While lifestyle marketing was a hot new trend in 2011, life-change marketing is the hot new trend for 2012. If you’re ready to generate more leads from your marketing efforts, addressing these two trends is critical to your success.

Life changes have always been a major factor that influences when people move. Marriages, divorces, job transfers, births and deaths are almost always triggers for a shift in where and how people live.

In fact, marketing expert Peter Knight cited a statistic in his recent session at the National Association of Realtors’ Conference & Expo that showed that 61 percent of the moves taking place today are tied to life-change events.

The challenge is knowing how to tie the emerging field of lifestyle marketing with life events. Here are three ways to do it.

1. Starting a new life?
To marry the theme of "starting a new life" with a life-change event, you could use a number of different approaches. For example, if you are targeting boomers who are retiring, you could market a home in a retirement community with the following headline: "Make your retirement dream home a reality."

The next step would be to include at least 20 photos of the property, as well as photos and videos illustrating the lifestyle. The secret here is to include pictures of baby boomers enjoying all the great things about living in the local area.

Show them dining out on a patio overlooking a spectacular view or at a wine tasting at a local winery. If the home is located on a golf course, get pictures of the prettiest parts of the course with plenty of smiling boomers enjoying a great day of golf.

You could also use the "starting a new life" theme to attract first-time buyers who are currently renting. Here is a sample of a headline and the ad copy you could use:

"Upgrade your lifestyle. Did you know that in 71 percent of the cities in the U.S. that it is cheaper to own a home than it is to rent? Did you also know that many experts are predicting that your rent will increase 5-10 percent next year? Why pay costly rent increases when you can lock in your mortgage payment at the same rate for the next 30 years?"

To supercharge your ad, show potential buyers what their new life would be like. For example, if you were marketing a downtown loft condominium located close to the hip music spots, you could do a video with two- to three-second clips of the property coupled with clips of someone diving into the pool, working out in the gym, or dining overlooking the sunset from their unit. Set this to the music from a local band and you will have a powerful marketing piece.

In other words, instead of using words to describe the lifestyle, use pictures, videos and sounds to give buyers an experience of what this lifestyle is like.

2. Ease the pain
Unfortunately many of the life events that trigger real estate sales are not always happy occasions. For example, when someone is coping with a divorce, serious illness or the loss of a loved one, stress levels are high. At this point, your goal is to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

To illustrate this point, suppose that one of your niches is working with probates. As part of your 2012 marketing plan, you could visit local senior citizen centers. Invite a certified public accountant (CPA) or tax attorney to help older homeowners understand how they can pass their homes to their heirs with as small a tax burden as possible.

You could also invite a lender to discuss how those who still live in their homes can create extra income with a reverse mortgage.

3. Make the dream come true
Research from Fortune 100 marketing consultant Clotaire Rapaille shows that one of the primary triggers for Americans to purchase property is the word "dream." Regardless of the age of your clients, using the word "dream" in conjunction with the life change and lifestyle marketing approach will enhance the probability of having a successful ad.

For example, for a family building a custom home: "Build the custom home of your dreams."

If you’re working with younger buyers and sellers, couple the word "dream" with the words "unique" and "special." For example:

"Time to tell your landlord "no!" Tired of being told "No pets," "No painting the walls," and "No" in general? It’s time to tell your landlord "No more!" No more paying the landlord’s mortgage, no more putting up with noisy neighbors, and no more rent increases! There’s no better time than now to find the special dream house that is perfectly suited to your unique lifestyle."

If you want to supercharge your marketing in 2012, couple your lifestyle marketing efforts with life-change opportunities to create a sure-fire win.

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