When investing money on marketing, what you are doing is looking for ways to reach your prospects’ filter for making choices, to avoid having them default to the no decision zone. The real battle exists in trying to get your prospects to leave the status quo and accept your solution.

  • Getting your prospects to leave the status quo means talking about their needs. They don't care that you are No. 1.
  • Make sure your marketing conveys emotion; this helps prospects remember your messaging.
  • Good visuals can help the old brain decide if something doesn't seem trustworthy.

When investing money in marketing, what you are doing is looking for ways to reach your prospects’ filter for making choices, to avoid having them default to the no-decision zone.

The real battle exists in trying to get your prospects to leave the status quo and accept your offer, which in this case is selling their home with you — the expert.

The reptilian brain is the oldest of the three brain systems; it consists of the brain stem and cerebellum. Primarily, it controls the body’s vital functions. Therefore, it plays a crucial role in physical survival, and it calls the shots when it comes to making decisions.

This part of the brain is what American psychologist Robert Ornstein calls the “old brain.” The old brain quickly assesses a situation, giving you a small window to engage your prospects in the correct way.

It sounds more complicated than it is. As marketing experts, this is second nature to us. This is how we accomplish it:


First things first, messaging. Stop talking about yourself. Are you the No. 1 agent in all of Florida? Well, your prospects don’t care. What’s in it for them?

Your prospects want you to tell them something important that they don’t already know. First, you have to grab your prospects attention by creating a sense of urgency. The messaging on all of your marketing material must achieve this. Your marketing materials must answer, “why now?”

Next, use emotion in your marketing. Think about those great commercials you have seen on TV that are so emotionally impactful that they make viewers tear up. They leave a lasting impression.

Although I don’t watch much TV, the latest Acura commercial left an impression. I don’t even like Acuras, but the strong message got to me. That commercial convinced me that my vehicle choice could put me at risk.

The old brain uses emotion to mark things as necessary or significant enough to be remembered. Creating an emotional response with your audience helps with the durability of memories. If you can inject more emotion into your messaging — your marketing will be memorable.

Keep it simple

That’s right — keep it simple. You never want to overload your audience. Make your message simple and clear.

Your logo doesn’t have to tell your prospect every single thing you do, nor does your postcard. Focus on the things that matter, and let the rest come from visiting another source, such as your website.

Many times we want to put all of our messaging out there. This creates advertising that is so messy and overwhelming that it gets completely ignored. If your audience doesn’t know where to start reading, you’ve lost them.

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It’s all about visuals. Again, memorability and strong branding come into play here. Neuroscience states that when you see something that looks like a snake, your old brain warns you of danger.

The way you visually present your messaging is crucial because of your five senses; the old brain responds strongest to visual cues.

When marketing looks cheap, tacky or alarming — it can be completely off-putting to your prospect. Think about the way you visually present yourself, it likely isn’t vastly different than your competitors.

However, if your audience receives a clear message with clean and simple visuals, your prospect already understands there’s quality. With good visuals, your marketing has the best chance of being remembered.

Good visuals help to cut through the clutter and make your message memorable. It is the thing that is most lacking in real estate marketing.

Why? Good design is often looked at as a nonessential: a detrimental conclusion.

The reptilian brain is skeptical; it needs some good marketing to drive it to take action. Don’t just say you are the No. 1 real estate professional in the area — prove it.

Create all your marketing based on targeting the old brain — it will increase your chances of yielding the desired results.

Laura Ure is the CEO of Keenability, a marketing agency specializing in lifestyle marketing that targets the affluent buyer. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

Email Laura Ure.

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