I saw a quote on LinkedIn the other day, you might have seen it too, a simple black background with white text that read: “We have always done it that way” The seven most expensive words in business.” And it resonated with me, because it’s true for so many companies in many different industries who continue to market their businesses in the same way they have been doing for years.
And while this strategy works a treat when it comes to baking my nana’s cookies (no need for changing up the recipe there) it’s not necessarily the best one for your Real Estate business.
Why? Because, unlike my nana’s cookies, the likelihood is that the recipe you’re using is not unique to you and so it could potentially be hindering your visibility in one of the most competitive marketplaces there are.
What’s more the introduction of the internet has only elevated that competition; now businesses from the other side of the world are in direct competition. Therefore it’s up to real estate agents to push boundaries and ask “what could I do differently to stand out from the crowd?”
To help inspire you, we’ve put together a couple of ideas to help you take the same marketing concepts used for selling properties for many years, but with a modern twist and some creative initiative applied to how they are executed.
Experiential marketing with Airbnb
Four words: Try before you buy.
Buying a home for most people is likely to be the biggest and most significant purchase they will ever make, in a lifetime. And yet if said home was a car you’d test drive it, if it was a washing machine or dishwasher you would certainly plug it in and check the cycles and settings, so why not introduce try before you buy to real estate?
I’m not talking open houses that merely scratch the surface, I mean allowing a potential buyer to truly experience what it might be like to live in that home.
This is such a great approach because buying a home is a really emotionally weighted decision, therefore by letting someone experience firsthand what their life would be like in that home they naturally begin to create memories and associate emotions with that property. Meaning it could prevent time wasters and give those seriously interested the nudge they need to really fall in love with the place.
Not only that, this type of opportunity markets itself, it’s innovative, it portrays you (the agent) as someone who is adaptable and at the forefront of leveraging new technology. But the best part is it says that you and your seller care more about the buyer of this property than the monetary transaction, you want to find someone who will really enjoy calling it home.
How? Using Airbnb; for those of you who haven’t heard of Airbnb it’s “a community marketplace where guests can book spaces from hosts, connecting people who have space to spare with those who are looking for a place to stay.” In basic terms it’s making your home available for guests to stay overnight or for a few nights, like a hotel service but from your very own home.
Firstly contact the seller and discuss this opportunity with them, the current homeowner will need to set up his or her own Airbnb account on which to make the property available to the public first.
Airbnb explains how to get set up here on their website, and don’t worry it’s really easy to do.
Explore the Area with Foursquare
How often does a client really get to truly explore a new area before moving in?
Sometimes the true selling power of a home comes from the amenities and attributes of an area. The problem is that buyers who don’t already know the neighborhood can have a tough time picturing what their life might be like in those new surroundings.
Again by leveraging new tech, agents and sellers can offer a unique experience for prospective buyers.
Because the buyers and sellers may have very different likes and interests and the agent might not even be particularly familiar with the neighborhood it’s often difficult to recommend things a potential buyer might want to see or experience.
That’s where agents can suggest the Foursquare app. Foursquare creates a “personalised local search experience for its users; by taking into account the places a user goes, the things they have told the app that they like, and the other users whose advice they trust it provides highly personalised recommendations of the best places to go around a user's current location.”
Meaning a buyer using foursquare will receive highly personalised recommendations for things to check out, so if they’re in the neighbourhood for the day, they can go and experience the things they’re most likely to enjoy. And, because Foursquare also links data from social accounts and email; it can also tell prospects where their friends might have visited in that same area.
Very few buyers, specifically ones moving from out of town, take the time to explore an area as if they lived there already before purchasing or renting their new home.
There’s no better way to do just that than by going out for a nice walk or drive to explore the places you (the buyer) would particularly find interesting. The app also uses a map function so prospects are less likely to become frustrated from getting lost because they don’t know the area.
This shows the seller that you’re willing to take outside of the box approaches to sell their home. In addition, it shows your buyers that you also care about them finding the right neighbourhood, and not just the right home.
So there you have it, I hope these ideas have given you some inspiration and sparked some creativity when it comes to selling your properties.
Got questions about what other online channels you could use to further promote your properties? Let’s discuss in the comments below!