Real estate agents may speak in numbers, but they act in bold colors of persuasiveness. They may speak the argot of appreciation and amortization, but they better appreciate the artistry of presentation; of not only staging a property but transforming a platform into a stage of their own; of marketing themselves with a sense of style; of creating messages that marketers admire and clients respect.
The irony is that technology makes creativity more relevant, not less because real estate agents have a greater need to distinguish themselves across a variety of outlets. Among those digital outlets, where there is an abundance of noise and a shortage of noteworthy information, the need to say something—the value of saying something well—is keen. And yet the volume of noise continues to rise, in part, because of the triumph of data over common sense.
According to Max Bidna, founder of Hell’s Creative, data influences how real estate professionals market their services. But data is neither a substitute for marketing nor a guarantee of success. He says:
“Real estate is more a matter of building relationships than constructing buildings. Without tenants, leases go unsigned; offices go unoccupied; loans go unapproved. Without the right messaging, messages go unrecognized.
“Relationships start with messages that resonate among prospective clients. What follows is like any building that rises from a sound foundation, an architecture of personality, relevance, and return on investment.”
Bidna’s metaphor about architecture is right for many reasons, starting with what it means to design and build something. Look at any skyline, and his point reveals itself in stories—in the stories of high-rise buildings; in the stories we tell ourselves about the buildings in which we work and live; in the stories, we tell others, which is the essence of word-of-mouth marketing.
A creative real estate agent is, then, a wise marketer.
Wise enough to know what he must do, a creative real estate agent does not succumb to the false allure of numbers. He does not numb himself into believing that numbers alone constitute a story. He does, however, know how to interpret numbers; he knows how to transform the raw intelligence of numbers into an intelligible—and inspiring—message of assistance.
Assistance is what a real estate agent does. To help a client—to assist a client—is to provide a service. The assistance a real estate agent offers is oftentimes what starts or sustains a relationship with a client because the personal and the professional are inseparable. That is, a real estate agent is a source of counsel and collegiality. A confidant and conciliator, a real estate agent assist in ways large and small.
To earn this role, a real estate agent must first communicate his worth as a professional. He must market his expertise by showcasing his creativity. He must be a storyteller, grounded in facts and guided by his desire to narrate a tale too compelling to resist and too dynamic to deny. He must be a creative marketer.