A story is a collection of sequential events that is fictitious, but often possible. Stories are a part of all aspects of our lives. News, history, gossip, daydreaming, and even basic daily conversations – all involve a tale. A reader experiences a story first-hand, that is, they go through its events as if they are within it.
From a business point of view, storytelling focuses on the human aspect of the product or services that are sold, and real estate is an industry that is very close to humans.
The growth of real estate and infrastructure directly relates to the economic development of a country. With the increased urbanisation and average income of people, there is a continuous boost in the demand for residential properties.
The real estate sector in India is one of the top-most sectors in terms of employment, second to only the agriculture sector. That being said, it is also a very boring sector. From the point of view of a buyer, that is.
Real Estate is an industry that is run by statistics, facts, and figures. This data-oriented nature of the real estate industry can make it uninteresting. This cannot be left unattended, because business cannot be “uninteresting”.
One of the most proven ways of turning the boring into attractive is through the art of storytelling.
Human beings thrive on stories. The reason why books and movies are the most effective means of entertainment is their ability to hold the focus of their consumers till the very end. A good movie or book is rarely left halfway through.
Stories release oxytocin, which is a hormone that evokes empathy and a sense of social connection. A story has the power to be retained in the memory of those who read or hear it and motivate them to pass it on.
Luckily for the real estate business, it is made up of hundreds of thousands of stories. Any buyer starts by overcoming various challenges and making difficult or scary decisions before they end up owning a property. Couples getting their first house, children growing up into vibrant, successful adults, people growing old and happy – there is scope for so many stories inside a home. This makes the sector a very personal one.
This brings us back to the art of storytelling. The most effective and famous ads from the past are found to convey a message or moral, that is, there is always a story.
The first and foremost thing to be studied is the needs, wants and interests of the target audience.
For example, in India, a country where people value culture and tradition a lot, details of Vaastu Shastra of a house would be taken into consideration more when compared to foreign countries. Similarly, the job, class and status of the buyers also influence their choices of property.
When it comes to actually writing the story, the most important requirement is a title that would catch the readers’ attention. The average human attention span is said to have reduced from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8.25 in 2022, which is less than that of a goldfish. It is not exactly good news, but this calls for a headline that is short and catchy in an instant.
The readers should be able to go through a smooth journey from the start to the end. Find the story behind the property being sold, if any. Using language that is easy and accessible to people is important. Using fancy words would not bring buyers.
Use sentences in a way that evokes emotions in their minds. Add subtle humour to the piece to help build a personality to the sales pitch. The reader must feel like they are talking to a real person and not a bot.
While presenting the features of the property and the details that make it special, paint a picture for the readers instead of just stating facts.
Comparisons could be made wherever possible that highlight the solutions that the property could provide to common modern-day problems. This gives the reader a sense of reassurance and makes them feel like they are part of the journey.
Ensure good grammar and spelling. Errors in written language are a sign of unprofessionalism and reduce the impact of the story. Lastly, use visual aids like photos and videos to enhance and highlight the best parts of the story.
Storytelling is a necessary means for the sellers to connect with the buyers on a deeper, more personal level. People inherently love feeling seen and acknowledged. This connection is a path toward business success.