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Spotify creative strategist Jenny Hoffman spends more time thinking about audio — and its absence — than most people.
Hoffman takes an eight-day retreat in Northern California every year, where she spends those days in silence in an effort to unplug from the rushes of everyday life.
“It is the greatest gift I have given myself,” she said on stage at Inman Connect in New York on Wednesday.
Real estate marketing is often focused on the visual components of a home, with professional photographs showing off every room and detail of the property for sale, and often written information about the location.
But Hoffman thinks more listings should take the sounds of the property into account. She played an audio recording of chirping birds and ambient traffic noise made in the backyard of her Los Angeles home to illustrate her point.
Audio plays a bigger role in our lives than we often realize, she said, and it acts as a companion at moments in our life when other formats, such as text and visuals, don’t work, such as when we are exercising, driving or sleeping.
“Audio is really ingrained in who we are as humans,” she said. “And it’s ingrained in the habits we have in daily life.”
Working in audio made her appreciate the omnipresence of noise, especially in major cities, and the rarity and value of silence, she said.
“I’m a big fan of silence,” she said. “What I love about silence is it’s actually good for you.”
Given the importance of audio in our lives, and the sought-after commodity that is silence, agents would benefit from including an audio snippet in their listings to give potential buyers a more immersive sense of the home.
“Wouldn’t it be great if I could actually hear what a home sounds like, so I know if it’s on a peaceful street or next to a fire station, or near an airport?” she said. “Sound is the other half of the equation, and it really evokes emotion.”
To that end, she also suggested agents put effort into curating a good open house playlist and try to choose music that evokes feelings of warmth.
“Think about curating open house playlists,” she said. “It really can evoke the feeling that you want the buyer to have.”