Meet the irrational human
Have you ever worked with a home buyer who bought a house because it “felt right”, even when that home didn’t specifically check off their list of needs? I have. Have you decided to do something in your business on a hunch? Hired someone because you liked them more than a more qualified candidate? I have. Just last week I had a consulting client totally shift their strategy because of a gut feeling, and then work the math backward to justify why it’s the best move.
As much as we like to think that we’re totally rational and fact-driven creatures, we are not. Most often, it’s the opposite. In fact, according to a Harvard Business School study, our subconscious is responsible for 95% of our purchasing decisions. We are still driven by our ancient brains – safe is good, dangerous is bad. We’re drawn to things that help us meet our needs, we resist what we are uncomfortable with, and are repelled by things that feel threatening.
Depending on how you look at it, that’s either really cool, moderately creepy, or just weird. I’ll go with really cool and here’s why. First, I just find it very interesting. Second, because the more that we know about why people choose to do business with us, the more that we can tap into it to stand out against our competition.
How to make it work to your advantage
Think about this. You and every other agent in your market want to reach people at the exact moment that they’re thinking about buying or selling a home. That’s pretty tough timing. How do you position yourself ahead of time so when they do decide to buy or sell? How do you set yourself up to be their “gut instinct” decision and the agent who they hire because it “feels right”?
First thing is, you want to get your marketing game really spot on. The other thing is, you need to know who you are and what makes you stand out, who your ideal client is, what their deeper level needs are, and then connect the dots with your real estate marketing strategy. Each agent has something unique and you do, too. Your personality, your negotiation style, your work process, your knowledge. Brand archetypes are a great way to start defining your unique market position. You can begin with this quiz, and it’s free. It will also help you to determine what the underlying needs are of the people who are most likely to be drawn to you.
Fit those underlying and unconscious needs and you’ll attract the clients you will shine with. If, for example, you’re a detail-driven structure person, the people who need that usually have an underlying need for safety and stability. They need someone that they can trust to take charge. If you’re a people person who loves taking care of clients, you’ll likely attract people who need to feel accepted and that they belong.
Every Little Thing
Everything they see in your marketing and branding needs to appeal to those underlying needs. You want to motivate in the right way, and not in a manipulative one.
The key is to build all of your marketing and branding around it. Your materials, your social feeds, your listing marketing, your website copy. Every. Little. Thing. Right down to what you share on social and how you word it. Be consistent and you’ll see the rewards but be careful.
If you are not consistent with it, then it comes off as fake, and this will ultimately bite you in the butt. We are instinctively driven by our ancient brains to survive. Just like humans are attracted to things that feel right, we are repelled by things that don’t. Just as quickly as they will choose to work with you because of a gut instinct, anything that feels disconnected or off-brand will trigger mistrust. If they don’t trust you, they will choose any other agent but you. Our subconscious mind attracts us to things that fill our underlying needs but it’s also responsible for our fight or flight response. If it feels unsafe or disingenuous, we run the other way.
In the real estate jungle, you can be part of the tribe that they love or the predator that they hide from. You cannot be both.