In March’s Marketing and Branding Month, we’ll go deep on agent branding and best practices for spending with Zillow, Realtor.com and more. Top CMOs of leading firms drop by to share their newest tactics, too. And to top off this theme month, Inman is debuting a brand new set of awards for branding and marketing leaders in the industry called Marketing All-Stars.
When buyers shop for homes online and read 20 property descriptions in five minutes — will yours prevail and get clicked? Yes, properties will still sell without superior listing copy, but it doesn’t mean it’s the right way to do it. With real estate scrolling, viewing and buying becoming more digital than ever before, employing these tactics will help you gain an edge.
Here’s how to get your listings noticed and convert more prospects into buyers.
Sell a feeling
We humans are emotional creatures. We justify our emotional purchases with logic. A Prius and a Ferrari can both get you from A to B. Heck, the Prius even has more seats. But you don’t buy a Ferrari to get from A to B. You pay for how it makes you feel driving it from A to B.
And that’s why the size of the guest suite won’t matter (just like the number of seats in the Ferrari doesn’t) at least until the logic part kicks in and your prospect calculates the math for price per square foot. Even then, emotion can still triumph over logic. Savvy buyers still purchase Ferraris. Some never even drive them — proving logic in sales is often moot.
For prospects to put mental energy into calculating, an emotional reaction is needed. So rather than just reporting how the property was built or who owned it, indulging their emotional side means you’d like to tell them the story of how it feels to live there; how that big guest suite can entertain the prospect’s family and their dog, Edgar, on holiday visits.
To close any sale, a client must see the benefits of the product and services sold, trust the person or company selling and the brand behind it, and verify that the actual deal makes logical sense.
The amazing thing is, most people don’t necessarily buy from the best. They buy from those they deem least risky. That risk is calculated in the logical part of our brain, the frontal lobe.
If you can position yourself or your brokerage as an authority in the space with long-form blogs that provide exceptional value, testimonials, and press coverage, the next time a prospect sees your ad they’ll logically agree to buy. That’s because the social consensus causes you to appear less risky.
Remember: The prospect will only put in the time and mental energy to calculate risk logically if the emotional desire was created (or pain agitated) previously.
Cutting through the noise
Lastly, here are simple, practical tips you can start implementing today with your current, and future listings:
- Build an outline. Yes, even for listings. A clear, simple message will always triumph over a trendy expensive ad that confuses the prospect.
- Know who you are selling and talking to. Research your audience — where they cohort, what they Google, and the pain points keeping them up at night. (Keep fair housing laws top of mind.)
- Know what you want to say. Craft a message congruent with your culture, values and brand voice.
- Be specific. Specificity equals competency. Specificity gains attention. Property overlooking a lake? Mention which lake. Also, use numbers in your headlines.
- Use active voice, actions and verbs rather than passive adjectives.
- Utilize power words, like unique, must-see, and one-of-a-kind (without over-selling).
- Use white space. Bullet points are key to avoid visually overwhelming prospects.
- Be concise. Get to your point and avoid overcomplicated words.
- Use analogies. They’re one of the best ways to make explanations simpler.
These marketing and copywriting techniques have been battle-tested in many fields, but it’s time to implement them in the real estate space. They’re proven to work, as we humans didn’t change; we’re consumers with a heart first and a brain to follow.
In your sales and marketing efforts, follow the trail of attention, clarity, emotion, logic and goal. These can be tools for building your business, or tools of destruction when beating the competition and cutting through the noise.
Tom Gil is a real estate copywriter and marketing consultant. Connect with him via email.