Visually Communicating the Changing Market
The last six months have seen a lot of change to the real estate market. We have gone from a supercharged sellers’ market with buyers escalating prices tens and hundreds of thousands above asking price and waiving inspections, appraisals, and the works to rapidly-escalating mortgage rates which have applied the brakes to that market.
Headlines from the media would have us believe that the market is crashing and that there is a massive real estate bubble about to burst – “it is 2008 all over again!” Potential home buyers and sellers see these sensational headlines that are not in touch with the realities of today’s housing market. They are being misled.
The mechanics of this market are nothing like the mechanics of the 2008 market. We are in an entirely different situation with supply-and-demand, our lending industry is more secure, and people still need a place to live.
Worst case - consumers who fall into misunderstanding the market can become a self-damaging prophecy. It is our job to provide factual, market-based information that they can focus on instead of sensational headlines. We have to cut through the noise and emotion-grabbing media in order to become our clients’ go-to source for the real estate market.
The Key is to Go Visual
Most people are visual learners. Think about it – would you rather read an article that is a plain “wall-of-text” or would you rather review an article coupled with an infographic? Would you rather read that plain article with just black text on a white background or would you prefer to see important points bolded, called out, or in different colors? Would you rather see a photo of the author or just a signature line? All of these are great ways to go visual. When you balance visual components with data and a calm and informational approach, you build credibility.
Be the Voice of the Market
Here are the six important ways you can be the voice of the real estate market and include strong visuals:
- Bold Headline: Bold in terms of both the statement and in terms of the visual aspect.
- Your Photo: Make sure your communication includes your photo. If you write a note that has a more personal feel, include your photo at the bottom of the note. You can further personalize it by including your signature.
- Call Out: Highlight important points and quotes by making them large, put in italics, bold, add color - whatever is appropriate with your brand.
- Show Trends: Are median sales prices going up or down? Don’t just list the prices, indicate whether the data is going up or down with an arrow, and determine the percentages.
- Graphs: This is the toughest for some agents due to the technical aspects of creating a graph, but your MLS or a product such as TrendGraphix can make quick work of this. Graphs and illustrations bring data to life. It helps your readers evaluate the current data and compare it to the data from the past.
- Include Circles, Arrows, and More. Sketch it up! When you include a graph, explain the data and sketch directly on the graph with tech tools or stock images - like the arrows and circles shown below.
Making a commitment to educating your clients with visual data is a commitment that will take time or money, but it will serve you very well. People trust professionals with opinions that are backed up with data. Having visual impact will make your message even stronger.
By Denise Lones CSP, M.I.R.M., CDEI - The founding partner of The Lones Group, Denise Lones, brings nearly three decades of experience in the real estate industry. With agent/broker coaching, expertise in branding, lead generation, strategic marketing, business analysis, new home project planning, product development, Denise is nationally recognized as the source for all things real estate. With a passion for improvement, Denise has helped thousands of real estate agents, brokers, and managers build their business to unprecedented levels of success, while helping them maintain balance and quality of life.