We all know the drill: the plates of finger food, the strategic placement (but also scarcity) of decor, infusing a house with a freshly baked cookie smell…. An open house is a unique experience for a home buyer of any ilk to come in, take a personalised look at a property, and leave satisfied and (hopefully) with the necessary forms in hand. Some even go so far as to tempt potential buyers with raffles, free locally sourced refreshments or entertainment, and inviting the neighbours to provide referrals.
You don’t generally equate experiential marketing with real estate, but in truth they’ve worked together for years.
The market demographic for realtors has, as with most industries, switched from the eager-to-settle baby boomer to the on-the-go millennial, a generation who is far more reluctant to invest in housing and more pessimistic about the market. Consumers are also more social media aware, making social media presence and branding essential. While a complete overhaul is unnecessary, employing more experiential marketing techniques is essential for businesses who wish to stay relevant, something Chinese and Indian markets have already begun to realise.
The techniques mentioned above are all about experiences, not about the house looking nice. They want you to imagine being in the house baking the cookies, arranging the flowers in the vase, sitting on the couch watching the Australian Open! They want you to remember that the finger food was good, the realtor friendly and the neighbours welcoming. The best tips, however, revolve around keeping the house bland: the less clutter, the less smells, the less evidence of other people’s lives, the more buyers can imprint themselves onto the blank space. House hunters need to experience what their purchase means: a home, a family, a lifestyle.
This isn’t just restricted to in-home. Some offices contain showrooms where buyers can interact with property models, holographic displays, and even augmented reality where they can place themselves directly in the finished property.
Social Exposure, experiences and authentic touch points are what it is all about! I know right, we thought the same thing as you – experiential marketing and real estate have nothing to do with each other… think again!