Behavioral psychology helps explain why we behave the way we do. But can it be used to make better strategic real estate marketing decisions? Learn how marketers are using these principles and think about how you can apply them to your next real estate marketing campaign.
A/B Testing – A/B Testing is simply the idea of testing different visual messaging and comparing it to customer engagement and other metrics. Probably the most famous public case study of successful A/B Testing is the Obama 2008 campaign’s use of A/B testing when picking their landing page image, copy, color, and call to action buttons. By testing and choosing the options that responded best with consumers on this single page, the campaign raised an additional $60 million dollars compared to the conversion rates they had on the initial page. Most interestingly, this example teaches us marketers to question assumptions. In this example, the entire marketing team was convinced that having a video was the best option for the landing page, but after thorough testing the images easily outperformed. How does this relate to real estate? Registrants, splash pages, brand messaging, call to action buttons, written copy, button selection, there’s a lot that can be applied from this example to virtually any new build real estate website, branding strategy, or marketing campaign I’ve seen.
In case you were wondering, see the original and best performing landing pages at the link below. Pay attention to the image, colors, written copy, and call to actions buttons.
For more information on the Obama A/B Testing Experiment and results click here: http://blog.optimizely.com/2010/11/29/how-obama-raised-60-million-by-running-a-simple-experiment/
Perceived Value – Perceived value is an interesting concept. We’re all vaguely familiar with the idea of comparing options based on things other than price, but how does it relate with real estate. If the goal is to maximize your development’s profitability; is providing a generic price sheet with a few pricing metrics really the best way to get buyer’s to go for the bigger unit and the better finishings? I’m convinced that most developers lose substantial value at this portion of the sales cycle leading to lower selling prices and conversion rates. Is there a better way? There definitely is, however it requires leadership from the top and implementation systems monitored throughout the sales and marketing teams. Lots of interesting software in this area, but even some simple templates and a good color printer would be a massive improvement to maximizing the perceived value of units available for sale.
The Psychology of Story Telling – As we’ve written in the past, we’re a big proponent of telling a lifestyle story when it comes to property marketing as opposed to showing a price and a floor plan. In 2013, most developer’s get this. The question is what is the best way to tell these stories? There are a number of ways to do this correctly and creatively, but at a bare minimum you need to be sure of a few things:
a) Present imagery that exactly matches the message you are telling. Remember, the imagery paints the picture of any good story. Don’t rely on stock photos and low quality images as your message will get lost beside the visual distraction.
b) Give your buyers examples of people who are solving their problems by purchasing the property/lifestyle you are selling. This technique is called modeling and is often used in explainer videos for new software. In real estate, this means connecting your project’s benefits with the problems that your likely buyers need solved. (Great urban location/More entertainment options, Large Yards/More open space for your expanding family, etc….)
c) Context. Basically, does your message seem genuine or did it come from the Hallmark store of real estate advertising? Does it mesh with your website, sales center, social media, sales people, and other touch points? This can be tough in real estate when your project may in actuality have a similar value offering. Remember, the consumer doesn’t know this and it’s your job as a marketer to be sure that your project is successful in communicating your unique story and positioning at every touch point throughout the sales cycle.
All in all, there are a number of fascinating tools now available to marketers. Even if these suggestions seem like overkill for your company or project, the reality is that this stuff matters. At a bare minimum, move the conversation away from whether you and your team like a new piece of marketing to how do we think this marketing message makes our target customer feel. By changing your philosophical approach on evaluating new marketing collateral, you’ll be taking two steps in the right direction.