• Clotaire Rapaille has unlocked the “culture code” of various countries by specifically identifying what causes people from those countries to buy.
  • While the Germans, Japanese and Swiss value perfection, Americans buy on hope, dreams and the promise of a solution.
  • We can learn a lot from Donald Trump’s use of the fix-it approach, his propensity for being a contrarian and his humorous outlook.

Love Trump or hate him, his presidential campaign provides powerful insights about how to grow your real estate business.

What makes Americans buy?

I have regularly written about Clotaire Rapaille, the marketing consultant to 50 of the Fortune 100 companies. Rapaille has been paid as much as $200,000 per day for his consulting services. Rumor has it that he has also consulted in several presidential campaigns.

The reason Rapaille’s services are in such demand is that he has unlocked the “culture code” of various countries by specifically identifying what causes people from those countries to buy. While the Germans, Japanese and Swiss value perfection, Americans buy on something quite different.

The code for the United States is hope and dreams. Bill Clinton billed himself as “The man from Hope.” Barack Obama campaigned on “hope for the future.” He also authored a book called, “Dreams from My Father.” Both men were on code for the U.S.

Mr. Fix-It

But what about Donald Trump? He’s not talking about hope or dreams. According Rapaille, the third piece of the American culture code is “fix it.”

Americans rank products and services more highly when there has been a problem, and the problem is fixed. Whether it’s immigration, President Obama’s health care law or the economy, Trump is playing the fix-it card with relish and could very well ride “fix it” all the way to the White House.

Trump’s tell-it-like-it-is approach also plays nicely with the millennial mindset that seeks authenticity and directness. In a sea of 17 candidates, Trump has cast himself as both contrarian and political outsider.

While Chris Christie touts his 12-point plan to fix Medicare and Medicaid, Trump’s message is perfectly suited to today’s text and tweet environment — “Make America great again.”

If you dissect this statement, it is a command that also paints a bright future. Without saying it directly, Trump is tapping into his supporters’ hopes and dreams. He has them believing he is the solution to their problems.

Trump the contrarian refused to rule out a third-party run. At every point, he deliberately takes steps to separate himself from his competitors.

When someone told him he wasn’t very likable, his response was, “This election isn’t about likability — it’s about competence.”

Lessons for your real estate business

So what can you learn from Donald Trump that can help your real estate business? Here are six takeaways from his campaign that can help you to grow your business:

1. You’re not selling real estate — you’re selling the dream of homeownership

When you work with first-time buyers, they are seeking to fulfill their version of the American dream. As you work with them, use the word dream often.

Help them create their vision of a bright future. Also use the word dream in your marketing wherever possible.

2. Fix-it is your friend

When something goes wrong in a transaction and you’re facing an angry client, defuse the situation by saying, “It was never my intention to make you angry — what can I do to fix it?” Notice that there is no apology, only an attempt to address the issue and move on.

3. Be a contrarian

If everyone in your market is holding Sunday afternoon open houses, hold a weekday open house where parents picking up their children after school can stop by a few minutes early.

Have plenty of soft drinks and some chocolate to give your visitors that extra boost to get through their busy afternoon.

4. Drop the cliché marketing slogans

Agents love to use adjectives to describe their services — honest, experienced, dedicated, etc. The best marketing taglines that speak to the consumer are short and often contain a command; they clearly spell out what the product does for the customer.

For example, “Fire your landlord — become a homeowner now.”

5. Be the solution to their problems

Agents today are struggling with how to describe the services they provide. Some use the words, consultant or trusted resource.

A better approach might be to describe the services you provide as helping your clients to navigate what is required to close their transactions.

6. Use humor and “pattern interruptions” to diffuse stressful situations

Trump is the master of pattern interruptions. When South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham gave out Trump’s private cellphone number, Trump changed his voice mail into a campaign message promoting his candidacy.

In terms of your real estate business, laughter and pattern interruptions can be powerful negotiation tools. For example, if a seller says, “I don’t want to pay a 6 percent commission,” you could smile and say, “Great — will you be paying me 7, 8, 9 or 10 percent?”

As the 2016 presidential campaign kicks into high gear this fall, pay attention to the messages that resonate with the public. They’re the same people who will buy homes from you now and in 2016.

Bernice Ross, CEO of RealEstateCoach.com, is a national speaker, author and trainer with over 1,000 published articles and two best-selling real estate books. Learn about her training programs at RealEstateCoach.com/AgentTraining and RealEstateCoach.com/newagent.

Email Bernice Ross.

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