Building a trust-based connection with your farming area is the foundation for generating listings and referrals in real estate marketing
Let’s start with a quick little experiment. Consider the two headlines below:
- “John Smith named Realtor of the Year at Broker, Inc!”
- “Record High Prices for Sunny Hills Neighborhood Homes this Season!”
As a homeowner in the Sunny Hills neighborhood, which article would appeal to you? Do you really care that John Smith was named ‘Realtor of the Year’? After receiving marketing like this month after month, you might start tossing it right in the recycling bin without so much of a glance.
But what about the second headline? You might begin to think there could be some useful market information inside for you. Instead of tossing it in the recycling bin, you might put it on the counter and read it while you make your morning coffee.
I mean – this might seem obvious, but we see it every day. Realtors wouldn’t give a hoot about their insurance agent winning an award or hitting a goal, yet they turn around and build an extensive campaign about how awesome of a realtor they are.
With the coronavirus pandemic, you’ve probably already had to make some big changes to your business. So what better timing to really evaluate your real estate marketing message?
Fact: Buying Patterns Have Changed Dramatically in the Last 10 Years
- 70% of consumers prefer getting to know a company via articles rather than ads. (Source: Content Plus)
- 90% of consumers find custom content useful. (Source: TMG Custom Media)
- 78% believe that organizations behind the content are interested in building good relationships. (Source: TMG Custom Media)
As consumers receive more and more advertising, they are becoming conditioned to tune out anything that comes across as ‘salesy’. Although it’s important to communicate the value that you have to offer and share real-life success stories, building a credible trust-based communication is the foundation for generating listings and referrals in real estate marketing.
Trust Is Built Subconsciously
We don’t just one day decide that we are going to trust someone. Rather, one day we just realize that we trust someone. Big decisions, including home purchase decisions, happen in the part of the brain where we process emotions. Trust is an emotion.
Trust = Purchase
90% of purchase decisions are not made consciously according to a brain scan study conducted by Martin Lindstrom in 2015. He found that brands that are intentional about evoking our emotions always win. Decision making is wired to our emotions for very good reasons. It’s nearly impossible for one to consciously tally, score, process, and react to the thousands of facts and information that come to us daily. Our subconscious does this for us and creates a ‘gut feeling’ without our awareness.
The great thing about our gut feeling is that it is actually quite efficient in making the right decision. In fact – relying on your intuition is more efficient than manually and consciously sorting through a million variables. That’s why we are built to rely on it.
What Does This Mean For Real Estate Agents?
The key takeaway for real estate agents is this:
If two agents are competing for a listing, the agent who has taken the time and effort to embed themselves in the emotional part of the brain (the subconscious) will get the listing.
“Embed themselves in the emotional part of the brain” translates to prospecting and marketing in such a way that resonates at the human level. The marketing should evoke an emotional response and leave the prospect feeling like the agent cares about their market, is knowledgable in their market, and can be trusted.
In order to evoke these types of emotions in the homeowner, the homeowner needs to experience these emotions repeatedly and consistently over time. The agent needs to offer valuable and custom content to homeowners in their farm over at least 6 months.
How To Position Yourself As The Realtor Of Choice In The Emotional Brain
Show… Don’t Tell
First, you must show homeowners that you are knowledgeable and that you care about them, their community, and ultimately, the sale of their home. Offering homeowners information that they personally care about accomplishes this much quicker than sending information that they don’t care about. Against our best advice, we have worked with agents who insist on publishing self-promoting headlines on the front covers of their neighborhood magazines. After investing thousands of marketing dollars, the agent either learns the hard way and begins to publish community-centered content… or they quit out of frustration.
We encourage our agents to keep their custom real estate marketing content focused on their community and farming neighborhood. For example, during the pandemic, we have published articles for agents about how COVID-19 was impacting their local housing market. Similarly, we also make sure that the general articles (the syndicated articles that we publish inside each client’s magazine) really hit home and resonate with homeowners. These principles apply whether you publish with us or on your own.
Branding Is Still Essential
While you’re regularly supplying your prospects with valuable and interesting information, you still need to remain front and center. This doesn’t mean you need to tout about how you sold an $8M listing last month, but you still need prominent branding. Make sure your headshot and contact info is always present alongside your marketing. Otherwise, you’ll be cultivating meaningful relationships while the connection gets lost.
It’s also important to convey what you do and how you can help in a way that will resonate with the emotional part of the brain. Instead of utilizing a page in your magazine with dry testimonials, run a short article titled “Sunny Hills Success Story” with a photo of the happy family that you helped and tell their story. Include the part about how they needed to move abruptly, how you helped them with staging and fix-ups, and how you marketed their listing in your vast network.
Instead of including a lengthy story about how you’re the best agent in Sunny Hills, have your design team create an infographic showcasing how you stack up to other realtors.
The Bottom Line
The most important message here is that self-promotion fails as the core of any marketing strategy. Think instead of how to show your farming neighborhood you are a caring, knowledgeable, trusted expert. And make sure they know it’s from you.
The Neighborhood Connection is committed to helping your business thrive. Through our direct mail marketing services, we can support you in getting your message out in a thoughtful and sensitive manner that resonates with your prospects. The homeowners in your farming area will value your commitment to the community and remember you when they’re ready to buy or sell.