Which decision you think is easier to make –

“Which college to send kids to?” OR “Which movie to watch this weekend?”

“Which doctor to go to for a heart operation?” OR “Which doctor to go to for fever?”

“Which property to buy?” OR “Which belt to buy?”

In each of the 3 scenarios, the answer is pretty obvious. Every day, we are making decisions – and lots of them. But if you notice closely, there are some decisions that do not take so much of time to be made while others call for high degree of involvement from our side and engagement of services of an expert. Same happens when we are spending money to purchase something.

There are two types of purchases,namely, low involvement purchase and high involvement purchase.

Home Buying Decision

Low involvement purchases are the ones where the buyer does not have to think too much while making that purchase. In these types of purchases, there is less risk involved and the decision making is faster. Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) are generally classified under the low involvement purchase category. The low involvement purchases are particularly characterized by following:

They are priced low – The customer may not think twice while buying things like soap, cleaners etc. as they are priced low.
The risk factor is low –Even if you make a wrong purchase, the risk is not too high – neither financially nor emotionally.
You can switch brands –There is no brand loyalty so switching among brands with similar utility is common & easy.
Repeat Purchase –Low involvement purchases are generally repeat purchases. A person doesn’t give much of a thought while buying them because he has been used to it as a chore.


It is a kind of purchase when the customer tries to buy a product or a service that is expensive or has long-term impact or has emotional value or has all of these.
Characteristics of High Involvement Purchase are as follows:

Deliberation levels are high

Example, while going in for higher studies decision for kids, a lot of discussion goes in understanding the interests of the child, picking the field of study & evaluating options where all he could be eligible to go to for higher studies. Taking this decision is time consuming, expensive, and impacts the future.

Emotional & Impactful decision

Example, picking a hospital & a doctor for a major operation is tough decision to make given its severity, costly nature & emotions involved for the loved ones.
There could be many more such examples of HIP. One such example is making a decision to buy property.

Property Advisor

How to handle a High Involvement Purchase (HIP) successfully

Why do we go to doctors, lawyers, education consultants for medical, legal, higher education decision? The answer is simple – we need someone with subject matter expertise. We do not have that expert knowledge to take a decision this big which is going to impact our future, money & emotions.

Notice that whenever it comes to HIP, we go to the consultants, the experts. We go to the doctors, the lawyers, etc. These are basically the people who are trained to be consultants. They have studied and took certifications to advise/guide people on these decisions.

Naturally, one would want to take services of an expert while making a property purchase as well. They do but the only difference is that in Real Estate industry – everybody is an expert – a roadside vendor, your next door neighbor, real estate brokers, sales agents and just about anybody.

Sales agents masquerade as a consultant and the knowledge they pose is limited and is only intelligent enough to lure a person. They are not the consultants but a fragment of a consultant.

A High Involvement Purchase can be handled better by doing following 3 things right:

  1. Choosing the right consultant for the product/service we are buying
  2. What to look for in choosing that consultant
  3. What tasks to give him & how to task him
Let us see why we should choose the consultant – and why we should not go on our own making the decision. What to look for & how to task a consultant is something we will see in second part of this series.

Our brains, if not trained, are not capable to look far while decision making. Consultant comes at a cost. A very visible consultant’s cost looks much bigger than the actual long term benefits accruing due to his advise. Hence, people sometimes try to avoid going to a consultant and try to find a solution from limited knowledge they themselves have. This should not be done. You might be making that HIP decision once in a lifetime, the consultant would have already made scores of such decisions.
So let us see why it is important to go to a consultant.

Formal Education

The products available in the market & demand specifications of the prospective buyer create unlimited permutations & combinations to work upon. Only a formal education can let a person evaluate a property technically. That level of technical education, be it legal or engineering or any other, helps to arrive at a value of the product instead of just getting to know that value from a builder and telling it confidently to the buyer.

A true real estate consultant can help a real estate buyer invest a good chunk of his portfolio in real estate to buy a viable product which is technically sound. For this to happen the consultant would have thorough understanding of fundamentals which can only come if he has have had a formal education.

How well versed is the person

Buying real estate is a very localized exercise. Building bye laws are different in Gurgaon-Dharuhera which are just 20 kms apart. They are different in Gurgaon-Faridabad. A good consultant would typically be working in that local area – building his expertise in that market instead of spreading too thin.

Volume of Business

A good consultant will be doing lots of transactions thereby giving him experience and exposing him to all the possible nuances of any transaction. This helps him build his expertise even further.

They have the right knowledge

Every one of us has some knowledge about a bunch of points. That too specific to our requirements. We do not see the problem in totality & how it could pan out few years from now. For eg., a course that I am planning for my daughter – what kind of jobs would she be able to get after doing the course.

Experience matters

I am sure you would have seen doctors going by the hunch to suggest you some diagnostic tests while you yourself were popping pills for something else. That hunch is not a guesswork. That hunch is years of experience, knowledge & wisdom of working on patients.

They handle the questions and the paperwork

I know someone who used services of an online site to file for a trademark filing as it was charging less. The paperwork was so bad that he had to do it again using help of a patents lawyer.

They have the legal clarity and know taxation rules

The law can’t be messed around with. Regardless of whether you are purchasing a property or offering one, there is a large group of lawful issues you should consider. A real estate expert will have better clearness on lawful prerequisites, and help you follow them all.

It would be pure luck if you get a good deal without hiring the consultant. How to choose a consultant & how to task him is something we will cover in the next part. Stay on with us.