Term Paper Sample – Customer Preferences and Trends in Accommodation Purchase

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QUESTION:

Term Paper Question

Choosing accommodation can be a major decision in our lives, subject to many competing influences. Do I buy that 4 bedroom house that will take the next 30 years to pay off? Would I rent a 2 bedroom unit? Shall I share an apartment with my friends, or some strangers? Is the house in a safe suburb? Is it close to public transportation, shopping centres, childcare services, hospitals, gyms, cafes, or the university? Do I want this furniture? Is there mobile broadband coverage? ……

What is it that affects this decision and makes it different for each of us? This assignment requires you to look at the accommodation choices of three people, and to present an analytical reasoning for differences between them using the theories of personality, motivation and values. Furthermore, you will provide marketing recommendations by applying the theories of learning and memory.

a) Create a list of 5 different accommodation options. Try to include some that aren’t options YOU would like to take but that you know appeal to other people.

You might want to refer to real estate websites, newspaper classified ads, or campus message boards while developing this list. Be specific – renting a three bedroom ocean view apartment in Bondi in Sydney (rather than just saying renting an apartment in general); sharing a two bedroom townhouse with a TAFE student near the Brisbane CBD; buying a three bedroom bushland house under Mount Archer in Rockhampton. You may wish to include indicative renting/selling prices or pictures of the accommodation options you have chosen to include.

b) Interview 3 different individuals and get them to rank the 5 accommodation options in terms of what they would be most and least likely to choose. Provide a

Provide a summary of how each participant felt about each of the accommodation options when explaining their rankings. Make sure you interview quite different people in terms of age, gender, culture etc to provide more colourful findings and analysis.

c) ANALYSE and COMPARE the responses of your participants using the theories of:

i. Personality

ii. Motivation and values

What is it about each participant that best characterises how their preferences were ranked? What were the major influences causing differences among them?

d) Provide recommendations to a hypothetical marketer of ANY ONE of the Accommodation options you discussed – what are the characteristics of her/hislikeliest customers and how might she/he best attract them by applying the theories of learning and memory?

A MINIMUM of 10 references would be expected.

Marking Criteria

Report structure, presentation, writing style, referencing 5
Create a list of 5 different accommodation options 10
Introduce your participants, present their rankings and their summated discussion of each option 10
Analyse and compare the responses of your participants using the theories of personality 10
Analyse and compare the responses of your participants using the theories of motivation and values 10
Provide marketing recommendations by applying the theories of learning and memory 5
Total 50

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ANSWER:

Executive Summary
The main aim of this academic presentation is to be able to highlight the important aspects related to customer behavior and the association of the same in marketing and business development strategies.
The focus has been given on the real estate industry whereby the main factors that influence behavior of the customers in the industry have been highlighted specifically focusing on the aspect of customer lifestyle. As a comparison, five different accommodation prospects have been selected which have been provided to three different kinds of customers in the market and their responses serve to be the main aspect of analysis and evaluation in the study.
It has been concluded with the comparison of the same with theoretical aspects to arrive at a feasible and acceptable conclusion.

1. Introduction
Decisions regarding finding and selection of a most suitable accommodation has been regarded to be an important functions related to the livelihood of adult human beings in the world (Fishbein, 2002). Irrespective of the nature and the benefits that are associated with a certain mode of accommodation in the world, there are a number of factors and related aspects that influence the purchase behavior of different individuals.
The aim of this particular academic presentation is to bring to light the related literary aspects which have an impact on the selection the suitable accommodation among different individuals.

2. Accommodation options
In accordance to the aim of the study, the first and foremost aspect that needs to be incorporated is the identification of the accommodations that are available for rent as well as purchase purposes. The same have been specified in the sections below.
2.1 Accommodation for Rent
House No.1: Rented Accommodation for Students at Adelaide, South Australia

Rented Accommodation meant for students at Adelaide South Australia

The first accommodation property that has been listed here is meant for student accommodation and is located at 10/2 Ayliffes Road at Adelaide in South Australia. The location of the accommodation is well suited owing to the close proximity of the same to downtown and local transit points. The building complex is meant for students and they can avail of the options available for single or twin sharing basis at AUD 65.00 and AUD 40.00 respectively, per week. The housing consists of 12 2 room apartments, fully furnished and with individual bathrooms in each apartment.
House No.2: 4 bedroom apartment on 4th Floor at Adelaide Terrace in East Perth

Rented Accommodation no.2 (source www.domain.com.au, 2014)
The second accommodation is located in the upscale neighbourhood of Adelaide Terrace in East Perth and is essentially a furnished 4 bedroom apartment available for a rent of AUD 685 per week, with a lease of 3 months. Along with the provisions of different furnishings available, the rented accommodation also provides a secure parking lot for automobiles.

