The headline is actually a quote from Doug Scott, a Real Estate Shows user in Houston, Texas. He said this in response to an explanation I gave him for how people might use social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace when they are in the process of making a decision to buy a home.
I told him that someone might want to share a tour or a listing with their entire Facebook friends list to get their opinion on a house.
Doug didn’t buy it. He thought they would share with their friends AFTER they bought, but not before. Just exactly how they do now.
We didn’t spend more than a few seconds on the topic. We didn’t talk at all about Facebook Maketplace and it’s search capabilities. it wasn’t the real purpose of our call. The purpose of the call was to listen to why he didn’t want the buttons to automatically appear on his Shows. But his statement has been in my head for the last two weeks.
I initially thought to myself, “Doug is just not allowing himself to understand how this new generation thinks.” Why wouldn’t I ask my friends their opinion on a home before I bought it? Why wouldn’t I use my social network to get their opinion on a few homes I was looking at buying?
The more I thought about it the more right Doug became.
I used the Internet heavily in my most recent home purchase. The home we ended up buying was a new home, so there were photos of the models and floor plans available online. I But I didn’t get anyone outside of my wife and kids involved in the pre-buying process. I don’t remember sending a single email to my closest friends asking for their opinion of the photos. I asked about the community we were thinking of moving to, yes, but not about the home.
In fact, I didn’t even take my mom to see the models until after we had already put down a deposit and were ready to begin picking flooring. My closest circle of friends played no role at all in the decision process. I didn’t email them links and photos. And I even ignored their advice about leaving “the valley” to live in the burbs. Thankfully.
This is how I acted with my closest friends. The people on my “friends” list at Facebook are predominantly casual acquaintances… most of whom I’ve never met in person. Isn’t that true for you? Isn’t that true for most?
I’m convinced I spend way to much time reading technology geeks. I may spend too much time buried in cyberspace. Doug’s simple words, “Buying a home is a personal and private decision,” aren’t speaking to technology. Those words speak to psychology and sociology. They speak to the underlying motives for behavior.
What do you think?
Are social networks really going to change who we consult with when making buying decisions on a home? Or are they just going to make it easier to share the decision once we’ve made it.