Real Estate Customers Aren’t Buying A House – They’re Buying A Dream


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As a real estate agent, you know your clients are preparing to make the largest financial transaction they’ve ever made, and it will take time for them to trust you. To earn their trust, you’ve got to identify their goals and concerns in a short amount of time. Then, you’re one step closer to closing the sale. However, to close those sales, you’ve got to sell your clients on their personal dreams.

It’s not enough to walk through a house with a client and point out granite countertops, vaulted ceilings, and a spacious living room. Those features are wonderful, but they speak for themselves. A home’s features are important and do play a role in the consumer’s decision to buy, but if you can’t sell a consumer on their personal dream, you won’t make the sale.

When people view homes, they’re looking through the lens of their own dreams. A walk through is your opportunity to bring that picture together.

Motivation isn’t what it seems

There are plenty of technical reasons people buy a home. Owning a house means they have more space, they can customize the property, they can build credit, and they don’t have to pay rent for their furry family members. However, those aren’t as much motivations as they are perks. revealed the top reasons people buy a home, with the biggest reason being that they simply fell in love with it. What isn’t so obvious is that whatever they fell in love with is connected to their dream.

For example, 58% of those people said the reason they fell in love with their home was the location, while only 1-8% of people fell in love with features like the walls, the flooring, the fireplace, and the architecture.

It’s easy to read between the lines. When someone says they bought a home because of its location, there’s something about the location that fuels their dream. Perhaps it’s in a community with great schools that supports their dream of raising a family. Or, maybe it’s next to a golf course and that location supports their dream of golfing every day without a commute.

Your job, as a realtor, is to help your client lucidly see themselves living in the home, pursuing their dream. In order to do that, you need to know what drives them.

When you know what drives someone you can sell them anything

Marketers are masters at using people’s not-so-secret desires to sell their products. For instance, a common ideal that drives many is the desire to feel and look youthful. That’s why commercials selling health and beauty products often show kids smiling, laughing, and playing.

The imagery seems abstract, but it’s not. It’s planting a subliminal connection between youth and the product being sold. Marketers know that if they can induce feelings of youth while advertising their product, the consumer is more likely to buy that product.

Keeping that in mind, people have similar underlying motivations for buying a home that are driven by similar associations. For instance, some people dream of being self-employed and want a beachfront property because the ocean represents freedom and ease. Even if they aren’t currently self-employed, they still want the beachfront home because it’s the ultimate symbol of that dream.

Your connection with your client starts online

The National Association of Realtors concluded in a 2017 study that Millennials – the largest group of first-time home buyers – look for homes online first. This means that your website will likely be visited before you’re contacted, making it a valuable resource to start selling the dream.

If you’ve got properties in an area that represents a common dream – like homes on Maui – paint the dream through your content, like this realtor does with his articles. Paint the picture of what it’s like living in the area, and don’t leave anything out. If the homes you show are in a popular vacation spot, be sure to include destinations and activities enjoyed by the locals. Don’t make people feel like tourists. Make them feel as if they already live there.

Be curious and keep asking more questions

The best way to uncover a client’s dream is to ask them what excites them about the house, the location, and how they see themselves living in the home. When you find out what their dream is, keep painting that picture and close that deal.


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