House No.3: 1 Bedroom Rented Accommodation at Vincent Street, West Perth

Accommodation no.3 (Source properties.mitula.com.au, 2014)The third rented accommodation that has been highlighted is a one bedroom apartment located in the upscale neighbourhood at Vincent Street in West Perth. The apartment is located in a housing complex on the 11th floor and also has a separate balcony. However, the apartment does not come with furnishings and is available for a rent of AUD 210 per week.
2.2 Accommodation for Buying
Apartment 1: 3 bedroom, 350 m2 apartment by Toop & Toop Real Estate at South Terrace Adelaidewww.realestate.com.au, 2014)
The first property for sale that has been featured is a 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom apartment of 350 square meters in the busy locality of South Terrace in Adelaide. Priced at AUD 620,000, it is developed by Toop and Toop Real Estate and is well suited for customers looking for office residence cum office apartments.
Apartment 2: 2 bedroom, 260 m2 apartment at Elizabeth Street, Adelaide developed by Julianne Price Real Estate

The second apartment that has been offered for sale and has been featured here is a 260 square meter apartment developed by Julian Price real Estate that contains two bedrooms and is equipped with a car park. It is regarded that the above highlighted apartment is best suited for young professionals in the industry.

3. Participants, Rankings, and Explanations
In alignment to the aim of the selected study, this section focuses on highlighting the different aspects that are associated with the three buyers who have been studied closely in order to understand the thought process and preferences of these buyers or consumers in the market as far as the selection of an accommodation facility is concerned (Erasmus, 2001).

3.1 Participant 1: 20-year-old International Student
3.1.1 Background of the Participant
The first participant to the research process is a young individual, a 20 year old international student of management sciences who have enrolled in the Raffles College of Design and Commerce for management studies.
The reason of highlighting the background of the individual customer arises from the need and necessity to be able to identify and analyze the background and cultural influences (www.saylor.org, 2014) on the student in order to be able to evaluate the impact of the different factors and aspects that has an impact on the selection of the accommodation by the student.
An important aspect that needs to be highlighted is the fact that the student is from Asian background as he belongs to the country of Nepal and the reason why he is in Australia is primarily for the completion of his Master Degree in Management Studies.

3.1.2 Rankings of the Accommodations
According to the student the ranking of the different accommodation options that have been highlighted in this study is based on the appropriateness of the accommodation, the cost of accommodation that is associated with the same and also the location of the accommodation when the same had been asked to the participant to be pointed out (Ozcaglar, 2006).
The participant had clearly mentioned that he would be only considering the options of accommodation that are available on rent basis and the ones which are for sale does not qualify or come into the framework of consideration for the student.
The rankings of the different accommodation options that have been highlighted above according to the reflections of the student have been mentioned as under.
1st Preference – rented accommodation for students at Adelaide
2nd Preference – rented accommodation of one bedroom apartment at Vincent Street
3rd Preference – rented 4 bedroom apartments at Adelaide Terrace in east Perth

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3.1.3 Explanation of the Rankings
In explaining the ranks that had been allotted to the different accommodations by the student at the different places, the first and foremost justification that has been received from the student is the fact that it is only for a temporary basis. The student intends to be residing at any of the three above mentioned apartments till the completion of his studies at the university as he himself is unaware of the future location in terms of professional career as he is merely into his third semester of studies.
The student has also pointed out the fact that he intends to focus on taking up time employment opportunities in order to be able to meet the expenses associated with residing in a foreign country as it has already been mentioned that the student is originally from Nepal.
The explanation that has been provided by the student regarding the accommodation provisions is as follows.
The first option of finding accommodation on either individual or shared basis at the complex meant for students is the most appealing, as the costs associated with the accommodation are justified and most likely to be availed, even though the same are considered to be a little high. The student specifies the fact that an accommodation of AUD 45.00 or AUD 65.00 is affordable and reasonable at the same time.

3.2 Participant 2: 31-year-old Junior Manager recently married
3.2.1 Background of the Participant
The second participant has been a professional in the industry for the last ten years and he has been married recently about a couple of months back. He is a resident of Australia and has been born and brought up in Australia. By profession, he is a junior manager at a renowned advertising agency of the country and is regarded to have made it to a blue collared job and himself is contempt about his professional and personal life, being married recently.

