Moving Up.

For several years, our Home Moving Trends Survey has revealed that broadly 2/3s of people move home for life stage reasons and 1/3 for lifestyle.

I’ve repeatedly banged the drum that whatever the market; people who are getting married, having a baby, having another baby, getting divorced, taking a job in a new area, divorcing, downsizing and so on, are all needing to move and hence there’s an opportunity regardless of economic, political or other uncontrollable factors.

But what about the other 33%? Whilst they don’t “need” to move could they be persuaded to, even in uncertain times? I think many can be.

A Ferrari is a pretty useless car. It’s expensive, only takes two passengers, has next to no luggage capacity, is noisy and bloody uncomfortable on a long journey. So why do people fork out £250,000+ for one?

A Rolex is a poor timekeeper compared to a Swatch. Its mechanical movement requires far more attention and servicing than the more effective and efficient battery powered quartz one. So why pay £15,000 for something that’s actually worse at its job than a £150 competitor?

I was offered a steak for £185 recently. It’s “Wagu” and prior to slaughter the animal received daily massages, surrounded by scented candles.* On the same menu was a filet steak for a not inconsiderable £40: is the Wagu really worth more than four of the same size filets?

People are driven by their emotions and for a significant percentage of the population these include those that fuel the ego. Whether it’s to impress a member of the opposite sex, (or indeed same sex), to demonstrate to a social group their financial achievement, to feel like a better partner or parent or just to feel awesome that they’ve got something others can only dream about, lots of people acquire status symbols that are more about appearance than functionality. And surely, the biggest and best, “look at the size of mine” has to be a property – or several if you’re in that league.

We need to start selling again and using scripts that haven’t been used for far too long. We need to help people picture their whole life being upgraded, not just their home. We need to create excitement, drama and the fear of loss – not the financial loss of property prices fluctuating but the loss to their lives, status and wellbeing.

Go through your database of people who bought properties 5+ years ago for other than life stage reasons. Get on the phone and talk to them about the “upgrade” opportunities – cause them to realise that they can have something even better. As an industry we’ve become far too rational, logical and left brained in our approach. Let’s utilise the powerful driver of the imagination to cause people to see how moving home can also allow them to move on and move up.

*I made up the scented candles, but it wouldn’t surprise me if someone does market their beef on the basis that the cattle were reared in a spa environment.

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