If you were to come to me and ask me about your marketing plan, my first step would be to apply a simple system called the AIDA approach. It’s not new. In fact, the AIDA approach to marketing is something that every college marketing student learns in their first semester at school.
Unfortunately, this technique is a secret to most sellers, and even to many real estate professionals. Why? Most homeowners and real estate agents have never been trained to use this technique. To tap into the approach, let’s first break down the letters to grasp their full meaning. AIDA is an acronym for :
A: Attention I: Interest D: Desire A: Action
Attention: Standing Out In a Crowd
To truly stand head and shoulders above the competition requires something bold, sensational, thought-provoking and at the very least interesting. Headlines are said to be read 10 times more than the body of any advertisement. This is what I call gut-level marketing. Great marketing must first hit you in the gut. It’s not a logical response. It’s an emotional experience, purely gut level.
In addition to a great headline, another powerful way to stop readers dead in their tracks is to use the power of pictures. Pictures have the power to convey a message far faster than any group of words. Why? People think in pictures, not words. Consider the last time you had a dream; did you dream in words or in vivid, streaming visual images?
Interest: Holding A Buyer’s Attention
Homeowner’s can’t afford to have their home viewed as just another commodity, another home in a long list of homes that buyers can choose from. Instead, successful sellers find ways to separate their home from the market, to show off the differences. Ask yourself: How is my home unique compared to the competition? Try looking at the location, the architectural features, construction details, remodeling projects, and landscaping. Also, don’t overlook soft amenities. Soft amenities are those items that may be intangible but that add real value to your home’s desirability. Examples of soft amenities might be described as school district, proximity to shopping or medical services, or even a nearby neighborhood park.
Desire: Overcoming Buyer Resistance
Think about the last time you made a large purchase. Just as you were about to max out your gold card, did something creep into your mind? What many people suffer from at this point is buying resistance. Buying resistance is that nagging voice in the back of your head that keeps whispering to you that you should think longer, shop harder, and avoid making a buying decision.
Buyers need to feel comfortable about making the decision to call a real estate agent or owner about viewing a home. They don’t want to feel trapped into a high-pressure sales pitch; they just want to view the home and then decide if they want to move forward.
Three Ways To Overcome Initial Buyer Resistance:
- Offer prerecorded information. Many sellers and agents invest in a voice message system that will enable you to record a message providing detailed information about your home that buyers can tap into 24/7.
- Offer access to a virtual tour. A virtual tour is an online walk-through of your home that buyers can view from the comfort of their home. This allows buyers the luxury of snooping through your bedrooms and bathrooms without ever picking up the phone.
- Offer easy showing options. Let buyers know that viewing your home is easy. If your home is listed, you might note that the home can be shown by using a lockbox. If the home is unlisted, you might note the days or times that the home is available for showings.
Action: Motivating a Client to Call You
Think of a buyer’s motivation to take action as a block of concrete, something that is massively heavy and almost impossible to move. Any homeowner can inspire a buyer to pick up the phone by using the right lever. The challenge, then, is to identify the right lever, because, of course, every buyer is motivated by different things. Because of this, many successful home seller’s perception of what the most likely buyer for his home will look like, not physically, but demographically.
When you create a picture of your most likely buyer, many things will fall into place. First, you will be able to build your marketing around a specific target audience – something that professional marketing experts always do before launching any new product. Second, you will be able to identify what is likely to motivate this buyer to take action.
Keith Jenkins has been in the real estate business since 1992 and is currently consulting agents at Glen Cove Homes For Sale in New York City.