3.2.2 Rankings of the Accommodations
According to the point of view of the young professional, the following are the rankings of the accommodation that is available to him.
1st Preference – the purchase of the two bedroom apartment for sale at Elizabeth Street, with a car park allocated to the residents of Julianne Price Real Estate developers.
2nd Preference – one bedroom rented accommodation at Vincent Street.
3rd Preference – four bedrooms rented accommodation at Adelaide Terrace in East Perth.

3.2.3 Explanation of the Rankings
In explaining the rankings of the different accommodation facilities that are available to the customer, the young professional had specifically highlighted the following aspects that are related to his professional and personal life. One is the fact that since has been working in the industry for the last ten years, he has a savings that gives him the confidence to be able to invest in the purchase of the two bedroom apartment at Elizabeth Street. Even though he specifies that a significant portion of the purchase money would be loaned, he is swift to point out the fact that he has roughly another 28 years or so as an employee in the industry before retirement. So he would be having a significant amount of time in his hand to repay the loan from the bank (Sparks, 2002).
The second preference of a one bedroom apartment at Vincent Street is explained by the fact that chances are high that he might be able to get a new and better employment opportunity in a different part of the country. It would also help him procure some time before he is able to find out a better real estate prospect in case he needs the same.
The third option of a four bedroom apartment for rent at East Perth (Adelaide Terrace) is attributed to the fact that the same will enable him to share the accommodation with another colleague or family member.

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3.3 Participant 3: 53-year-old professional Dentist and family man owning a clinic
3.3.1 Background of the Participant
The third participant to the study is a 53 year old Dentist, who have been practicing in the industry since the age of 23 and has a rich experience of more than 30 years as a successful dentist. He is also a resident of Australia and have been born and brought up in the country as in the case of the second participant.
3.3.2 Rankings of the Accommodations
Based on the perception and evaluation of the dentist, the following are the rankings of the accommodation options that are available to him.
1st Preference – purchase of 3 bedroom apartment at South Terrace Adelaide
2nd Preference – purchase of 2 bedroom apartment at Elizabeth Street
3rd Preference – rent of the 4 bedroom apartment at Adelaide Terrace in East Perth
3.3.3 Explanation of the Rankings
In explaining the preferences or the choices of the accommodation available to the Dentist, he has focused on highlighting the fact that he has been practicing for nearly 30 years and within the next 4-5 years plans to retire and develop his own clinic in the city.
The reason as to why the first preference is the targeted accommodation by the dentist is the fact that not only does the dentist have the resources and the status in society to be able to purchase a high end accommodation at South Terrace in Australia, a three bedroom apartment would also enable the dentist to be able to continue the practices.
The second preference has been selected as this would enable the dentist to have a permanent residence in the country and in case it is required by the dentist to continue practices, he would focus on renting a separate location for the set up of his clinic.
The third preference has been kept in mind specifically in case the dentist would involve in the set up of a clinic on a much larger scale.

4. Analysis of the responses
4.1 Theoretical based differences among participants
The theoretical based differences among the participants to the study is based on the fact that the characteristic features of the participants need to be evaluated according to the traits that have been exhibited by the same (Solomon, 2006). An important aspect that needs to be highlighted in the study is the fact that an individual’s personality profile becomes less dynamic and more consistent as he ages and this is considered to be the reason behind the fact that while the international student is less adept of the future implications on his professional and personal development, the 31 years old and the 53 years old participants have been observed to have a more theoretical and evaluative approach to the selection of the accommodation facilities available.

4.1.1 Differences on personality
The above mentioned aspects have been deemed to be the critical factors that have contributed to the differences in personality among the three participants. While the student is somewhat eccentric in the selection of accommodation facilities, the junior manager and the dentist have been seen to be characterized by much calm and composed view point.
Mention needs to be made here of the fact that the junior manager associates his future life path to the selection of the accommodation facilities and he is perceived to be very cautious in his approach based on the fact that the primary basis of the evaluation of availing accommodation in the industry is that whether he would be able to repay the loan amount.
On the other hand, as far as the dentist is concerned, the primary aspect that is observed to have an impact on the selection of the accommodation available is that whether he would be able to lead a peaceful and satisfied, yet somewhat engaged life post his retirement.

4.1.2 Differences in motivation and value
The difference in motivation and value is also an important aspect as far as the selection of the accommodation available in the industry is concerned.
If the motivation and value that has been apprehended by the young international student is concerned, the same are largely influenced by the perception and point of view of the student. Being primarily engaged into studies at the city, the student has mentioned the fact that accommodation and part time employment is an important factor, but not as important a determinant in the selection of the mode of accommodation. This is the reason why he is more likely to perceive present accommodation systems to be of a less value as compared to the expectations of the future (Warshaw, 2010).
On the other hand, the motivation that has been a major determinant in case of the junior manager is the fact that he has been able to establish a sound base for his professional career that led him to the analysis of the implications of the purchase of accommodation, even when he is able to easily afford rented accommodation.
As far as the dentist is concerned, the motivational factor is that he has been able to sustain his family through his profession for the last 30 years or more and it is justified in case he gives his profession comparatively lesser priority than in case of making a statement in the society and being able to focus on selection of an accommodation that will enable him to continue practices after retirement, as this will provide him a sense of fulfillment in life (Solomon, 2006).

