N5R Tips, Real Estate Marketing : Forget Floor plans, Sell Lifestyle.
Boring ads are the norm.
Flip through the weekend newspaper in your city and pay close attention to the condo advertisements. Undoubtedly, you’ll see the same thing time and time again: diagrams, numbers and renderings on ads full of technical, dry information. In a word, boring.
Who does this appeal to?
In fact, if you look at 95 percent of the realtor ads in the newspaper, you’ll find a large photograph that features the exterior image of a building. Let me tell you who gets excited about that photo: the developer and the architects. They get excited because it’s an ego boost to them. To them, the building and its façade are extremely meaningful. But unfortunately, to those of us looking for a place to live, we don’t care much about the exterior – certainly not enough to buy a condo on that alone.
Ads like this miss the boat. They’re trying to connect with us logically, when what they need to do is connect with us emotionally.
What are you really selling? Try a feeling.
Let me give you an example of someone doing it right. Look at some of the great car companies who don’t sell us on the horsepower or the steering, but try to sell us on the feeling of driving their car. If they want to sell a convertible, they’ll create an ad in one of the most beautiful spots in the world where the driver is whipping around corners with the top down, the sun is shining brightly, and the driver’s hair is blowing wildly in the breeze. It’s a classic advertising technique: don’t advertise the car, advertise how they’ll feel using the car. The same thing happens with beer, razor or cologne ads that make it seem that, by using their product, gorgeous women will fall at your feet or your life will improve in some unrealistic way. Or maybe it’s a shower gel that’s going to transport you a thousand miles from all your stress, or a diet soda that will make you feel 15 years younger. How do people feel when they use these products? They feel great. Especially in real estate, the advertising approach should sell the feeling of using the product, rather than the nuts and bolts of the product itself. But most developers aren’t doing this.
Lifestyle outperforms building renderings and floor plans.
In some cases, building renderings are valuable and can work. But after rigorous testing of content, we find over and over again that advertising life-style is a more effective angle. Lifestyle will outperform the building rendering, and it will certainly outperform a floor plan. the worst ads I’ve ever seen tested are ones that show a floor plan because, plain and simple, people cannot visualize being inside them. If you aren’t in this business, or you’re not an engineer or architect, you likely can’t imagine what a floor plan means to you. So developers everywhere: please stop including them in ads.
Show interior shots of attractive, on target people doing things they might enjoy if they lived in this space. Whether it’s cooking together as a family, spending nights overlooking the city view, or showing a lone bachelor who finally has enough room to spread the New York Times crossword over every square inch of his counter-top, the idea is to show people savoring the experience of living in your property. If your advertisement has a photo without people in it, you’re off the mark.