Although I’m partial to pointing out our similarities rather than our differences, some new statistics from Prudential Real Estate point to the differences in gender perceptions when it comes to homeownership. In this article we’ll discuss Prudential’s third quarter Consumer Outlook Survey results and how you can use this information to develop an educated approach for both female and male clients—leading to more successful interactions and more closed deals.
Seeing as 92 percent of survey respondents said their agent was helpful in the buying or selling process, it’s important to know how you can be helpful and with whom. While men tend to position themselves as more responsible for the financial aspects of the home buying process, women tend to find their duties in the research and planning areas.
The data: 39 percent of men believe financial research is their sole responsibility. Furthermore, 34 percent feel making a down payment is entirely up to them.
How to use it: When it comes time to discuss pre-approval for a loan, your commission percentage, the down payment, the buying budget and what amount of money is reasonable for an offer, make sure your male client feels included and active in the conversation.
The data: 34 percent of women listed researching neighborhoods as their sole responsibility.
How to use it: Make sure you give your female clients a comprehensive picture of the neighborhoods they’re considering. Always provide information about a community’s crime rate, walk-ability score, architectural style, school district, value, proximity to desired locations, and tax rates.
The data: Women, 42 percent of respondents to be exact, believe scheduling is their sole job during the home buying process.
How to use it: When it comes time to set up appointments for home tours, contact your female client (this is assuming you’re working with a female-male couple). If you try to schedule viewing times with your male client, he’s more than likely going to have to check with his better half before giving you a definitive answer.
The data: 87 percent of women said that looking at homes was their most enjoyable responsibility.
How to use it: When it comes time to actually view homes, direct your questions towards your female client.
The data: 43 percent of men enjoy taking care of the paperwork and applications.
How to use it: When it comes down to the nitty gritty, direct your attention toward your male client.
Despite a seemingly balanced division of who claims sole responsibility for each task, there are some disconnects between men and women when it comes to agreeing on what are shared responsibilities of the home buying process.
The data: While 71 percent of women believe making a down payment should be a shared endeavor, only 56 percent of men do.
How to use it: Bring this topic up with care and patience—you may find your clients need to discuss it on their own before getting back to you.
The data: Another disconnect found by the survey also has to do with money–while 65 percent of women believe collecting and evaluating assets and financials should be shared, only 54 percent of men agree.
How to use it: This can also be a delicate subject, so breach it with care.
The data: 53 percent of men believe researching schools should be a shared task, whereas only 42 percent of women concur.
How to use it: Make sure to discuss school districts and schools in particular with both parties. This will make both male and female clients feel included in this important decision making process.
While the data presents some gender divisions, it also brings similarities to light. The top three priorities that both men and women agree on when it comes to purchasing a home are: 1. Safe neighborhood, 2. Overall condition of the home, and 3. Number of bedrooms. Why own a home in the first place? Investment appeal and control of living space were ranked as the top reasons by both genders.
It’s important to know your clients and how to meet their needs—but also be prepared to be a mediator. There may come a time when you need to sit both parties down and give your professional opinion. In fact, 83 percent of respondents “said that their last real estate agent was helpful in forming an agreement with their partner.” You will serve as the local market expert and the voice of reason: 86 percent of respondents value their agent’s point of view as much or even more than their partner’s, so be ready to back up your professional opinion!
If you take these statistics into consideration and approach your female and male clients accordingly, you’ll be better equipped to interact with them in the most efficient manner. Make sure to play to what each individual relishes about the home buying process, while breaching delicate subjects with care. The more you know your clients, the better you can serve them!
Do you have any more insights about dealing with male vs. female buyer clients? Please leave them in the comments box below.