4.2 Influence of the differences in Participants ranking
This section is based on the analysis and identification of the influence of the differences in the ranking of the participants’ accommodation choices.
4.2.1 Effects of personality
The effects of the personality of the three different individuals have been considered to be an important factor in the determination of the ranking and preferences that have characterized the selection of the accommodation options of the buyers (Schultz, 2006).
The most important theory that can be stated here in the analysis of the effects of personality in the selection of the accommodation services in the market is the role theory whereby the customer behavior of each of the buyers are largely influenced by the perceived role in the society.
The student believes that his role as a contributor to the development of society and family is still a few years away and this is the reason why he has been focused on accommodation facilities which are not only cheap, but at the same time basic.
The junior manager compares his role in the society to the one he is required to play in his family and personal life and this is one of the reasons behind the balanced and evaluative outlook of the manager as far as the selection of the accommodation is concerned.
The dentist on the other believes that the role he plays in the society and among his friends and family members is more important than that of the role played in his profession in the coming years and this has been the major determining factor behind the eccentric customer behavior characterized by not only demand, but also the purchasing power of the dentist in the real estate market (Sutton, 2008).
4.2.2 Effects of motivation and value
The effects of motivation and value also have an influence on the customer buying behavior that have been identified and highlighted in the sections above.
The motivation for the student in the selection of a basic accommodation is the fact that it will motivate the student to be able to perform better in his academics and work harder so that in the distant future, he would be able to attain a lifestyle or professional growth (Sutton, 2008) that will enable him to be able to purchase accommodation as in the case of the junior manager and the dentist.
At the same time, the motivation and the value that has been perceived to have had a major impact on the selection of the accommodation of the junior manager is the fact that the maintenance and sustenance of the present lifestyle will require him to grow professionally so that one day he would be able to focus on the selection of a lifestyle like that of the dentist (Solomon, 2006). In such a scenario, he would also be able to showcase his self attainment and realization through the selection of high end accommodation facilities.
As far as the dentist is concerned, the effects of motivation can be associated with that of self realization whereby the intrinsic motivation to be able to pursue and validate growth through the selection of his lifestyle and post retirement engagement.

5. Recommendations
5.1 Characteristics of likeliest customers
If the important aspects that have been identified and highlighted in this study is analyzed it will be seen that the most likely kind of customers to the different products and services offered in the market are highly dependent on the demographical aspects such as age, profession and personality.
As far as the real estate business is concerned, the likely customers to purchase high end properties are the ones with either a high purchasing power or status in the society. The aspect of purchase in this particular segment is dependent on the ability of the customer to make a statement in the society and present his self actualization. As far as the moderately to low end products are concerned, the likely customers for the same are the ones who focus more on utility rather than the perceived value of the particular product or service in the market and the important criterion to achieve exchange in value is to be able to identify their exact needs and demands and develop and offer commodities that match the same (Sutton, 2008).

5.2 Attracting the customers through application of theories of learning and memory
Application of learning theories and memory in the development of strategies in marketing of products and services in the organisation is an important factor and it often leads to the development of competencies for the business organisation.
It can be stated that two important theories related to the same is the classical conditioning theory whereby the marketers can focus on the combination of expected outcomes of the customers in the market with those that have not been perceived or identified. An example of the same related to the real estate industry is that the customers expect that for a certain amount of money, they would be able to procure a given set of commodities. However, when the same are combined with additional benefits, it might lead to the generation of revenues through sales in a more effective manner (Solomon, 2006).
On the other hand, the aspect of memory is more related to the customers as if the marketers are able to engrave a particular commodity in the minds of the customers through application of effective promotion techniques, the customers are more likely to consider the same as far as the purchase of products are concerned.

6. Conclusion
The author of this academic presentation anticipates that the contemporary approach to the identification of the impact of different factors on the minds of the customers has been successful, as the same incorporated a different framework. The same involved the selection of the real estate industry and the identification of five different accommodation facilities that have been compared and analyzed by three different kinds of customers.
The same have helped in highlighting the important aspects in a major way and it is strongly believed that the same will shed new light on the aspect of marketing and customer behavior.

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