Home buyers begin as home shoppers.
"Window Shoppers" if you will.
Most times, the idea of becoming a homeowner starts LONG before the actual process begins. It often evolves after a friend or family member purchases a home and suddenly the concept of becoming a homeowner starts to buzz around in their minds and they begin "casually looking" at homes on the internet. This process can last for days, months or even years!
One day, that perfect home appears and moves that "window" shopper into wanting to come out from behind the computer and become a real and true- home buyer. What is the first step they take to make that happen? Do they begin to research different real estate companies? Do they decide who to call because of the pretty signs they have? Well, sometimes unknowing home buyers will simply call the agent that's name is on the sign. While that seems to be the simple and most logical way to move forward, having their own buyers agent to represent their best interests is usually a better choice.
But, I digress. My point is this-- in surveying many home buyers over the years, I've learned that they are choosing the agent they want to help them by referral almost 90% of the time. They will ask friends, co-workers and family members who they recommend and trust. The name on the sign that those agents work for is most often a non-issue. Real Estate is a "people business". It is most important that buyers are able to connect and ask questions of their agent at all times and THAT is what they are searching for in a buyers agent- the PERSON not the sign.
Now, keeping in mind that this article is about home buyers- it does tie in to home sellers as well. Because let's face it, without home buyers there is NO home selling. When listing their home, many times the very same thing is true. A homeowner will ask friends, family and co-workers who they used to sell their home. If they get a recommendation for one specific agent from several different people, how often do you think they say to themselves, " Hmmm, all these people say this person is awesome and did a wonderful job selling their homes at a great price and quickly-- BUT, I better find out what company they work for?"
Probably not often, right?
So, do you see what I'm saying? Real estate is a people business today. It's not about the company on the sign like it was in days gone by. The agent delivers the service- not the company. The new generations that are becoming today's home buyers/sellers look at things differently. They understand that buying or selling a home has little to do with the name on the sign and more to do with the "person" getting the job done.