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Friends are the biggest influencers of those moving home in the West Midlands.

Our Moving Minds research has revealed that friends are the strongest influencing factor for West Midlanders seeking advice when moving home, above family or estate agents. However, across the rest of the country, family advice is most frequently sought. 

Our nationally representative study, Moving Minds, was undertaken in partnership with Ragdoll Research. The study surveyed more than 2,000 UK home movers (both buyers and renters). The report identifies eight home mover segments and reveals the behavioural psychology and decision-making motivations of those in the process of moving home.

In addition to living in the West Midlands, the study revealed the demographic most likely to be influenced by their friends when moving are young families looking for larger properties. With so much time and energy expended on family life, this demographic has little time to sit, ponder and analyse every decision. Circumstances dictate they act quickly and instinctively, but this ‘instinct’ is heavily informed by what others, like themselves, have done. This means these home movers often default to decisions based on what they’ve seen their peers do, or what they recommend. These mental shortcuts enable quick and effective decisions, freeing up time and energy to deal with all the challenges family life throws at them.

Cogent engaged the Head of the Department of Psychology at Durham University to overlay behavioural purchase decision profiles of those in the home mover process to develop the Moving Minds report.

Professor Richard Crisp said: “Those with young families who are moving for more living space are right in the thick of it, juggling all the demands of family life. They’re likely making decisions when they’re tired, have a lot of other things on their minds and they don’t have much time. If they’re thinking about purchasing something new, like putting down a deposit on a rental property or new homeownership, role models such as friends may become reliable guides and sources of advice, especially when those role models are similar to themselves or demonstrate shared experiences.”

Gareth Evans, Head of Moving Minds at Cogent, said: “12% of British homeowners put their house on the market in the final quarter of 2020, motivated by things like the stamp duty holiday and an unusual year reflecting on our living requirements. Home working and home learning have both caused many to stop and think about what they want from their property. 2020 saw record numbers of people moving home; an ‘inertia-buster’ that changes our spending behaviours dramatically. In the first 12 months after moving, we spend roughly the same on home improvements as we do in the five years that follow**. Now more than ever, brands in the home and property sector are faced with a huge opportunity. The Moving Minds study provides us with a deeper insight into the mindset, influences and motivations of those in the process of moving home. It can assist brands in focusing their marketing strategies, to ensure key messages really resonate at a time when these people are most likely to spend.”


Interested to see how our Moving Minds research can help your brand communicate more effectively? Drop Sonia an email to arrange a virtual cuppa and a chat: [email protected]

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