably would have put an offer on, but the bathroom was so bad that I didn’t.

Buyer 2: Yes. It made a difference. It makes the home look nicer.

Buyer 3: Yes, if you leave outdated furniture, drapes it leaves an impression that it is going to cost more money

Buyer 4: Yes, I don’t want to spend more money after buying a home. A staged home looks like it is in better condition.

Buyer 5: Yes. The home I ended up buying was staged

Q: What do you think of online reviews of Realtors? Do you like them?

Buyer 1: No, I don’t make a decision from them. I like to read the comments though. There are usually some crazy ones.

Buyer 2: Yes

Buyer 3: Doesn’t make a difference

Buyer 4: Doesn’t matter.

Buyer 5: Yes

Q: Did you receive any print marketing pieces to your previous home by mail? Did you use them?

Buyer 1: Yes

Buyer 2: Didn’t get any

Buyer 3: No

Buyer 4: Yes

Buyer 5: Used for BBQ

Q: Did floor plans matter? Did it influence your decision?

Buyer 1: Yes

Buyer 2: Yes, it has got to have a flow

Buyer 3: Yes

Buyer 4: Yes

Buyer 5: Definitely

Q: What impressed you about your agent?

Buyer 1: Pointed out things in the Neighborhood we couldn’t see

Buyer 2: They were knowledgeable

Buyer 3: Knew upcoming trends about the Neighborhood

Buyer 4: More disappointed than impressed

Buyer 5: They listened

Q: What could your agent have done better?

Buyer 1: Manage their time better. I get they were busy, but they overbooked themselves all the time. Found that frustrating

Buyer 2: More persistent with offers. They could of done a better job following up.

Buyer 3: I thought they were good, but my agent didn’t go above or beyond. They weren’t excited about the home buying experience.

Buyer 4: Been more knowledgable about the neighborhood

Buyer 5: They could have listened. I felt like I ended up doing their job for them. Found my own home and then had to persuade him to even contact the listing. That was the home I ended up purchasing.

Q: One last question, Do you prefer proactive agents, of you calling them?

Buyer 1: Proactive

Buyer 2: Proactive, if I missed their call I felt it was my job to follow up. So one call.

Buyer 3: Proactive

Buyer 4: Proactive

Buyer 5: Proactive

So what do you think of the questions and answers? Did anything surprise you? Let us know in the comments. And thanks really goes out to Inman for doing such a great job with the 2014 Inman Real Estate Connect conference.

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Passionate about helping leaders grow their business, Jonathan Whiting is co-founder of StreetText. In addition to StreetText Hub, Jonathan has written for TechVibes and REM Magazine.

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