Shop With Style (And In My Case, Stupidity)

Four of my best friends from New York City came to visit recently. As we all got ready for brunch on the first morning, I showed them where the towels were and then carefully explained how to use the hair dryer.

“The plastic piece that you use to turn it off and on broke last year, so you have to use this tiny metal screw,” I said, demonstrating how to properly stick said screw into the hair dryer at precisely the right angle.

“Lauren! WHY are you still using that a year later?” Bridget exclaimed. “You realize hair dryers cost like $20, right? You’re going to get electrocuted.”

“I know,” I explained, “but I hate replacing something that still works.”

If I had to identify my shopping style, I’d go with, “If it ain’t 100 percent broke, don’t fix it.” My last laptop, for example, was in my possession for eight years before we finally parted ways. Sure, it took an hour to watch a two-minute YouTube clip, but in the most basic, primal sense of the word, it still worked.

I would have done so well growing up in the Depression. 

According to Donald Davidoff, President of D2 Demand Solutions, Inc. and presenter of March 26’s Webinar Wednesday, “The Five Keys to Increasing Sales With Tech-Savvy Prospects,” everyone has a shopping style. Specific to the apartment industry, one of the keys as leasing consultant is to identify a prospective resident’s shopping style and modulate your tonality accordingly.

Those are some big words, but the idea is pretty simple: cater to everyone’s personality.

Davidoff says there are three general shopping styles—the Strategist and the Prospector (which together make up 90 percent of the population), and the Dreamer (10 percent).

According to Davidoff, the Strategists know what they want, define those wants in measurable terms, may thoroughly research online, narrow their options and visit finalists to verify and see which feels best. Their behaviors include collecting information and analyzing options, being self-sufficient and quick to the point.

My aunt is a Strategist. Trust me—you do not want to question her.

The Prospectors, on the other hand, are very holistic. They have a general vision but must see it, find a few neighborhoods and a couple of apartments to see in each, actively explore to get the inside scoop, search for cues on what life is like, may bring a friend for a second opinion and reflect on which felt best. Their behaviors include actively exploring, researching for what feels right, seeking help prioritizing a larger list of desires and being more talkative.  

My roommate is a Prospector. God bless her, she needs me to weigh in on her daily footwear decisions, let alone finding an apartment.

Finally, the Dreamers are not completely satisfied with their current places, tell friends and families they would be interested in moving, put themselves in positions for serendipity and wait for something to pop up. They tell the world what they want and wait to see what happens. 

One segment that Davidoff ignored: the People Who Risk Their Safety While Drying Their Hair Just to Save a Penny.

Learn more about Webinar Wednesdays (hosted by NAAEI, Apartment All Stars and Multifamily Insiders), and register for April 9’s “Think You Know Fair Housing? Guess Again!” today.

Lauren Boston is NAA’s Staff Writer and Manager of Public Relations. Unsurprisingly, she writes a lot—most often for units Magazine and as a weekly blogger for APTly Spoken. She enjoys making people laugh, sharing embarrassing childhood stories and being the (self-proclaimed) Voice of the Apartment Industry. She welcomes feedback, unless it’s negative (in which case, please keep it to yourself).