My buyer told me today while we were sitting in traffic on Houston that viewing properties to him was as much fun as grocery shopping (ie. Not fun – for those of you who enjoy grocery shopping, he doesn’t). I was shocked. I was disappointed. I started to question both myself and my line of work. It never occurred to me that buyers didn’t enjoy viewings, being led without having to think from one apartment to another for a few hours, having the almighty power to discard properties that matched every one of their obsessive requirements sometimes “just because they didn’t get that feeling”. As an agent I’ve been so envious of my clients, at least till the time comes to hand over any money, that it infuriated me he wasn’t enjoying the “shopping” experience. Those that know me know how important it is for my buyers to enjoy viewing apartments with me, and while he assured me it wasn’t me but the viewing of apartments he found laborious, nevertheless I probed him to expand.
Apparently, it’s a sex issue. It comes down to the female appreciation of shopping, of browsing, the enjoyment females can have “just looking”. Males, on the other hand he claimed, would rather skip the painful browsing process and have the finished product. They’d rather open their fridge and see the groceries, whereas the women would like to have carefully selected each apple and orange. He never shares the excitement I feel before the door is opened, wondering whether this could be it. He never understands how women he’s dating or in his case trying to date, want to come to Sunday open houses with him, fun and viewing cannot be in the same sentence.
Buying real estate is full of mind games. Few buyers of mine walk into apartments and say what they think. They walk around, they ask questions at times, sometimes they say not one word till we leave the apartment, and sometimes they give me nothing at all! I can’t understand it, but they play some kind of game, they don’t want to appear too interested, they want to keep their options open… Just as if they were dating. And when it comes to offering, they wait a few days, they don’t call too many times, they give nothing away. They’ll never counter offer the same day, they keep the other party hanging, and they gamble with their dream homes. Just as girls are told never to accept an invitation the same day or for the next day, so buyers and sellers like to prolong the waiting period…the trick is not to appear desperate.
It makes me wonder whether this really is a female dominated business, whether he’s right when he says it’s just like shopping, and the majority of men want it over with or in some cases would rather have their girlfriends or wives do it for them. I wonder whether an industry as huge as real estate is suddenly going to become female dominated…