Understanding The Home Buyer. The AIDA model
One of the most important and challenging tasks for us marketers is our continuous effort to understand our buyers better. We try to understand how they react to our messages and how they process them to make decisions. There are many models marketers use to describe this behavior. One of the best known ones is the AIDA model.
AIDA stands for Attention, Interest, Desire and Action . These are the four stages the buyer goes through from the moment they first notice our message till they decide to make an offer on the listed property. Analyzing the buyers behavior through this model can be very useful because we can tailor our messages to match the different perceptions and needs of our buyers in every step they take in the buying process. We can depict this process as a funnel with its wide side in the beginning and the narrow at the end because fewer prospect pass to every consecutive step. Some are inevitably eliminated as they respond negatively to the queues they receive as they pass to each subsequent stage.
Let’s see the these stages one by one.
Attention is the first and a very important steps of the process. Our message must compete with a large number of competitive message for the attention of our audience. Attention is a scarce commodity these days simply because there is such an overwhelming multitude of stimuli competing for just a tiny bit of our finite attention span. As a result most people can only devote a very limited piece of their mind or time in every stimulus they are exposed to. If we want to catch their attention we need to offer the most remarkable message and the one that will rank as the most relevant and interesting in our audiences perception. We need also to stress here the necessity to show up. In getting somebody attention a great deal is done by regularly coinciding in the same place and time with them. In other words we need to know where our buyers are at all times and make sure that our message is kept in front of them. If we consistently show up in the places they frequent we will inevitably be noticed.
Interest is the stage of evaluation. The first impression has ranked our message as noteworthy but now we have to speak to the buyers mind, heart or both. Now we have to fulfill the sometimes frivolous promise that we gave him in order to win her attention. And it better be good. If we failed to get their attention in the first "Attention" stage, we usually get another chance perhaps with a different message. If we cannot earn their interest now, there is a good chance that we have to forget about these prospect for some time. If the promise is broken and our message is classified a irrelevant or -even worst- as spam chances are that negative feelings will be developed and negative feelings take much longer to forget. We need to actually know something about this prospect if we want to keep their interest and pass them to the next stage.
Desire. If we have done our job right there is little to do during this stage but be patient. Especially for big ticket items like homes this can be very time consuming. This is actually a rather internal process where the buyer consciously or not will weigh the pros and cons, will make all comparisons and depending on the individual will make an intelligent or emotional decision. Often it takes some time for the desire to hatch. But if the seed we planted in the previous stage is strong the outcome should be favorable. Depending on the situation a good marketer will create urgency to enable faster decision making.
Action. The dice is cast. All we need to do now is to make sure that the buyer will not slip away at the last moment. "Calls to action". "no obligation" statements and "no risk" guaranties will make it easier for the buyer to decide, for example, to come for a showing. We need to have everything ready to accommodate the process from this point on. Everything should be able to move smoothly without a hitch. We need to make it really easy for the client to see the property and make an offer. We must handle the negotiation process with attention and diligence making sure that we manage the clients feelings and expectations along the way. The home buying process can be very time consuming, intimidating and sometimes frustrating for our buyers. We need to keep all communication channels open and handle every little issue with care and respect.
AIDA is a model that describes the phases the buyers will go through on their way to buying a home. Every link in this chain is equally important. Few Realtors can handle all these stages with equal success. But those who do are the true world class Marketers-Realtors.