September 2011 No. 491Buyer surveyThere’s room for improvementOur recent online market survey confirms that residential property buyersare armed with more knowledge and hold higher expectations than theirpredecessors.Buyers confirmed a dramatic move towards digital media as the primarysource for property searches, and expressed some dissatisfaction with oneor more of the professional services they encountered in the sales process.Chart 1, opposite, shows that 42% ofbuyers sourced their property 1. Media spend vs. consumptiononline, followed by television (29%), Australiaradio (20%), and print (10%). 100% Internet 17% 90%Chart 1 also highlights the current Television Radio 42% 80%mis-match between locations in Print 70%which consumers search for Outdoor/other 60%property and the amount of 50% 40%advertising dollars spent in those 30%locations. 20% 10%From this, it would seem that digital Media spend Media consumption 0%media is set to grow as an Matusik Property Insights, Niesen. February 2011.advertising vehicle, while the use ofprint media may further decline as 2.a means of advertising property for Why did you recently purchase?sale.Figures from the REA Group indicate Job relatedthat currently, 85% of peoplelooking for property use the internet, Demographic changeand 49% will look at newspapers. Location/property became availableInterestingly, REA also reports thaton average per week we spend 25 Price was righthours looking at the internet, 15 0% 20% 40% 60% 80%hours watching television, and 5.5hours reading newspapers and Matusik Property Insights, Matusik Buyer Survey, August 2011. Respondents could choose more than one answer.magazines.Chart 2 suggests that buyers are waiting and watching in the wings, readyto move when the right location and property become available at theright price.
Our survey confirmed, however, that when it came to buying property,many buyers were dissatisfied with the professional services they received.Here’s what they said needs improvement within the sales process:No sales price shownMany buyers indicated a reluctance to follow up on advertised propertieswhere the sales price was not shown. For some, it creates a trust issue.Others said they simply would not consider a property without a priceindicator.Customer service lackingThe majority of buyers (90%) received no follow-up after initial contact, fromat least one professional group in the sales process i.e. agents, solicitors,conveyancing and financial firms, etc.This would seem to us, opportunity lost, indeed – and amazing, given thefrequent gripes we hear about lack of business.Better informationBuyers are savvier these days, already armed with their own research, theyare looking for better information from agents – not just about the property,but about comparative sales, general location, amenities etc. Many wouldlike agents to be more proactive.HonestyWhat can we say, other than it pays, and our buyers indicated that theywould like more of it. They want honest answers. 3.Where to from here? What do you think will happen? Over next 12 monthsThe majority of buyers indicated anoptimistic outlook for the future. Drop a little PricesChart 3 suggests that most buyers Drop a lot Rentssee the property price free-fall as Stay the sameslowing to a halt; 42% say prices willdrop a little; 30% expect they will Rise a littleremain the same; and only 6% think Rise a lotprices will rise. Just one-quarter ofthose surveyed think prices will drop 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45%a lot over the next year. Matusik Property Insights, Matusik Buyer Survey, August 2011.The majority of buyers appear to be optimistic, with around 60%anticipating rental growth – again, see chart 3 – over the next 12 months.The Matusik Snapshot is opinion and not advice. Readers should seek their own professional adviceon the subject being discussed. Comments are welcome, contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org Michael Matusik Queensland’s leading independent property analyst Courier Mail columnist | ABC radio commentator | Author & digital broadcaster | Public presenter Michael Matusik is no stranger to the residential property sector. He has worked in the industry for over 25 years and his firm has helped around 550 residential projects come to fruition. independent – perceptive - to the point we make residential work Michael authors the Matusik Snapshot, a fortnightly subscription report covering pertinent aspects of the residential property market. Phone 07 3720 9988 Email email@example.com Subscriptions cost $110 for 24 snapshots per year. To subscribe email Address 4 Briggs Street, Taringa Q 4068 us at firstname.lastname@example.org