Don’t Prejudge. Listen


By definition, research is “careful or diligent search”; “studious inquiry or examination; especially: investigation or experimentation aimed at the discovery and interpretation of facts, revisions of accepted theories or laws in the light of new facts, or practical application of such new or revised theories or laws.

Want to know why Millennials are looking for suburb-style living?  Ask and listen.  Want to know why eat-in kitchens, garage storage and smaller homes are on trend? Ask and listen.  Want to know why Baby Boomers & older Gen Xers want more dog parks and organic gardens and less golf and pickleball? Ask and listen.

In the real estate world research is often used as a means of learning what people want or need in a new home and new home community.  It is also a valuable resource for learning how those needs and desires grow and change as life grows and changes.

Two of my all-time favorite research ‘mistakes’ are not doing any and doing it with prejudgment.  Now granted, there are times when primary research may not be practical, however; secondary research is easily done in most cases.  But – when it comes to conducting your own primary research, during which you are gathering data in order to gain honest, first-hand insight and feedback, please don’t go into it with preconceived notions.  The interviews, surveys, observations and ethnographic research should be conducted with the intention of learning something new or specific about the participants or subject matter.  Don’t ask leading questions. Have an open conversation, be transparent about the research and then…just listen.

The idea of asking questions to learn something is quite simple.  The more difficult part of the task is being open to receiving the information without influencing or guiding responses with the goal of proving an assumption.  (We all know what assuming does)

Happy listening and learning!

“No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.”  ~ Albert Einstein


Photo credit Tim Pierce via Flikr


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