22.04.2013

Real estate customers: enthusiastic, disillusioned, undecided
Bank Austria ImmobilienService gives tips to real estate vendors on dealing with different types of customer

Low interest rates and the need to find a safe form of investment are currently resulting in high demand for residential property. Many private investors and owner-occupiers are on the market too, alongside professional investors, and here we can identify differences in customer behaviour. Bank Austria ImmobilienService (BA-IS) has compiled the characteristics of the various types of customers. By noting just a few simple tips, real estate vendors can adjust their approach to the preferences of potential buyers.

The Undecided Customer
Undecided customers have generally been looking for a suitable property over several months, for own use. They have a rough idea of how the perfect home should look, but their requirements are not specific enough. Consequently, it is difficult to make the decision on buying a property. "Unknowingly, this type of customer wants to keep all options open and is hoping for something better", said BA-IS Managing Director Ludwig Wiesbauer. "In this context it can be helpful to make one thing clear: compromises always have to be made when buying property. It is best for undecided customers to write down all of the desired requirements and then prioritise them. This creates a good starting point and makes it easier to reach decisions." Vendors advising undecided customers should find out what the requirements are, with a view to being able to deliberately point out the advantages of their owned properties.

The Safety-First Customer
The motivation behind buying property is safety. In most cases, these are customers who are looking for property as an investment. Ever since the outbreak of the financial crisis, Safety-First customers have distrusted volatile investment instruments and promises of high returns. This type of customer has a lot of own funds, and prior to buying property they collect detailed information on the location, the real estate itself, any repairs required and possible rental income. "Vendors should be able to inform safety-first customers about gross and net returns", said Wiesbauer, "because they want to make their decision based on facts, numbers and data. They are also some of the few non-specialists that can read an energy certificate, which is why owners should focus on this in detail prior to a planned sale."

The Informed Customer
Whether we are talking about precise operating costs, the Owner-Occupied Property law (WEG) or the Presentation of an Energy Performance Certificate law (EAVG), this type of customer is experienced, shows professional expertise and has very specific ideas about the property required. Prior to starting any search they collect accurate information, prioritise their requirements and ask for any and all documents on the property before making a visit. Their questions are targeted, and decisions to buy the property, or not, are made quickly after a short time for consideration. "Informed customers want to understand everything and do it right. They dread being confronted unexpectedly with complex facts and not being able to make a founded decision", said Wiesbauer. The experts advise vendors to be fully informed about all the details of their property in order to answer any question posed competently, because any uncertainty on the part of the vendor can quickly result in this type of customer suspecting the vendor is holding something back.

The Enthusiastic Customer
This type of customer finds something impressive with almost every property: sometimes the location, sometimes the layout, or perhaps the surrounding area. Enthusiastic customers stand out from the others with their powers of imagination. They often manage to furnish the property in their heads in just a few minutes. This ability does have its advantages: "Enthusiastic customers frequently find it easier to buy a newly built property from the brochure", said Wiesbauer. That said, these customers should be careful not to lose sight of their own requirements and not to overreach themselves when making their purchase. "Anyone who warms to something quickly often finds it difficult to relinquish it. But they should never lose sight of their own budget." Vendors should look carefully into this type of customer and check just how serious their interest is. Otherwise, an agreed sale can still possibly fall through because the customer decides at the last minute to go for another property.

The Disillusioned Customer
These customers have been looking for a long time and been disappointed on many occasions: Either the sought-after property was too expensive or it was already sold. "This type of customer frequently emerges in times of excess demand in particular, because real estate vendors require a lot of patience when prices are high and supply is low", explained Wiesbauer. This type of customer is a psychological challenge for real estate vendors. "Disillusioned customers tend to be pessimistic and focus more on the negative points than the positive aspects." Situations like these require a lot of empathy and understanding.

The experts advise seeking professional support: "Selling property is a challenging and stressful activity, where many things have to be considered and professionally executed. This should never be underestimated!" The BA-IS real estate agents are not only professionally trained, they also know how to deal with customers. This puts you in a position to identify the needs of potential customers very quickly. "Building owners can therefore entrust us with the entire sales process, including all the psychological aspects."

Enquiries: Bank Austria ImmobilienService
Berit Dirscherl, Tel. +43 (0)1 5137477 - 90
E-Mail: berit.dirscherl@ba-is.at, www.ba-is.at

About BA-IS
Bank Austria ImmobilienService was established in 2001 to broaden the range of services offered to customers of Bank Austria, and is a subsidiary of UniCredit. Over the last ten years the company has specialised in real estate brokerage and comprehensive client advisory and support services.