8 Blind Spots & The Role They Play In The Decision

We all have blind spots (biases) hardwired into us and these blind spots can and do shape how we see things and what we do. 

These blind spots play a big role in your meetings with prospects.

When we looked at what was going on in when a passive house architect or builder presented a prospect (home buyer) with the idea of building a custom passive house, we found that the prospect had 8 significant blind spots and that these blind spots exert a lot of influence over their decision. 

For example, two of these blind spots prevents the person you’re talking to from seeing what energy and repair savings or better air quality can mean to their lives. This in turn prevents them from seeing the full value of a passive house, ZEH or any high performance home. 

This is a big problem for people designing and building passive homes. In fact, unless the architect has a way to address these 8 blind spots, the architect is like a boxer who walks into the ring against an invisible opponent. The odds are massively against them. 

Think about what occurs in your meetings with prospects when you tell them about passive house. Does it make any sense at all? No. That is, if we think of the person as a rational actor who takes in the information you give them and then does a reasonably decent cost benefit analysis, then what they do makes no sense. 

Does the slight increase in construction costs explain what occurs? Nope. A rational actor would gladly accept some higher costs. 

What does give us an explanation for how people respond when you tell them about passive house are the blind spots.

In other words, the low rate at which prospects choose a passive house makes perfect sense when you look at what is going on through the lens of behavioral models and factor in the 8 blind spots. 


The Difference Between Perceived Value Versus Actual Value

Energy and repair savings. Better air quality and its impact on heath. Consistent temperatures. There is a value to each of these things and we can find what that value is with not very complicated math. (A company that launched a new product that delivered any of these outcomes would have investors flocking to it.) When we add them all up we get the actual value of a passive house. 

However, because of these 8 blind spots the prospect cannot see the actual value. They cannot see their futures in a way that would allow them to understand what energy and repair savings (and other attributes of a passive house) would mean to their lives. (Of course, people don’t know they’re making these errors – that’s what makes them blind spots.) 

As a result there is a big difference between the perceived value (what they see) and the actual value of the passive house. 

If there is low perceived value of the unique attributes of a passive house, why would the prospect agree to higher construction costs? 


Eliminating The Blind Spots

The Meeting Map is designed to prevent these blind spots from having a big influence over their decision and help the prospect see the full value of the attributes of a passive house or ZEH. 

Because the blind spots are systematic and predictable we can address them and prevent them from unduly influencing the prospect’s decision (and blinding them to what’s in their own best interest). 

When you meet with a prospect the person is likely to be far more receptive to what you say to them. The Meeting Map draws the prospect along a series of steps which make it more likely to choose a passive house and make it easier for them to see—and feel—the ways in which a passive house can affect their lives. 


How They Decide

Instead of looking at what your prospect or client decides, let’s look at how they decide. Choosing what type of house to build is a multifactor decision with a number of complexities and biases at play, and a long list of barriers to prevent a person from making a choice that is in their best long term interests. Home buyers are not practiced in making this decision or aware of where mistakes might be made in the decision making process. But we can help them avoid these mistakes. 

There are things we can do in the first meeting with home buyers to prevent these blind spots from being an issue. 


Blind Spots Versus Construction Costs

So what exerts more influence over the prospect’s decision? The higher construction costs of a passive house or these 8 blind spots? It’s not even close. We see the 8 blind spots as having far more influence over the decision.

In fact, what people think about the difference in construction cost – how significant they see them as being – is influenced by these blind spots. 

In other words, when we address the blind spots people will see the higher construction costs very differently.