The Next Big Thing in Real Estate: Lifestyle Marketing

When you are selling a home, it’s not just the physical four walls and a roof that you’re selling. You are selling the lifestyle of living in that home and in that area. Consumers are willing to pay big bucks for homes in certain neighbourhoods because of the lifestyle that the house in that neighbourhood affords them. Doesn’t it make sense to focus the marketing on what is really driving the buying decision?

It’s funny that this seems like such a revolutionary concept in our industry, since any savvy marketer knows that you market a product based on the benefits the consumer will receive, not on the features. In real estate, however, the industry standard is to focus on the features of a home. Look no further than our MLS: it’s all about the lot size, how many bedrooms, how many baths, inclusions, exclusions. And in the space at the bottom where we have the ability to type in our comments, we have come up with all this crazy short form lingo to jam in as many additional features as possible.  Rarely do we see agents using that space to talk about the benefits of living in that home.

This obsession with features extends to other marketing pieces. How many of you have picked up a feature sheet at an open house and read somewhere on there: ‘Great School District’. Sounds like a benefit, right? Nope. Still just a feature. What it should read is ‘Mom and Dad, don’t worry about saving for private school – this school district is so good you won’t need to send Johnny to private school to get a top-notch education!’

My colleague, Heather Rovet, found herself in a bit of a tough situation recently. She had a property that on paper was going to be a very hard sell: a $1.5 million, one-bedroom semi. This home could not be sold on the features alone. The focus had to be on the lifestyle this home would afford. And that is exactly what was achieved through a great video with a great soundtrack.

Lo and behold, it worked. Not only did the video get thousands of views on YouTube, but it received international acclaim and in fact was the reason the property sold.

You see, when the cooperating broker sent her client the details on the property, he balked. Based on the feature sheet, there was no way he was going to spend $1.5 million on a 1-bedroom semi. But the agent insisted that he watch the lifestyle video. After watching the video, he booked a showing and subsequently bought the property.

My colleague sold the property using this lifestyle approach to marketing. And this video has also resulted in additional clients, because they too want this calibre of marketing for their property.

We see lifestyle marketing as the way of the future and are excited to be working with our agents to lead the way.

Brad Sage, OREA Guest Blogger


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