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I usually try to stick to the internet marketing side of the real estate discussion and avoid getting into specific pitches and market narratives. But I just read a post I want to make sure my audience reads and discusses.
Seth Godin has a recent post using the marketing of the scientific concepts of evolution and gravity as a metaphor for understanding how you pitch and position your product. The post is brief and uses real estate as an example throughout. The basic premise is that gravity is accepted more easily than evolution because gravity can be quickly demonstrated (drop something vs wait multiple generations to see evolution at work) and because there were no previously held beliefs with which gravity was in conflict.
To restate, what makes a concept easier to sell:
- Concept does not displace, refute or disagree with a previous concept
- Concept can be demonstrated very quickly
Seth uses real estate as an example of an easier concept:
Five years ago, if you wanted to persuade people to buy real estate as an investment it was pretty easy.
1. The existing worldview was that real estate was a pretty good investment.
2. You could see, in the course of weeks or months, the price of homes going up.
Magic. Who’s in? Bid, bid, bid.
Of course, now times have changed. That first premise (real estate is a pretty good investment) is a bit shaken. People don’t see their home prices going up. In the face of this changed sentiment, Godin notes:
Real estate, of course, has a long row to hoe now. While there may be a long-term story to sell, it’s in conflict to a painfully learned new worldview, and it’s happening slowly. Perhaps there’s a better story to tell.
Sadly, he doesn’t go on to elaborate what that better story is. But those of you who are working in real estate can and should be able to find out what that story is. You’re also in a better position to develop that narrative than anyone else.
Seth does give two tactics to consider when developing your new and better story:
Tactic 1: Try to tell a story that complements an existing story rather than calling it out as false.
Tactic 2: Try to make the ‘proof’ as vivid and immediate as possible. Like an apple falling on your head.
I like to make sure that there are tangible things you can do with information and strategy so I’m going to wrap this up with the following to do list for my real estate audience (and as usual, I bet even if you aren’t in real estate you can find a way to make this stuff work for you):
- Develop a two sentence version of a real estate marketing “better story” that conforms to the two tactics outlined by Seth Godin above.
- Change the text on your most visited web page to reflect this new and better story. For backup on this, read my previous post about your making your home page reflective of the current world view.
- Report back how this works for you. Help some other people change their story in their market.