Remote
Focus Groups

Bring consumers together and get them to open up about their perspectives and beliefs — without being in the same room.

Need a digital solution for uncovering insights about your brand's target audience?

Uncovering Creative Inspiration

In advance of revamping an international television campaign, RE/MAX and their agency Camp + King needed quick-turn research in the middle of a developing pandemic. The brand and the agency wanted to find inspiring stories about home buying and selling to inform the creative brief and set the stage for timely award-winning creative work.

Getting the Good Stuff

Current Forward recruited and conducted focus groups with a diverse range of 60 recent homebuyers and sellers across six cities in the US and Canada. Through one-hour focus groups conducted over Zoom, we uncovered a gold mine of personal stories that illustrated many triumphs and pain points along the buying and selling  journey. These engaging narratives were summarized as part of the research output delivered to the agency team. 

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The Mom Whisperer

"My mom was all about “you need this… you need that...” She and the real estate agent were a team. My mom would have to give the approval first about everything."

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The Storyteller

"I found my agent was often telling me a story. She’d say, “the nook … you can just imagine yourself sitting there reading or having breakfast.” She was often placing little stories in our heads about the different rooms in the house." 

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The Anytime Agent

"I put an offer in on a property and my agent called to say we needed to increase our offer. I was at a bar. He drove down to the bar with the paperwork for me to sign. It was 10pm on a weekday!"

The Buying and Selling Journey

Though the home buying and selling process is different for everyone, every time, we developed a journey that highlighted the themes of the emotional experience that participants often encountered. Key quotes from the research are featured to provide context and meaning. Additionally, we observed distinct differences between first time buyers and experienced, affluent buyers. Those findings were presented along an emotional spectrum. For agency creative teams and brand-side marketers, these two pieces delivered a deeper understanding of what consumers are going through as they interact with RE/MAX and its agents.

Deciding to Buy/Sell Preparation Assembling a Team Research Visiting Homes Makinng an Offer Closing "We came to Austin for grad school and wanted to stay after having a kid a few years ago, but it was difficult with our salaries to be able to afford that. When my mother-in-law offered to help with the money to buy a house, we started looking!"- Erica, 25-45, Austin "We used the same realtor for each house. She’s a good family friend. We did a lot of our own research, but because this person is a family friend we feel obligated to stay with her."- Irina, 25-45, Denver "You get it (the house) and are excited they accepted, but then you go through the inspection period and start negotiating modifications like a new A/C unit for the basement. Closing dates and price changed as a result and it was stressful."- Connie M., 25-45, Atlanta Closing was the memorable part of the experience. There was the big sigh of relief to finally know it was yours.” - Mike, 26-45, Chicago We used an app for research to see what the previous pictures looked like… we didn't want to get a flip. Sometimes you'd see houses that were suspiciously overpriced or underpriced.” - Shayla, 33, Toronto
First-Time BuyersNaturally, first-time buyers are more emotional about the experience often placing themselves in the house and seeing what if feels like. The potential purchase is an identity moment for them and their family. The experience fluctuates from fear to excitement more severely, without having any experience to pull from. MORE EMOTIONAL LESS EMOTIONAL Experienced BuyersWhile experienced buyers may be loyal to a specific agent, their relationship with the buying/selling process is more focused on the process and avoiding some of the mistakes they made the first time. They know what they can do on their own, what they can’t, and where a good team comes into play. Emotions are more consistent and less of a driver of decision-making. Affluent BuyersExperienced, affluent buyers tend to a take a very business-like approach to buying/selling. They are more driven by potential return down the road as the property may be for investment or speculation. If it is a family home, it is often serving a finite need like upgrading for a bigger family — which can be emotional but not to the extent of a first-time buyer.

Understanding Agent Value

Because one of RE/MAX's primary differentiators is support from a real estate agent, the research also probed into uncovering the value that an agent brought consumers' home buying and selling process. Participants provided a robust list of terms they associated with the real estate agents with whom they worked.

Sherpa

Guide

Coach

Counselor

Moses

Advocate

Expert

Consultant

Negotiator

Advisor

Let's work together.

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