Do You Provide Data or a Story?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Vision Realty

People remember a story, they don't remember data. Do you walk into a listing presentation with tons of data, projections, and what you can do for them? Maybe, but you also must have a story. Anyone can spew numbers and data out, not everyone can provide a great story that makes you remember them. 

Everyone has a story, especially if you've been in this business for any length of time. Nearly every deal has some unique story, like the time I walked into a vacant house to show my clients with a foot of water in the entire house, or how I managed to save a deal an hour before closing when the other party decided to back out. 

Can you offer a solution or just facts? Anyone can provide information or statistics. Buyers and sellers want to know you can provide solutions. And because this is such a relationship-driven industry, people need to know you care about them, not just about you. You are not the hero of the story, your client is. They need to feel like they are the main character, not you. You are the guide to get them where they need to go. 


Know your audience.

If you don't tell a compelling story, your audience will tune you out. I'm not going to be talking about Instagram, snap chat and how I will market their home on social media to a seller in their 70s. They don't relate. Even though I will market to the right audience, I don't tell stories that clients can't relate to. We will hold open houses and price their home so they get what they need out of it.


Evoke Emotion.

People want to know what's going to happen next. Did you save the day? Was all hope almost lost? Now, while you don't need to divulge a novel of epic proportions, you should evoke some emotion. Like the time a new couple was buying their very first home and just before closing the owners had removed all the appliances without permission. The couple was devastated until we negotiated for all new appliances at the last minute. 


Continue to tell stories. 

Use examples to explain how you market. Use past experiences of success stories and even problems that arise and how you found solutions. I tell the story of a military family I helped buy a house. They knew they were only going to be stationed for 3 years, so not only did we find a house that would work for them now, but that would sell easily in 3 years and they could walk away with a profit. It's finding the solution now and in the future, that really appealed to these folks. 


Read More: 10 Things Homebuyers Want to Know


Give on-going solutions.

Instead of giving them a name and number of a repairman, tell them how to maintain parts of the house both now and in the future. give stories of maintenance that has saved homeowners hundreds of dollars. Provide answers and where to find the answer. 

Never forget that your client is the hero in the story, not you. You are the guide, just like Yoda, Peeta, Hermione and Ron. Guide them through the difficult areas and help them find solutions. There must be a path toward a happy or a sad ending and with you, the ending should always be happy.  - Join me on Linkedin for the original post.

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columbus, lewis center and gahanna real estate

Columbus Ohio real estate - Vision RealtyAs a certified Realtor® for the top-rated Columbus Realty Firm - Vision Realty, with 32 years of dedicated real estate experience, I can help buyers, sellers, investors, short sale sellers and more find, sell or invest in the right property, at the right price, at the right time. Contact me anytime for updates and information on the Columbus OH Real Estate market.


Donald Payne - Vision Realty, Inc.
4608 North High Street

Columbus, OH 43214

Toll-free: (866) 510-2223

Cell: (614) 323-4348
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Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist

Congratulations on a well deserved Featured post. I am an advocate of story-telling - it is how people relate and provides a path for connection. 

Nov 15, 2017 08:24 AM #28
Dwight Puntigan
DRP Realty, LLC - Saint Peters, MO
Dwight Puntigan

Sometimes it helps to answer a question with a story,  Stories may help to illustrate a point you are trying to make.  Well written.

Nov 15, 2017 08:27 AM #29
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
your real estate writer

We humans do love stories, and they definitely work to drive home points.


Nov 15, 2017 09:00 AM #30
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

More than one promotion media stream on properties helps sell them quicker in the real estate matchmaking. Describe the property "seeing" and talking one one to this lifestyle buyer, this growing family purchaser. Describe this space is ideal for a loved one challenged by stairs to have their bedroom on the first or ground floor. Or to use for a home business. The buyer niche's ears perk up when they know you are talking to them with this approach in your videos, your narrative,  in all your market.

Nov 15, 2017 09:04 AM #31
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Specializing in Brookside, Waldo, Prairie Village

I really liked this blog.  I agree with the 'tell a story'.  Stats are important, service is more relatable.  Emotions play such a big part in buying or selling, I try to emphasize 'be sure you feel comfortable with the agent you chose, you want to be sure that he or she is there for you and will take the time to really service your needs."

