U.S. women control or influence $7 trillion in consumer spending annually and make 85 percent of all purchase decisions, according to marketing experts. Single women accounted for 22 percent of all home purchases made between July 2005 and June 2006.
What do women want when they are house hunting?
Women respond best to a holistic approach when buying a house, says Richard Peterson, a psychiatrist who specializes in investment psychology. “They handle global impressions better” than men.
Men's ability to make multifaceted decisions, on the other hand, is diminished when they have to rely on "more than three to four factors," imaging studies of the brain show, Peterson says. For example, when men shop – an activity that requires dealing with an array of facts and feelings – stress hormones increase and focus dwindles.
Here are some things that work and don’t work when a woman is the customer.
- Stimulate the senses. Men like quick factoids an bullet points, but this approach is the antithesis of a woman’s preference for seeing, touching and talking. Instead, try videos, testimonials, livability surveys, and newsletters detailing community activities.
- Patience is key. Women like to return multiple times to a property they are considering. Each visit brings a new set of questions.
- Enthusiasm sells. Women like to be excited about the property.
- Spousal approval goes one way. If she likes it, chances are he’ll like it, but the opposite isn’t necessarily true.
Source: The Los Angeles Times, Diane Wedner (08/12/2007)