Everyone has heard the old saying “love makes the world go round.” Most have heard the typical rebuttal “money makes the world go round.” But in reality, neither of these actually explains the movement of the universe.
The phenomenon that actually fuels the world in its revolutionary progress is purchasing. Money doesn’t have much of an effect on anything until it is used; until a purchase is made.
Some might say that the way in which money is used is determined by the individual in whose hand the bills reside; that the use of money depends upon personal and/or family needs and individual circumstances. To these people I would like to offer my congratulations on their idealistic vision of the world around them.
The world might be a better place if I could agree, but I would argue that the majority of today’s financial decisions are influenced so heavily by outside forces that they can’t really be said to be the direct result of personal needs or circumstances.
For instance, once upon a time if a man needed an egg, he wandered in the forest until he found an unguarded nest and he took the egg he needed (or all the eggs if he was greedy.)
A little time passed and a similar need would arise with a similar man and the man would fulfill the need by wandering out to his henhouse, lifting up a hen and taking the egg he needed. More time passed and a similar man with a similar need might walk to the town market to purchase or barter for the egg he required.
Still more time passes; another similar man with the same need visits his local grocer on his way home from work to procure the needed egg.
Even more time flies away and we find ourselves in the world of today. But this man faces many questions before he will be able to obtain the object of his desire.
The first question is where will he purchase the egg? Is he going to go to a convenient store? It’s quicker; it’s more expensive; it may be very close.
6Is he going to visit a grocery store? And if so, which one? Will he go to the closest store to his home? Will he visit the one nearest to his work on the way home for the day? Will he visit the grocery store that has the best sales? Will he visit the grocery store that is known to have the highest quality products? Will he visit the grocery store that is known for its specialty items? Will he go to a health food store? Will he go to the store he is most familiar with for that reason alone?
Once he arrives at the chosen location he will be faced with still more questions. How many eggs will he be purchasing? Will he go with a flat dozen? Does he need a dozen and a half? Will he look to see if they can be had by the half dozen? Or maybe he should buy in bulk.
Next he will need to know if small, medium, or large eggs suit his needs the best. Brand names and prices will vary and offer more options.
Some men would even go so far as to include the chickens from which the egg originated into their purchasing equation. Did the eggs come from cage-free chickens?
So what caused the drastic changes? What made it necessary to question such a simple, straightforward need and the mode of fulfilling it? The most obvious answer (and the correct one in my opinion or I wouldn’t be offering it to you) is the availability of choices.
8When there is only one option that is the option that is used. And likewise, if an individual is aware of only one option, that is the option that is used. And similarly, if an individual is convinced that one option is better than another that is the option that is used.
You may wonder why we are discussing eggs. Eggs are a solid example of a need that has been in existence for so long that no one questions the fact that they will be bought and sold.
As long as people are around they will need (and want) to eat. Other such needs are obvious. After eating the most obvious need is shelter.
While natural shelters were all the rage “once upon a time” they are really only fully appreciated in our modern times during times of desperation, extreme survival, and dire emergencies. Other than that, most people look for a bit more in their mode of “shelter” nowadays than the nearest cave with convenient cover from the rain.
The same evolution of available options we discussed with the egg is evident when it comes to “shelter.” Today’s purchasers find themselves with a plethora of options when it comes to which home to purchase; especially once they’ve made the decision to build a new home.
It used to be that if someone decided to build a home they contacted their local contractor and that was it. He took it from there.
10He had built other homes in the area and they were in use and apparently he was able to fulfill their need. Build it and they will come and all that. But we are all very aware of the myriad changes that have been wrought in this particular industry, and so are most of the buyers out there.
You might still run across the rare individual who is going to go to the nearest builder because they are in the area they are familiar with regardless of their standing with other local builders and national competitors. This is the same individual who will go to the grocery store they always visit because they feel comfortable walking in the doors, they know where to find the eggs and they know which cashier is the quickest.
But this individual is not as common as many think. Most purchasers know the value of their money and want to stretch it as far as it will go.
They research and they take unofficial surveys of friends and family to try to ascertain which product will best fulfill their needs. And all the time, smart builders are doing their best to put themselves in front of prospective buyers as the solution to their every individual requirement.
We call it sales and marketing. Advertising is all well and good. Sales are an accepted necessity, but the combination of both of these, along with appropriate research and statistical analysis to increase company profits, is the key to success in today’s new home building market.