Nov 15, 2017 09:12 AM #32
Barry Brown
Bear Realty - Taylorsville, UT

I like telling stories when I give speeches and presentations, but I am very analytical.  I have been working on a sales letter for sometime and have not been happy with it.  Your post got me out of my analytical head to help me realize I was writing my sales letter from an analytical approach - more like a college thesis on the subject.  Your post caused me to understand that I am still talking to people - just not in person, but through my letter.  I now know what stories and how I can use them in my letter to make it just as informative, but with an engaging personal approach through stories. Thank You!

Nov 15, 2017 09:12 AM #33
Elizabeth Bouchard
Long & Foster Realtors - Arlington, VA
Associate Broker in Northern Virginia

Well thought out article.  And I like your visuals!


Nov 15, 2017 10:01 AM #34
Cynthia Larsen
Safe Haven Realty - Cotati, CA
Independent Broker Serving Sonoma County, CA

You are so right, and data needn't be the culprit. If we can tell a story with the data we have instead of just presenting numbers we could better get the point across. Nice post, Donald.


Nov 15, 2017 10:03 AM #35
Luke Acree
ReminderMedia - King of Prussia, PA
Making Agents Memorable

Donald, this is a great blog post. The power of story when it comes to communication is incredible. 

Nov 15, 2017 11:04 AM #36
Stephen Turner
TriCorner Homes (TriCorner Realty) - York, PA

So true. Thanks for reminding us the power of stories. People learn through stories and its how we connect. Thank you for sharing!

Nov 15, 2017 11:29 AM #37
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County

My favorite buyers are doctors, engineers, accountants and the like.  They, like me, are comfortable with "just the facts."   With other types I try to be more "story friendly."

Nov 16, 2017 07:09 AM #38
Joe Jackson
Keller Williams Capital Partners Realty - Columbus, OH
Clintonville and Central Ohio Real Estate Expert

Don  Another great post  congrats on being a FEATURED post on AR!!!!

Nov 16, 2017 10:46 AM #39
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Donald- I love this post. When numbers begin spewing out, that's when we start to lose people. And we're all human. We want to know what's in it for what you're saying relates or will impact us. 

Nov 16, 2017 01:05 PM #40
Dan Hopper
Keller Williams Realty Downtown LLC - Denver, CO
Denver Realtor / Author / Advocate/Short Sale

 , great topic & article ... over the years we have finally learned, that the "data tells, and the story sells!"

Nov 17, 2017 07:15 AM #41
Delphine Nguyen
Baird & Warner - Northbrook, IL

In my experience, I also realized that people love to hear the stories. One of a well-known architect in Chicago once advised me to tell the story slowly. People tend to pay more attention when somebody speaks slowly, of course not too slow that they might even fall asleep. Thanks for sharing 

Nov 17, 2017 09:24 AM #42
Brian DeYoung
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Ithaca, NY
Brian DeYoung

Very good advice. I hope I apply it well.

Nov 18, 2017 04:01 AM #43
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ

Donald Payne "If you don't tell a compelling story, your audience will tune you out...I don't tell stories that clients can't relate to. "

Right on target - and - re-blog!

Nov 20, 2017 03:51 AM #44
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Donald. What a terrific post this is. We are telling stories or we are just passing time.

Nov 20, 2017 06:00 AM #45
M.C. Dwyer
Century 21 Showcase REALTORs - Felton, CA
Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist

Very thought provoking post for me to read Donald Payne 

Thank you for taking the time to share with us importance of stories, and "evoking emotion."

Nov 22, 2017 09:41 AM #46
Travis "the SOLD man" Parker; Associate Broker
Team Linda Simmons, Enterprise, AL 36330 - Enterprise, AL
email: / cell: 334-494-7846

Now that I've been a REALTOR for a few years, I have some related stories to tell. Before then, I had to show how a similar experience in my Retail business had applied and helped in a similar situation. As you say, always have a story to humanize and personalize...

Nov 24, 2017 06:41 AM #47
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