I’m continually intrigued with the real estate industry.
Why? Because when asked what they do, real estate professionals will tell you “We market homes (Or commercial buildings if they happen to be a commercial real estate agent).”
Fair enough, I guess we all would agree with that – accept that unlike nearly every other industry where the “experts” provide expertise in their chosen field, real estate agents argue that they are “marketing professionals” when in fact the vast majority “aren’t.”
When speaking at real estate conferences, I highlight to agents that if they were getting medical advice from a doctor, surely they would expect that the doctor had “medical qualifications.”
Likewise, if their car was being serviced by car mechanic, they will expect that the mechanic had some type of certificate on his garage wall highlighting that he has the correct mechanical qualification.
So then I ask the real estate agents “If you guys are professionals at marketing homes, how many of you have marketing qualifications?”
You can hear the cricket on the background when I ask that question!
Most agents have no clue about the very basics of good advertising.
One of the golden rules of the effective advertising is to show your target audience in your marketing.
In other words, if you are selling headache tablets, you would show a housewife rubbing her forehead at the kitchen bench just when the kids are arriving home from school in a “hyper state!”
Or if you were marketing an up-market vacation resort, you would show images of wealthy individuals enjoying the facilities.
What amazes me in the real estate game is that 99% of agents shows residential homes absolute empty of humans.
Have a look on www.realestate.com.au or any real estate section of newspapers – or even a real estate agency window – and you won’t see one single human being in any photograph of any home.
There’s empty large rooms, empty kitchens, empty front yards, empty backyards, empty swimming pool, empty tennis court etc….– You get my drift.
If I was marketing a home to “baby boomers,” I would show images of the husband and wife in various rooms and locations around the property.
If I was marketing a funky inner-city town house to Gen Y or Gen X, I would feature 20 somethings or 30 somethings in appropriate poses throughout the townhouse.
In other words, I would be showing imagery “that would be tempting to any prospective buyer in that age group.”
The fact is that people are attracted to others who look like them in similar environments – so my view is that real estate agents should be showcasing their residential properties being enjoyed by the target audience they are chasing.
It just makes sense, doesn’t it?
Woeful “first impressions” of real estate communities
Have a look at the photographs here of this “Themed Estate” being marketed on the Gold Coast of Australia.
It shows you how these developers have absolutely no clue about “creating a good first impression.”
These estates are probably a couple of years old now and the developer had become “store blind.”
If Disney were marketing this estate, they would have “wow factor” written all over the entrance, because they know that “first impressions are lasting impressions.”
Smart retailers understand this “101 Marketing Philosophy” and that’s why you will see the likes of Myer and David Jones place the appropriate entrances on their storefronts.
In the case of these estates, Huntington Downs and Riverstone Crossing, you’ll see that the developer has left the sand stone fence discolour and the shrubbery become over grown and untidy – and also has allowed weeds and even rubbish build up around entrance.
Now let me put out something pretty important – these estates are selling home and land packages for between $500,000 and $1 Million – so were talking about a purchase decision which is a large one to say the least!
And yet the stupid developer has simply ignored the fact that “the entrance” to their product offering looks dilapidated, untidy and unattractive.
As I said before it’s a classic case of “becoming store blind.”
It’s like this supermarket manager who trips over the box at the entrance of the store each morning and it’s only when the head office supervisor visits and highlights this to him, that he recognises the problem.
If you think about your business for a moment, try to consider if you are suffering from such “store blindness.”
Indeed, get someone who you have respect for to do a “secret chopping exercise” with your business, whether it be phoning your number and monitoring the attitude of your receptionist or visiting your business and putting your stuff in place
You need to remember that “first impressions are lasting impression” and don’t make the same mistakes that real estate agents continually make every single day.
Gael to put photograph of Huntington Downs and Riverstone Crossing and also put photograph of lots of real estate residential home advertisements from online and offline to show that there are no people in the homes.