Harnessing emotions to sell real estate

Think about the last major purchase you made. How did you make it? Chances are, you didn’t just use cold, hard logic to make your decision. Your emotions were probably hard at work behind the scenes, giving you a ‘gut feel’ about the choices in front of you.

Emotions are a crucial part of any decision-making process, big or small. The science backs this up: a few years ago, neuroscientist Antonio Damasio discovered that people who had damaged the emotion-generation parts of their brains also had problems making decisions, which led him to conclude that emotions play a significant role in the decision-making process.

This is especially true when it comes to purchasing real estate. While we often think buying property is a solely rational activity, in reality our emotions play a large role in the purchasing process. Our feelings explain why buyers talk about ‘falling in love’ with an apartment; how a leaking roof can be overlooked in someone’s dream home; that common experience of walking into a new residence and being reminded of your childhood home. Emotions also explain why homes are aspirational purchases. Property is more than bricks and mortar; a home can represent what we want out of life, and all that we aspire to be.

So, how can agents harness the power of emotions when selling real estate? Here are five tips to get you started:

Begin with a punch

Don’t save the emotional impact of your marketing campaign for the end. It’s important to grab the buyer’s attention from the first line, whether it’s an email subject line, listing headline or brochure title.

List the benefits of your home, not just the physical features

Good real estate appeals to both sides of the brain: the rational and the emotional. If you simply list the many aspects of a home without investing them with any meaning, you risk being ignored on the market. To make a property stand out, think about what positive emotions its features evoke. A large deck can mean fun barbeques with friends, while an open-plan home can create family memories. Themes such as privacy, comfort, community, peacefulness and luxury resonate well with buyers.

You don’t need words to convey emotion

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and this is especially true when it comes to images of your property. Carefully styled photographs of a home, whether it’s a bedroom furnished for children or a table set for friends, can imbue a property listing with positive emotions. Some real estate agents have even taken it a step further with videography and the latest drone technology. This emotional real estate video sold a Gold Coast home in just three days.

Tap into buyer aspirations

A buyer’s emotions about any particular property create their aspirations. This could mean different things for everyone. A retired couple may be after luxury, while DINKs and singles may aspire towards an urban, cutting-edge lifestyle. For buyers with kids, aspirations of community and family may be appealing. When selling a property, it’s worth thinking through what aspirations that home – as well as the surrounding area and locality – can tap into.

Be aware of the buyer’s emotional state

Finally, it’s worth remembering the numerous emotions people go through when buying a house, whether it’s exhilaration and anticipation, anxiety over whether they’ve made the right decision, hesitance or concern over their finances. Being a good listener and understanding their emotions can help you better engage them with your sales pitch.

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