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Pulte Group - Consumer Home Buying

Posted by Ben Capitano
Consumers begin the home-buying journey because they want to improve their lives, which aligns directly with the PulteGroup vision of building consumer inspired homes and communities to makes lives better. It’s our goal to help them do just that!
By understanding our consumers’ actions and emotions at every stage of their home buying process, we'll be better equipped to appreciate their experience, develop trust and rapport, better serve the customer, and close more sales.
So let’s look at the home-buying journey for the classic Pulte customer, mapping it from beginning to end, and tracking both their actions and their emotions throughout the process.
First, consumers are MOTIVATED by something that causes them to want to make a change. It could be a negative or positive motivator, but ultimately it's the catalyst that moves the customer to better their lives.
Once motivated, they develop their REQUIREMENTS & CRITERIA –a list of the wants and needs for their new home, which could change as they experience the realities of their search – though few consumers want to compromise right at the start of the journey.
Consumers then begin a SEARCH based on their criteria – using online resources, as well as driving around neighborhoods, talking to family and friends, speaking with a Realtor, and more.
Their search produces a large or small list of potential CHOICES.

Consumers then EVALUATE and NARROW their choices, often needing to make compromises on their requirements. With no “perfect home”, a significant amount of time can be spent in this cycle of searching, evaluating, and compromising.

This process eventually yields a SHORT LIST of about 2-20 homes in serious consideration.

Consumers then may be ready to VISIT these homes – perhaps starting with a drive around the location and its surroundings before actually stopping by.

Visits help the customer to NARROW AGAIN, developing a very short list of final options, or eliminating the entire list and going back to the requirements stage.

They'll then arrive at a group of FINAL CHOICES, usually between 1 and 5 homes, and move on to COMPARE/CULL/COMPROMISE phase, where they'll go back for one more round of research before reaching a final choice.

With options narrowed, customers will finally be ready to DECIDE TO PURCHASE and make an offer.

Once the buyer and seller agree on a price… they sign the home purchase agreement, and the buyer provides the deposit.

The customer then starts the process of obtaining FINANCING, ...and BUILDING THE HOME.

Finally, they CLOSE the HOME, get the keys, and MOVE-IN!

Looking back at journey as a whole, it's important to consider the consumer's emotions throughout the different phases – from second guessing, to stress between contract and financing, to buyer's remorse, and more.

Until they move-in, the decision isn't fully finalized, and these emotions could send them back to re-visit their search.

So what about our process? Now that we’ve followed the consumer through their home buying journey, let’s review at all the steps in our sales process.

The first stage is the PREPARE/PRE-WELCOME, where we get the store ready to meet our consumers.

We build rapport and trust during the WELCOME & RAPPORT stage.

DISCOVERY uncovers objections or compromises and helps the consumer narrow choices, using a series of smart questions.

We then DEMONSTRATE what we have to offer, considering a number of relevant factors.

As consumer compromises start being vocalized, we'll then need to HANDLE OBJECTIONS.

Throughout the process we are GAINING AGREEMENT on the next steps of the process, always including a specific date for each agreed upon step. The ultimate agreement is the agreement to purchase.

As agreements are made and the process moves forward, we engage in FOLLOW UP that is useful to our consumers at every stage, as they move to complete their home-buying journey.

Looking back at the consumer journey, the emotion it generates, and the sales process, we can begin to see where they intersect and discover some useful conclusions.

First, the sales process is not linear – as you handle objections and reach agreements throughout the process, you may need to move back before you can fully move forward. 

And it's clear that customers have already undergone a long.