Do we need to make adjustments to our promotional content in 2023?
I keep reading that things have changed. Consumers have become more skeptical and almost numbed to most sales pitches. People have never wanted to be “sold,” but today we are more likely than ever to turn away from a blatant sales pitch.
Therefore, we need to market our services without being pushy.
Sounding “salesy” just won’t do in 2023. So, what can we do instead?
One guru says promotion in 2023 must include entertainment.
Some of today’s top marketing gurus are telling us that the “information age” is over. We’re now in the “entertainment age.” However, one of those marketers, recognizing that people do still need information, coined the term “infotainment.”
It’s true that no matter how valuable the information is, when it’s presented as “just the dry facts” it can be difficult to digest. In fact, it can be difficult to force ourselves to read it. And if we do get through it, it can be difficult to retain, even if we recognize that we should retain it.
(I’m thinking about the advice you give sellers with regard to having the house ready to show and/or getting the heck out of there during the showing.)
Remember how it was to be a student…
I don’t know about you, but as a student I spent a lot of time trying to memorize things that I thought would be on history tests. Had the same information been in a historical novel rather than a dry old history book or encyclopedia, it would have been easy to remember.
That comes home to me now because I read a lot. Every now and then I come across some historical fact that I find interesting enough to repeat to someone else. For instance, I did not know that the French had a 200-year ban on women wearing trousers. And, once upon a time, that law was actually enforced. Was that in a textbook? I don’t know. But when it was part of a novel, it stuck in my mind, so I took time to learn more about it.
How can you use entertainment in your 2023 real estate promotion?
Real estate is not a laughing matter, so how can you infuse some entertainment?
- Try adding graphics to your blog posts and emails.
- Create some infographics that use silly graphics.
- Tell some amusing (or horrifying) stories.
Which brings me to what another marketing guru has been promoting lately: storytelling.
I like this approach, and for our purposes in real estate promotion, I think it is the most feasible. If you’ve been working with buyers and sellers for a few years – you have a stockpile of stories. While some are probably entertaining, many will be informative and even educational.
I’m sure you have a story or two about sellers who refused to replace the hot pink paint in a bedroom or who followed prospective buyers around the house. And what about those buyers who were sure they could purchase a house for 20% under list – and kept trying that tactic for a year or two.
Even a story about being caught in a downpour while showing acreage or having a flat tire with clients riding in your car would be entertaining. Hmmm… that reminds me. I once locked the keys in the car when we were about 10 miles from town.
Some listings lend themselves to storytelling. If you live in an area that has been settled for a good number of years, you probably have houses that were among the first to be constructed there. Perhaps the first Mayor lived there. Should you have the opportunity to list one of them, do write about that home’s history.
What if you list a haunted house? Depending upon where you are, you have to disclose that, so why not capitalize on it? Write the story and attract those buyers who want a haunted house.
When I was a broker, I wrote “house stories” and used them in ads in our local newspaper.
Blog posts with photos and short stories around your listings are also entertaining.
I’ve seen posts with photos of a doe and fawn crossing the road as an agent drove prospects to a home. I’ve also seen pictures of beautiful sunsets and fields blooming with flowers.
What if touring your new listing means a boat ride – or exploring on horseback? Write a blog post about it and include photos.
Stories make good additions to community pages.
When researching to write community pages for clients, I’ve found fascinating historical information. When that happens, I use it to help give people a sense of the history of a community. Or – just for interest. For instance, I came across a story about what may have been the first foreclosure in the American West when writing about a community in California. Of course I included it.
The long and short of it:
When you entertain someone you capture their attention, causing them to engage with you, even if for a minute. That’s a good thing!
My personal observation about real estate promotion in 2023:
Revealing your location is more important than ever.
Today, when people might well forward your email to a friend, failure to include your location is a huge mistake.
If you send an email that’s entertaining or useful, people might well forward it to friends. And they might forward it on to other friends. And somewhere along the way, there could be someone who is thinking of moving to your city.
But they won’t know that you’re there to help them if that email failed to include your location.
Yes, those who live there will recognize the area code and prefix, and know where you are. But how many people know the area codes and prefixes for cities where they don’t currently reside?
It only takes a minute to add your city and state to your email signature. So just do it!
What has NOT changed in real estate promotion in 2023?
Human nature. We have been so bombarded with advertisement that we’ve become numb to it, but our basic nature hasn’t changed.
- We’re curious.
- We’re interested in things that affect us and/or our loved ones.
- We want to be happy.
- We want to be treated with respect.
- We want to be heard.
- We are driven by our emotions.
In fact, marketers have long known this truth:
People buy with emotion and justify with logic.
Therefore, we must keep emotion in mind when we write promotional material. We have to consider how our product or service will help make our customers happier, healthier, wealthier, or smarter. We have to think about what will make them feel good about using our services or owning our products.
Your assignment for this week:
Determine how or why using you to help buy or sell a home will make your prospective clients feel good.
Then determine how you can use that information in a story or in some other entertaining manner.