THE MOMENT IT CLICKS EMPLOYING PHOTOGRAPHY TO UNDERSTAND CONSUMER HOME CHOICE
Catheryn Khoo-Lattimore & Paolo MuraTaylors University College, MalaysiaCatherynkhoo.email@example.com
What does the picture on the bottom right tell you about someones choice for a home?
In many studies touching on motivations for home choice, the physical attributes of a house have been treated as motives for purchase - the home is often viewed as a bundle of economic utility that needs to be traded off against costs.
In addition, Levy and Henry (2003) found that academic property journals still tend to favour positivism and quantitative statistical analysis. As a result, research exploring home choice behaviour from the consumers perspective is very much lacking. This scarcity has begun to gain attention in recent years and there is now a call for property researchers examine the human influences that real estate consumers have on real estate demand (Gibler and Nelson, 2003, p.63)
Gibler, K. M. & Nelson, S. L. (2003) Consumer Behaviour Applications to Real Estate Education. Journal of Real Estate Practice and Education, vol. 6, pp. 63-83. Levy, D.S. & Henry, M. (2003) A Comparative Analysis of US, UK and Australian Published Property Research Methodologies and Methods. Pacific Rim Property Research Journal, vol. 9, no. I2, pp. 148-62Khoo-Lattimore, C., Thyne, M. & Robertson, K. (2009) The ZMET Method: Using Projective Technique to Understand Consumer Home c\Choice. The Marketing Review, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 139-154.
The main finding from this study was how much control the participants had of the research stimuli, which in turn resulted in the respondents having a greater sense of involvement with the interview topic. Getting people to collect their own photographs was a unique way for respondents to communicate the dimensions of their lives, and their choices.
We identified the influence of twenty-four key motives and highlighted the fact that the respondents past personal memories underpins many of the motives to impact on their choice (see Khoo-Lattimore, Thyne and Robertson (2009).
While the primary interest of this paper is answering the question of why people bought the house they did, we wanted to encourage real homebuyers to talk freely of the choices they made.
The use of photographs and images is particularly suited to the collection and analysis of data for this research, as houses are most often marketed through colored pictures and photographs. Moreover, photographs act as a springboard even for less articulate respondents, to begin their story and should facilitate respondents discussions of how and why they ended up choosing one house over other options.
In our study, we used images collected by fourteen actual homebuyers to explore deep-seated motives for consumer home choice.