This is certainly true when it comes to marketing your real estate business. The smallest tweaks to things like word choice or sentence structure can have a huge impact on the persuasiveness of your messaging.
Last week, I shared some fascinating findings from The small BIG—a collection of researched-backed insights in the field of persuasion science—and discussed how real estate agents could apply those insights to different aspects of their business.
For today’s post, I’ve zeroed in on 7 “small BIGs” that can be applied to your messaging to really boost the impact of your real estate marketing.
1) Position yourself as an expert
I know, this one’s pretty obvious. But it’s interesting to learn about the scientific evidence behind this claim. The small BIG highlights a recent brain imaging study in which participants were asked to make decisions about an unfamiliar topic. Some participants were offered advice from an expert; some were not.
The results? It seems when there’s an expert on hand to give advice, most people accept it without question. The brain imaging showed that, “in the presence of expert advice, the areas of the participants’ brains linked to critical thinking and counter-arguing practically flatlined.”
In your marketing, position yourself as an expert. Tailor your messaging to highlight your credentials. If you’re a seasoned agent, you have plenty. If you’re a newbie, you might have to get more creative with your credentials—perhaps you could highlight how your recent graduation from the local real estate school has armed you with the latest strategies and insights for buying and selling in today’s market. Just be careful not to exaggerate or tell an outright lie.
2) Be an “uncertain expert”
Sometimes, there’s just no clear answer. And when that’s the case, don’t be afraid to admit to being uncertain. It creates intrigue and draws in your audience. (It also shows authenticity.)
This is a great technique to apply when emailing your real estate contacts about housing market predictions. There’s no way of knowing exactly how the national housing trends will impact your local market...so just admit that you’re not 100% certain! It’s not what they’re expecting to hear from you, so it’s a great way to pique some interest.
3) Focus on potential
Several studies have demonstrated that we are often more intrigued by someone’s potential for greatness than we are by their actual achievements. For example, in a study where two groups of Facebook users were shown quotes about a comedian, those who saw quotes focused on the comedian’s potential (“This guy could be the next big thing!”) showed much more interest than those who saw quotes about his actual accomplishments (“He has become the next big thing!”)
This further supports the previous point that uncertainty really does pique interest.
Of course, on its own, potential won’t persuade people. That’s just the attention-grabber. The second step is backing it up with facts.
How can you use this strategy to your advantage? Here are two ideas:
- To sell a less-desirable property...highlight its potential as a fixer-upper and a smart investment...and then provide documentation on how renovations can increase a home’s value.
- To be a strong contender among more experienced agents...highlight your potential as an agent with a fresh perspective and a knowledge of the most current strategies...and then share testimonials from a few past clients who benefited from those strengths.
4) State the benefit first
During a sales pitch, you should always state the benefit (the product or service) to the listener or reader first. One study in The small BIG revealed that people were more likely to prefer an offer of “580 hours of TV for $285.90” versus “$285.90 for 580 hours of TV.”
Real estate agents can apply this insight in a slightly different way. One example: saying “I have sold 520 homes in 15 years” would be more effective than “In my 15 years as an agent, I’ve sold 520 homes.”
5) Remind them of that other benefit
For every product or service offering, there’s always an additional (often unspoken) benefit.
In a study, one group was presented with an offer to either A) buy a DVD for $14.99 or B) not buy the DVD. A second group was presented with the same offer, but framed differently: A) buy a DVD for $14.99 or B) not buy the DVD and use the $14.99 for something else. In the second group, the purchase rate dropped by 20 percent.
What additional or consequential benefits can you highlight in your messaging? Perhaps you could remind sellers that by choosing to use an agent (rather than selling their home themselves), they are saving time and energy that can be better spent preparing for their move.
6) Spread the L-O-V-E
According to The small BIG, “when people are exposed to a sign that is synonymous with love... it serves as a cue that activates other behaviors associated with love,” such as helping or giving.
When asking your past real estate clients for referrals, consider using the word love (or even an image of a heart) in your messaging. It just might put them in a more generous spirit!
7) Be strategic with numbers
By changing just one number, you could have a better success rate when trying to set appointments with potential clients. Here are two ways how:
To grab someone’s attention when trying to make an appointment, use a precise time such as 3:47 pm. It’s a little odd, but that’s why it works.
When reading a number, people tend to focus on the left-most digit, so try scheduling a 15-minute phone call rather than a 20-minute call. The “1” in 15 will get a more positive reaction than the “2” in 20.
Small Changes = Big Impact
The next time you’re drafting a follow-up email or writing a bio or creating a Facebook post, stop and see if you can incorporate one of these “small BIGs.” Whether it’s tweaking an appointment time, restructuring a sentence, or adding a heart to an image, one small change might make a big difference in the effectiveness of your marketing.
Give it a try. With each of these tactics being such a small time investment, what do you have to lose?