We can, however, take this a little deeper with the findings of a YouGov survey that we at Aylesworth Fleming commissioned, which evaluated the psychology behind buying a home. If the placemaking delivers, what about the relationship people are having with the actual homes and in turn the experience they go through with the companies they buy (or rent) from?
I am sure all of us in the industry could take a guess at what buyers look for in a home but the one thing most would probably skip over quickly is instinct and emotion. The “feeling”. The survey clearly brought this heart and centre with only price coming higher consistently on what people look for in a home, even above the number of bedrooms, transport links, amenities or specification finish.
These findings confirm the fact that psychology and emotion play a huge part in the home buying process. Therefore, housebuilders that assume a consumer simply wants an upgraded kitchen and only needs help with a deposit are missing an important point. Customers demand that both product and location stand up to all expectations of lifestyle and emotion.
If we assume the product will create that “feeling” once a customer has bought their home, there is still the issue of how to identify that long before they walk through the door – in fact, before building commences whilst “placemaking” is still being considered.
The solution is both simple and complex. As consumers, we like to think we favour a company or brand because of objective factors, such as product quality or price. But insights from psychology suggest that our feelings and identities have a greater influence on our choices long before purchase.