In real estate we often talk about property as a “house”. In my opinion real estate professionals that sell the “house” are not doing their sellers any favors. Why? Because simply put; buyers don’t buy houses – they buy homes.
For most people the place they live with their families is more than simple shelter and a place to live. It seems to me that there is a big difference between a house and home. Home is the place you share with your loved ones. It’s where you raise your kids. A home contains memories of laughter, tears, skinned knees, barbeques, goodbyes, births, deaths, neighbors, friends and families. It is more than wood and concrete, the trees and lawn, the yard and shed; these things are simply the house. A home is more than these; it is the people and things your family lives around, the postman, the neighbors, the milk man, the bus stop the school, the Church, the sidewalks, parks and alleys. It’s the memories of standing at the bus stop watching your son or daughter leave to school on their own for the first time. It is birthdays, anniversaries, graduations and holidays. A home is pencil marks on a door jamb reflecting the growth of a child. A home is where memories live, where life’s passages are marked, where the troubles of the world are left behind; a safe place we can go to share the warmth and love of family that keeps us going every day of our lives. A home is truly defined by all the collective experiences and memories of the families that live, and have lived, in it.
People don’t buy houses, they buy homes. They buy more than a place to live. They buy happiness, security and a place to create those memories and experiences that make life worth living. For most people buying a home is an emotional experience. It is more than an investment or a simple purchase. Good real estate professionals acknowledge and embrace this fact.
So how, as a real estate professional, can you turn a house into a home? How about getting the seller involved to tell their story? I realize that to many (especially old school) Realtors that this is viewed as sacrilege. I would argue that it is simply smart marketing. Buyers need to be sold emotionally and many sellers have a great story. I also think that many sellers have would be thrilled at the opportunity to contribute to the one of the biggest transactions they are likely to make, some of them may just want the chance to say goodbye to a place that has been their home.
To back up this thought here is a snippet from Zig Ziglar’s “Secrets of Closing the
Sale”. This snippet was given to me over a year ago by
Wendell Willick, our CEO and big Zig Ziglar fan.
The New York Times printed a story of how a
New Jersey housewife’s feeling for her home, combined with her sense of what makes good advertising copy, in one day sold a home that five brokers had been carrying for three months. Mr. and Mrs. Lowe decided to sell their two-bedroom home to buy a larger one since space was becoming a problem. The brokers ran typical, standard ads like “Cozy six-room home, ranch style with fireplace, garage, tile baths, all hot water heat, convenient to
Rutgers campus, stadium, golf courses, and primary school.” Those are facts, but people do not buy facts or even benefits unless they can see those benefits translated to their own personal use.
After three months Mrs. Lowe ran an ad herself. She was anxious to get something done and believed she could sell her home. Here’s the way the ad ran:
We’ll Miss Our Home
“We’ve been happy in it but two bedrooms are not enough for us, so we must move. If you like to be cozy by a fire while you admire autumn woods through wide windows, protected from the street, if you like shady yard in summer, a clear view of winter sunsets, and quiet enough to hear frogs in spring, but city utilities and conveniences, you might like to buy our home. We hope so. We don’t want it to be empty and alone at Christmas.
Out of the six responses the next day, one person bought the home.
Now look back at those word pictures. Block off the first sentence and you can see a happy family crowded together in a nice home which is just too small for the current owners. You immediately see that there is nothing wrong with the home. The problem is too many occupants. IMPORTANT: Slow down and tank the rest of that ad on a phrase-by-phrase basis. There are seven additional pictures, a total of eight pictures in the eighty-six words in the body of the ad. Now tell yourself the truth. Did you see the other picture in the heading – or was it so obvious you missed it? That’s the reason I keep telling you to study this book a number of times.
This ad or “sales talk” painted a beautiful picture of the features and benefits the Lowes had enjoyed as owners, but it did even more. It promised the new owners they would inherit the same beauty, benefits, and enjoyment. It painted a beautiful picture of happiness, contentment, and security which the new owners would inherit.
Your probably notice that Mrs. Lowe advertised her “home” not her “house”. The difference between a house and a home is love. The new owners could undoubtedly sense the love the Lowes had for their “home”. They didn’t want to buy a house to occupy. They wanted to invest in a home to live in. Yes, words do make a difference, don’t they
I don’t know if any of you have read any of Zig Ziegler’s books but I personally would highly recommend them.
In order to facilitate seller participation we introduced the “seller comment area” This is an area where the seller can add his own comments. They are able to do this if you email them the seller login and password which is easily done from “manage listing”. Note that you can edit and moderate any of the seller comments. So asking the seller to participate in the marketing of their home doesn’t allow you to stop doing your job. As a professional marketer you will need to provide marketing guidance and quite probably even your English skills.
Since the release of “seller comments” we have some great seller comments and many of our members have been surprised at how good (and effective) some sellers comments have been, many have been surprise at how please sellers have been with this feature. Here are some current examples of what these can look like. Why not help yourself and give your sellers a chance to express themselves!