The Psychology of Listings and Rates

By
Real Estate Services

Disclaimer:  This has post has nothing to do with web-designers or developer quality. 

Which site would you think gets more traffic and generates more leads (this isn’t an optical illusion)? 

Ugly Betty

Pretty Woman

 

Answer:  Ugly Betty, hands down (you’ll have to trust me, I’ve seen both sites traffic metrics).  Why/ How??  It’s easier to locate Ugly Betty’s listings than Pretty Womans.   I don’t believe this to be by (intelligent) design, which makes the point of this post…it’s all about the listings.  So much so, I’d lay a healthy bet (if I were a betting man) that a blog-site that only had the following text on it’s home page:

 

  AREA OF CHOICE   LISTINGS

 

would out ‘click through’ a site that had: Blog blog blog, beautiful pictures, sexy voice-over videos, or some dude walking out of the margin of the web-browser across your site.  (A wonderful blend of Ugly’s stats and Pretty’s CSS here.)
 

When potential consumers go to the web in search of real estate, they’re looking for listings.  They don’t care who’s providing them, they just want to see them, all of them, and everything about them.  Whoever provides easiest access to listings (on purpose or not) is most likely to get the lead and the client.  Go get a text based listing manager, plug it into your well populated, properly configured blogsite, make it the center of attention, and watch the people stream in on purpose and by accident. 

In my opinion this is why Redfin has maintained through the ‘Another Discount Broker’ smear campaign, where so many others have failed.  This is no small task; they are persevering in an industry that has been almost impenetrable to new business models.  Why?  It’s more than their rebate. 

You are only 2-3 clicks away from listing nirvana, no name or phone number required.  After the initial buzz wears off you find yourself engaged by the fact they’re also willing to rebate you some commission, akin to a sale…everyone loves a deal and most everyone outside the industry thinks Realtors are way overpaid.  Their leads are being converted to clients and no one has even spoken to them yet. 

It’s rather ominous (to the naysayer) that Redfin and ‘Discount Brokerage’ are less and less mentioned in the same sentence and even more so that it’s main detractors are almost solely other real estate professionals.  I actually saw a blog post the other day solely about Redfin losing a listing…one listing.  You could create a whole social network around lost listings for any other broker house, yet Redfin gets tagged for losing one…My dream job would have been to be their Chief of Marketing, but I digress  

Maybe one day soon, more real estate professionals will see this is a highly preferred way of doing business.  Give them listings, appeal to their consumerism, and let them contact us…on purpose or not, it’s (very) simply brilliant.  This company plays in fine tune with the psychology of the status quo; there are lessons to be learned here for those willing to listen. 

 

The same is true in the mortgage industry.  Consumers want rates…rates, rates, rates.   Whoever makes it easiest to find rates, usually gets the lead and the client.  Television demonstrates the power of the rate.  DiTech, CountryWide and every other lender with enough cash to produce a commercial sells a rate.  Never mind that a majority of the people who actually respond to this advertising will never qualify for the advertised rate, they showed a rate.  Mortgage brokers should do the same, give consumers easy easy access to rates, the real rates, true wholesale rates and require little more than an email address in return. 

So whats the psychological play for the mortgage pro?  Pricing.  Show clients pricing, 10 levels deep in both directions if that’s what it takes.  Don’t manipulate the pricing, or you will lose all credibility in this increasingly transparent marketplace.  Professionals say that too much information actually hurts the consumer.  Guess who doesn’t care what you think?  The consumer.  They’re gonna look until they find rate nirvana and there isn’t a thing a mortgage pro can do about it, except adapt
(quickly). 

 

It’s long tail consumerism, a paradigm shift away from the less is more marketing philosophies. 

close

This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the envelope to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Tags:
listings
interest rates
marketing

Comments 23 New Comment

Anonymous
Post a Comment
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the music-note to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Rainmaker
197,791
Jennifer Monroe
Real Estate REALTOR®/Broker in Beautiful Charlotte
Savvy + Company Real Estate

Interesting perspective, but I'm having the opposite experience in my market. People love slick, beautiful packaging. I hear it so often from my clients when they finally tell me how they decided to work with me or my firm. The look and feel conveys the experience they expect to have working with us. Most use multiple sites to find the listing, then when it comes time to choose a broker, search out the "Pretty Woman".

Good post!

August 24, 2007 03:12 PM
Rainer
21,986
Christopher Onwuasoanya
Merrill Lynch
I was one of the show me the houses type. Thanks for the lesson.
August 24, 2007 03:19 PM
Rainmaker
111,562
Tracey Thomas
CA Real Estate Broker
BrokerInTrust Real Estate

I think information is very important, but i also think the packaging is crucial  I find that web visitors are not just information hungry but also have short attention spans (like children) and can be enticed to read articles or peruse other information if its fed to them correctly.

TV commercials just don't blurt out products, features, benefits and prices.  They are choreographed to entice and cajole.  People buy with emotion and justify with facts.

I don't think you need every single bell and whistle on a website, but I do think you need good design and engaging content to be successful.  The point is to make the phone ring, not to give out free information.

I do agree with making information easy to find and not making someone register first.

August 24, 2007 06:38 PM
Rainmaker
298,676
Brian Brady
VA Home Loans/San Diego
San Diego VA Home Loans/858-777-9751

Listings make the phones ring.

Uh huh...so do rates. 

August 24, 2007 10:05 PM
Rainmaker
198,339
William Collins
Director of Property Management
ERA Queen City Realty

Jeff,

Thanks for the post. I like the analogy and see the merits. I don't subscribe to buyer agency agreements. I only work with those who want to work with me and understand how I work. Most of my business is visa vie referrals and that makes for a good business relationship. My customers aren't looking for a friend, their looking for a home, if we become friends in the process all the more better. I am focused on meeting the consumer on a playing field that addresses their needs as it relates to investing in real estate. To survive in this industry, you have to be able to adjust frequently to accommodate the demands and achieve the common goal.

August 25, 2007 03:20 PM
Anonymous
Post a Comment
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the computer to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Rainmaker
67,885

Jeff Corbett

Ask me a question
*
*
*
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the lock to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Additional Information

Follow @JeffX on Twitter

Check out my Raindex Blog: