How to Create Your Own Real Estate Brand Stories

If your brand is to thrive, your marketing content must be tailored to a specific audience, and know that when they begin reading, they do so with a hand on the mouse, fingers on the trackpad, and thumbs quivering with impatience over the screen. If you don’t engage them in the first few seconds, they scroll you up into oblivion or click you out of sight.

According to a well-known Microsoft report, the internet’s abundance of instantly gratifying information and entertainment has reduced our attention span from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds in 2013; indeed, we now have a shorter attention span than a goldfish—which is 9 seconds, by the way.

So get ready, because we are about to give you four steps and one example you can use to begin storytelling your way to more business.

Create Brand Stories in 4 Steps + 1 Example You Can Use Today

But First, What is Brand Storytelling?

Brand storytelling is connecting on an emotional level with a segment of the market through your brand’s values, mission, and history. By creating an authentic and coherent business persona, the brand can relate to its customers’… Click To Tweet

Why Is Brand Storytelling Important in Real Estate?

The short answer is because it is crucial in any business. But let’s explore why this is.

As soon as our ancestors could communicate, stories became how we learned about survival—think sabre-toothed tigers, childrearing, food, and fire. And it is still today the way we make sense of our world. What are gossip, reviews, case studies, testimonials, and references, after all?

In her book, Wired for Story (2012), Lisa Cron quotes neuroscientist Antonio Damasio: “…storytelling is something brains do, naturally and implicitly.”

So why is telling brand stories particularly important in real estate? Because it is how your brand can stand out, and become memorable and relevant in an overcrowded market.

To be different, you have to BE different. And the only way to be different is to embrace and share your brand’s individuality, personality, perspective, and journey. Companies are like people; they may be similar but never the same.… Click To Tweet

But brand storytelling is not just telling a story. For a story to emotionally connect with your audience, it needs to have the right structure and elements. Stories that miss either of these two aspects fail to capture the interest of people.

Create Your Real Estate Story in Four Steps

Step 1: Know Yourself

To find the core of your message, write down the guiding values, goals, and culture that permeate your brand. Surprisingly, many medium- and small-sized brands do not have a clear idea of who they are. Uncertain of the values that move them, their messages are nothing but echoes of their competitors. Recycled stories are not compelling.

So dig a little deeper than the usual “excellence, attention to detail, neighbourhood expert” trite statements. Think hard and ask yourself what the most satisfying aspect of what you do is. What gives you joy. How would you like to be remembered, what made you become what you are today, and what do you wish people would say about you?

Brand storytelling also refers to the images that accompany your words: logo colours, pictures, and font. Even the dress code at your office matters. What’s the message? Ensure they work together with the written and video stories you produce to create a coherent message.

Step 2: Know Your Customer

You must have a thorough knowledge of who you are talking to, what they want, and what they fear. Using the Facebook Audience Tool, for example, can give you a wealth of information about the people who visit your page and about those who do not. You can see their demographics and preferences, making it easier to craft stories that resonate with them.

For example, you discover that many members of your audience like baseball. It so happens that you like baseball too. Wouldn’t it be great to target that demographic by appealing to that common ground with anecdotes of what playing baseball taught you about life? Or how buying a property can involve two strikes before you hit it out of the park? Not to mention that you could participate in the stadium’s advertising efforts, offer free tickets to an anticipated game as a closing gift or in a contest in exchange for engagement on social media or for attending an open house (virtually, if necessary)?

Finding and using common interests not only creates opportunities for you to tell a brand story and gather customer stories for future use, but your audience would get the feeling that they now know you better—and, therefore, trust you more.

Step 3: Get Writing

You need:

  • a hero (your customer);
  • a problem, a challenge;
  • a guide, a tool (your brand), and;
  • a goal, a dream (and what the stakes are).

Easy, right? However, when it comes to the story, it must:

  • Answer your customers’ needs and solve their problems.
  • Be easy to understand.
  • Be about survival, acceptance, love, or achieving a dream.

Step 4: Always Add a Call to Action

Use the buzz you hopefully have generated with your story by inviting them to act at the end of any material. Whether it’s “Sign Up,” or “Learn More,” a CTA is an effective way to get the harness the power of a good story.

So now that you have an idea of how to do it yourself, let me give you one example you can adapt for your use.

Here is a Real Estate Brand Story Structure You Can Use Today

Customer Story Blog Post (or email campaign): 

This story could be adapted to serve the needs of a trading or property management brokerage’s blog or newsletter, or a Realtor direct-marketing postcard or email campaign.

Let’s say that recent clients were cooperative in the sale (or rental) of their property and put in a lot of work to ensure the house looked in and out like it belonged in a decor magazine. They made your work easy, and the house quickly sold over asking price.

You can now craft a story like this:

Title: Glen and Nancy sold their home in one week for $1,000,000 in your neighbourhood. Would you like to know how they did it?

You would then describe:

  • Your clients (the heroes).
  • How they wanted to sell quickly for a specific price (the problem).
  • Then you appeared (the guide) and showed them the path to achieve that lofty goal, though it wasn’t easy.
  • But they did it (achieved their goal) and made more money than they had expected.
  • Then you finish with a Call to Action, saying something like, “Ask me how you, too, can get top price for your home.” And then follow it with a click-button saying, “Tell Me How.”

These are 4 of the Benefits of Using Stories:

  • Brand awareness: in their book, Made to Stick (2007), Chip and Dan Heath cite psychologist Gary Klein “…stories are told and retold because they contain wisdom.” Use this to gain followers.
  • Build trust: by telling people what you believe in, you’re tearing down the image of money-seeking and uncaring professionals that often is attached to real estate.
  • Build a community of advocates: by establishing your brand on the solid foundation of its values, when something terrible happens—and it will—people will be much more willing to give you the benefit of the doubt.
  • Drive sales and leads: use stories to increase your web traffic and click-through rates.

Conclusion

By applying the principles of story branding to your real estate marketing, you will be well ahead of most of your competitors who are still creating the same tired and trite pieces few people read anymore. Keep in mind that “when people meet your brand, it’s as though they are meeting a person. They’re wondering if the two of you will get along, whether you can help them live a better life, whether they want to associate their identity with your brand, and ultimately whether they can trust you” Donald Miller, Building a StoryBrand (2017).

You may be wondering why I am telling all of this since my business is to write it for you. The reason is that writing is time-consuming and meticulous work, and few people have the knowledge or the expertise to do it themselves. Some of you will try, but most of you are too busy to do so. That is where copywriters come in.

If you don’t want to sound like your competitors, you should hire someone who knows your field. So how would you like to have your content written by a former real estate professional and published author turned copywriter?

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