I read a few articles recently on" mental triggers" and how they can prompt people to take action.
There's one interesting concept called: "The Fear of Losing Out."
It's sort of like "loss aversion" in reverse.
Loss aversion, as you might know, is the human tendency to hang on to what you have and avoid risk.
However, this can be a negative for many people who perhaps don't put their money in the right investments that could yield a higher return over time.
Agents apply this technique to home sales.
A home shopper might show a pattern where they constantly get interested in a home, and then bail out at the last minute.
But an agent can paint a picture using real estate market data tools such as home sales by zip code or neighborhood, to show how property sales in the area continue to go up.
At some point there won't be much inventory left. In that case, that shopper will miss out on moving into the neighborhood.
Same goes with trends in property prices. An agent can show a chart with a trend line indicating home prices in a particular neighborhood are starting to move higher.
If that shopper doesn't make a decision soon, they are going to miss out on today's lower prices.
Power of social influence
Real estate professionals can use another powerful psychological trigger called "social proof."
It's difficult for most people to make decisions. And when you are talking about the purchase of a home for hundreds of thousands of dollars, that situation is obviously compounded.
With "social proof" people have a tendency to rely on what their neighbors are doing or saying.
When John Doe down the street sells his house, then homeowner Jane Smith who is thinking about selling, might just be compelled to do the same thing.
Agents use this technique all the time when they send out mailers announcing recent sales.
But what about painting a bigger picture with large amounts of real estate market data, not just on the street, but by showing trends with homes sales data by zip code and surrounding neighborhoods.
Using this data, an agent can show that not only did John Doe down the street sell his home, but a whole bunch of folks in that area listed their homes recently and sold them for a nice price.
Or perhaps nobody on that street has listed their homes recently. But market data can show a similar neighborhood nearby where homes sales are taking off like a rocket.
Perhaps prices in that neighborhood are jumping upward.
Obviously, that market is "hot." A homeowner who waits too long to sell, might miss out.
Another way to use "fear of missing out" is to promote amenities near a home.
With geocoded software, an agent can integrate MLS listings with a map that shows local amenities.
Perhaps a home just came on the market that is one mile from a School, two miles from a popular Golf Course and three miles from a Train Station. An agent can point all of this out on a map on their website alongside listings.
That's a trifecta when it comes to amenities. Not every home is going to be located in such an attractive location.
If that home buyer doesn't act soon on that property, well, they are going to miss out.
Obviously, no agent wants to scare or push their clients into buying or selling a home, especially if they are not ready.
Present the information. These powerful triggers can influence consumer decisions on their own.
Note: if you are interested in learning more about adding neighborhood real estate market data to your website, you can talk to the people at Home Junction Inc., a real estate data technology company.