The Power to Influence Purchasing Decisions: Real Estate Marketing Insights for Agents
By Matthew Bushery
About Inbound Marketing
Like any other consumer decision, who to buy from or hire typically comes down to a handful of key factors: awareness, trust, quality, effort, and reliability. More often than not, convincing your leads to sign on with you and to let you guide them to find the right home or list their own requires some savvy salesmanship.
These brand traits were explored at length during a roundtable discussion at Placester’s Boston headquarters to determine what exactly drives consumers’ decision-making and the role businesses — in your case, real estate professionals and agencies — play in their audience’s buying choices.
We hosted the discussion live on Facebook, but you can check out the entire video of the 30-minute panel discussion below, and read on to learn some of the key takeaways from the chat which featured Placester VP of Industry Relations Seth Price, Placester Senior Marketing Manager Katie Price, Wellesley College Professor and Neuroscientist Dr. Sara Wasserman, and Wistia Customer Growth Manager Andrew Capland.
Dr. Sara Wasserman: Fruit flies and humans have more in common than you think. Bear with me for a second …
Human beings may not feel comfortable being compared to animals that still reside within the food chain, but as Dr. Wasserman indicated during the panel discussion, people and fruit flies share many commonalities. This isn’t a slight to humans, but rather an interesting evolutionary detail — and one that can help modern marketers and brands better understand how their niche audience’s minds work.
“Fruit fly brains are really similar to our brains — surprisingly,” Dr. Wasserman noted. “It’s pretty amazing and very humbling. They have these big eyes, and they have a lot of their brain committed to processing visual information so they don’t crash into things. … But the way in which they interact with the world, take in sensory information, assign value to it, prioritize that information, integrate their internal state … they might assign different value to the things in their environment.”
So, just like humans, fruit flies make quick, instinctual decisions about what they do, eat, and fly to by the second. Only humans, of course, have the ability to consume products and services, though, and that is something Dr. Wasserman stated is something businesses all over will continue to research further to better understand whom they serve.
“I’m really trying to understand how the brain makes a decision, and in the lab, we have to decide what it means for the brain to make a decision,” Dr. Wasserman added. “For me, at this moment in time, the first step is what to pay attention to in your environment and what to ignore, and assigning value to what you pay attention to. … You’re constantly updating that value and things can change.”
Andrew Capland: Communicating with customers based on insights beats cold-communicating every single time.
Leveraging data is at the heart of nearly all brands’ marketing and sales efforts today. Increased customer knowledge has allowed companies to create hyper-targeted marketing campaigns that allow for more successful sales conversations down the line, and, as Capland articulated during the roundtable, an easier time converting leads.
“We don’t cold-communicate at all anymore,” said Capland, referring to his company, the video-hosting service Wistia. “We’ve done some experimentation with a cold email list to see what kind of response we get, and it’s just been tough. The more you know about something, the more you can customize ‘success’ language to them. So everything we do at this point is warmer, and the warmer, the better. We take our warm leads, we score them, categorize them based on … company size, job title, industries that they’re in, and the more that we know, the more helpful we can be.”
So how can real estate pros utilize this approach for their own marketing plans and better connect with their core demographics and prospective leads? Capland has a specific vision as to how agents and brokers should deal with the data they collect on their audiences.
“Start simple,” Capland recommends. “Data can be overwhelming and paralyzing at first, especially if you’re not super data-savvy. So you look at all this stuff and go, ‘I think I should probably be tracking all of it.’ And so the question we ask ourselves [at Wistia] is: ‘If I knew this answer, what would I do differently tomorrow?’ If the answer is, ‘I don’t know,’ then we ignore that data point for the short term.”
Katie Dick: Have the right data tools in place — then you can make the most of that data for your marketing and sales.
Dr. Wasserman and Capland explained in great detail what it takes to use data to make marketing- and sales-oriented decisions that can affect one’s bottom line, but as Placester’s own Katie Dick noted, it takes a concentrated plan to learn how to efficiently earn that data in the first place.
“Having the data in the first place is so important,” Dick stated. “Your customer success is your success. That’s probably true in every industry, but I don’t think it could be any truer than it is in real estate because, not only do you have to convince someone to work with you, but then you have to actually help them successfully buy or sell a home. So it is the truest form of being helpful and making your customer happy.”
One of the best means for agents and brokers to keep tabs on new leads, according to Dick? Have a mobile real estate CRM that simplifies the lead management process for them — everything from adding leads while out and about on the job to setting tasks and reminders for those prospects when away from the office.
“The on-the-go nature [of the industry] is critical to a real estate agent because so much of their work is out in the field,” said Dick. “They’re not sitting at their office in front of a desktop computer. They’re out there doing listing presentations. They’ve got showings, open houses. It’s also a relationship business. Even if they don’t have one of those pre-defined activities, they’re probably out there in their community connecting with people and looking for ways to help.”
Given that responsiveness was rated as the top quality home buyers and sellers look for in an agent, per the National Association of Realtors’ latest Generational Trends report, Dick said it’s vital for real estate agents and brokers to have the right resources at their disposal when working out in their markets, trying to generate new business.
Download Placester Mobile for your iPhone® today to enhance your real estate lead management and nurturing strategy while on the go. Then, check out these tips for How to Make the Most of Your Lead Management System.
What do you make of the panel’s insights and opinions regarding how brands — and real estate pros — can affect their audiences’ buying decisions? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!
Published on November 25, 2016
Written by Matthew Bushery
As the Content Creator at Placester, I'm devoted to producing content that helps transform real estate professionals' marketing efforts and bottom lines. When I'm not developing Academy posts here, I'm writing film reviews and screenplays (the latter of which will never see the light of day).