Understanding Pre-Movers and Choosing the Right Lead List

September 08, 2020

If your business caters to homeowners, a critical time to start targeting your marketing campaigns is while a homeowner is selling a home and planning a move—this life stage triggers many purchases. If you’re looking for new leads to bring into your funnel, it’s important to understand the different stages of purchasing behavior in a homeowner’s moving timeline.

Spending habits change drastically when residents or homeowners decide to move. In addition to shopping for a new home, a successful move requires a long list of services to help homeowners find their new home, secure financing, move their belongings, and settle into their next property. 

As a result, there are four distinct categories to consider when looking to market to homeowners before, during, or after a move: Pre-listing, when homeowners are working with real estate agents to list their properties, pre-movers at new listing, when a property is newly listed and the owner is planning their move, pre-movers at pending status, when the current homeowner is close to finalizing the sale of their property, and new movers who have already relocated and now need to connect with businesses or service providers in their new community.


Who are Pre-Movers?

Pre-movers are a highly targeted segment of homeowners who are actively planning to relocate. As a result, they often have a very short window to make big spending decisions—it takes anywhere from 45 to 90 days to sell a home once it's listed. It’s critical to reach pre-movers early on while they are just starting to shop for all the professional services they need to relocate and set up their new household.  

While it may seem “too soon” to start marketing, approximately 70 to 90 percent of spending decisions are made from the time a property is listed to when it finally sells. 



At pre-listing, homeowners are still in the earliest stages of planning their relocation. Rather than focusing on the logistics of moving or what they’ll need in their new home, these homeowners are still focused on what they need to do to prepare their current home to sell. They can be anywhere from two weeks to a full year away from even considering moving companies, mortgage rates, insurance options, or any other necessary service for relocation.  


Pre-Movers at New Listing

Homeowners become pre-movers at new listing as soon as their home is on the market. By now, these owners are more inclined to make decisions related to their move. They may also be whittling down their purchase options and weighing different financing plans. While working out the “must-haves” in their next home, they are also budgeting for renovations and new furnishings. 


Pre-Mover at Pending Status

A homeowner is considered a pre-mover at pending status once they accept an offer and begin the process of closing. At this stage, sellers will have a more defined timeline for their move and can make tangible decisions around when they need to have everything packed up and out of their property. For companies who have already started marketing to pre-movers earlier in the process, this stage is the ideal time to aggressively remarket and drive conversions. 


Who Should Advertise to Pre-Movers?

Most homeowners will list their property weeks before finding and securing their next home. In the meantime, these pre-movers are busy preparing their current home to sell, finding resources to facilitate a move, and making decisions about the purchase and establishment of their new household.


Who are New Movers?

New movers are homeowners who have recently relocated. They also have a long list of needs but, unlike pre-movers, they no longer need services to help them relocate. Instead, they’re more likely to make purchases and decisions related to establishing a new routine, like finding healthcare providers, services like dry cleaning, groceries, and their new favorite restaurant.  


Marketing to Pre-Movers vs. New Movers

Many businesses make the mistake of only marketing to new movers. This approach makes sense for some industries, particularly small businesses limited by their audience reach or marketing budget. For businesses with a national, regional, or even county-wide service, capitalizing on the pre-mover market can help with customer retention and connect consumers to resources during a key decision-making window.

One study found 60 percent of new movers consider changing providers and 42 percent will upgrade products and services. While homeowners may be receptive to these changes at any time, businesses have the best chance of winning new customers during the first six months of new homeownership. A study by the National Association of Home Builders found new homeowners spend 70 percent more on home improvement than current homeowners. This comes out to an average of $12,000 on furnishings, appliances, and repairs within their first year of moving. 

For a lot of homeowners, home remodels may happen before they move into the new home, so reaching homeowners at the pre-mover stage can bring more leads into your funnel and lead to more sales as buyers reach the final steps in preparing their new home. 


How to Tap Into Pre-Mover Audiences

Accurate audience data is key for any business planning to market to homeowners before, during, and/or after a move. There is a limited timeframe on when different businesses are most likely to capitalize on purchases during the life stages of a move. To truly stand out, you may need a full perspective on when a home is listed for sale, goes under contract or is in pending status, and when a property has sold.  FMAdata can help you time your marketing so that you reach potential customers before they make decisions and win you more business.


Contact our team today if you’re ready to learn more or get started with your customized leads.

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