How to make buying a home an experience instead of an exercise

Principal Consultant , David Allison Inc.
  • Feb. 17, 2010

If we started thinking about how to make buying a home an experience, instead of a sales and marketing exercise, I’m convinced we’d see better results. Here’s what I mean.

Put yourself in the shoes of a prospect. They think they know what they are looking for, and probably have a dream list in mind of features, location and price point. They are likely talking to friends, dropping into sales centres, and scanning the web and the newspapers for information that matches the ideal home they have in mind.

When they find an information source, they look for the basics (Right neighbourhood? Right price?) then based on these limited facts they decide if it is worth investigating further. Well, to be fair, they are also exposed to a rendering, maybe a view shot, and some kind of headline the likes of which we’ve all seen before “Live the life you deserve” or “Homes designed with you in mind,” or “Welcome Home.”

How are they supposed to make a decision to connect based on that? If you take six different ad campaigns (lets pick one in print for a moment) and you spread them all out on a table, what makes one stick out from the next? A nicer view shot? A better rendering? A snappier headline? How is any of this helping those poor people deciding what to do next?

If you’ve been reading this column you know that I subscribe to what we call Marketing Journalism. I believe we need to tell all kinds of amazing robust stories about the homes we have to sell…in all our communication channels. These stories include information on features and the neighbourhood of course. But what about the rest of the information that people want to know before they buy? Who is going to live near me? What does the city plan for the neighbourhood? How far is the nearest school and is it any good? What does Stats Canada have to say about demographic trends in the surrounding community? What kind of transit service is near? If I’m buying a condo, will I hear my neighbours? What does the warranty cover, in plain English? Do I qualify for a mortgage?

The point is, there are so many questions and details that flood the mind of a prospect, it creates a real opportunity. If you can help calm them by answering as many of these questions in your marketing as you can, you’ll be way ahead of your competitors. But then what?

How can you make the initial contact with your sales team more informative and pleasant?

What “legwork” can you do to provide the prospect with resources they will need?

Can you have direct links to dedicated professionals who are familiar with your project that can help with mortgages, moving, renovations, and all the other details?

Can you provide comparable re-sale figures for similar product in your area to save them from tracking it down?

Can you provide toys for kids in a safe play area while young couples tour your show homes?

Can you park their car?

I’m rambling now. But I think I made my point. Put yourself in their shoes. Think about how tiring and confusing and anxiety-laden the process of buying a home can be. Then, instead of thinking just about sales & marketing, think about the whole experience…starting with marketing and ending with a sale. What are all the little things you can do to make it easy, simple, and maybe even fun?

For more information on Marketing Journalism, download a free copy of my book, Sell The Truth here and plan on attending a breakfast seminar on March 29th, presented by RENX, featuring myself, Hunter Milborne, and a few surprise guest speakers.

Formal registration isn’t set up yet, but for readers of Sell The Truth on, you can pre-register by simply sending me an email at [email protected] and I’ll let you know when the registration system is set up. Proceeds from this seminar will go to a GTA charity, thanks to our generous sponsors, who will be revealed shortly.

We have one sponsorship opportunity remaining, at $1500, and if you are interested in getting your company name in front of a room full of real estate movers-and-shakers let me know. You can email me at the above address for more information.

David Allison works with executive teams in real estate development and other industries to craft the early-stage vision and brand for projects of all kinds. He crystallizes the most interesting…

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David Allison works with executive teams in real estate development and other industries to craft the early-stage vision and brand for projects of all kinds. He crystallizes the most interesting…

Read more

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