What Inspired Mobile Buyer’s Broker

Mobile Buyer's BrokerThe Inspiration for Mobile Buyer’s Broker

My inspiration for “Mobile Buyer’s Broker” came from two sources. My experience in creating an online source of information for home buyers and my frustration with the typical Real Estate website.

It all started with a community website. A website I helped develop between 2000 and 2001 to answer home buyer’s questions about the housing, neighborhoods, schools, shopping, and the lifestyle available in the community of Valencia. At the time I was Director of Corporate Marketing for Newhall Land and Farming, the developer of the master planned community of Valencia.

Valencia was founded in 1965. Today  it comprises some 20,000 homes, 60,000 residents and an equal number of jobs. The photo above is one I used to present the shopping opportunities in the community. Local residents, not professional models, gave home shoppers a feel for the lifestyle and “Vibe” of  Valencia.

Master planned community developers plan and develop communities but the housing is built on land sold to homebuilders. Each of these homebuilders is required to contribute towards an “Umbrella Marketing Plan” that not only helps them sell their homes but also provides home buyers with answers to their many other questions. As a master planned community developer we had found that while sales agents for the homebuilders did an excellent job of selling homes, their effort in providing information on the community fell far short of our goals.  The community website met this need. An excellent local example of a similar website is The Villages of Irvine.

InspirationAs Director of Corporate Marketing I worked with a multi-million dollar budget that allowed me to do extensive consumer research that allowed the company to learn about home buyers, what they wanted in a home, what they wanted in a community. Research with the residents of Valencia brought to light what they loved about Valencia, what they wanted to see in the future. Combined the research became the criteria for the future home and neighborhood design and the community web site.

Our focus in the community website was not on selling individual homes but rather on providing home buyers with the knowledge they needed to make and informed decision about home, neighborhood, community and lifestyle. The information was set into five categories Live, Learn, Work, Shop, Play, covering all the major questions about the community, 

You don’t keep a large marketing budget for very long if you don’t show a Return on Investment (ROI). The Valencia Website brought more qualified home shoppers  to our homebuilder’s models. Shoppers, that because they had the information they needed prior to a trip to Valencia, converted into buyers in larger numbers than was possible with print media (the full page newspaper advertisement) or even our community information center.

Key PointI found some 14-years ago what some people are only finding out now; that home buyers want to search independently without hassle. That they want the information they need, when they want it, how they want it. And they want it all in one place.

My Frustration with Real Estate Websites

Listings are what makes the phone ring and put money in the bank for a Real Estate Broker. Once a Broker has a home listed for sale it is placed on the Multiple Listing Service where any of hundreds of other Brokerages and thousands of Agents can sell it; the Broker and listing Agent will get paid half the commission regardless of who sells the home.

Mine Mine MineIf you “follow the money” it is not surprising that the leading Brokerages and Agents focus almost exclusively on listings.

It also explains why the websites of the leading brokerages are often seriously lacking in information. Their goal is to have you call an agent and start selling you a home; not to provide you with the information you need to make a decision on your own.

More time is spent in “selling the Brokerage and agent” and claiming success than providing proof of their commitment to service. Reminds me of the sea gulls in Finding Nemo.

 

Doesn't Cut ItEvery major broker web site features a search box on their first page. They are looking for individuals who are actively engaged in the real estate search process.  People committed to finding a new home, and are now deep into research mode. This is where brands and brokers have traditionally spent most of their efforts on the Web. For good reason too, as this is where the greatest opportunity to convert a consumer into a “lead” exists. Their hook, saved searches and “push notifications” on new listing or price changes; the point at which you need to register.

But we know that these websites are falling far short of buyer’s needs.  

According to the WAV Group’s report, The Lifestyle Search Opportunity.

Consumers today are often more interested in the neighborhood they like and the lifestyle it provides than the minute details of a home. They want to live in a community that meets their physical, emotional and even spiritual needs. Traditional property search offered by REALTORS® just doesn’t cut it.   If REALTORS® want to stay in the center of the home buying process they need to become advisors on a lot more than the size of the lot and the number of garages.”

“A homebuyer’s fundamental, baseline needs are the same whether they are moving across town or across the country.

1 – Property Details – Every homebuyer will search based on standard home features like: 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, $175,000-$300,000, 2-story.

2 – Lifestyle Needs – Consumers want to understand the neighborhood “context” for a home. A beautiful home that fits their property structural criteria perfectly can be in a bad quality school district or too far from the office or the church of their choice.

3 – The local culture and vibe – Consumers are also looking for that somewhat intangible feeling or “vibe” that resonates in a neighborhood. They want to know things like – Does the neighborhood have an outdoorsy feel? A creative/artsy vibe? A family friendly scene? Doggie paradise?

 The WAV Group goes on the say,  “As an industry, we do #1; we do it well – it’s called IDX. That’s about it. We rely on REALTORS® and customers to navigate their way around the Web, the Chamber of Commerce, the pavement, etc. and gather tidbits of information to make #2 and #3 come to life in some accurate, reliable manner. So, essentially, we’re doing 1/3 of our jobs for homebuyers…is that good enough for you?”

I hope not, because on this website you will find the other two thirds.

Key Point

Consumers are used to finding virtually every thing they need on the Internet but Resale Home Brokers have not kept pace with other industries. The Goal of Mobile Buyer’s Broker is to fill the vacuum left by the typical real estate website. To not only answer your challenge of finding the right home; but too assist you in finding the perfect match between, home, neighborhood and lifestyle. 

Robert Owen Deane

I HAVE THREE GOALS: My primary goal is to turn the on-line home buying experience from a time consuming and often frustrating search for information into convenient access to the information you need.

SECOND: In this challenging and quickly moving market I attempt to provide you with the framework of knowledge to evaluate and respond to new information.

THIRD: By providing information with no strings attached, I prove my dedication to superior service, depth of knowledge and experience. I hope to become your trusted advisor in the purchase of your next home.

My Brand PromiseLearn more by Viewing My Brand Promise

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