We’re always looking ahead here at Refinery, for the next thing that is going to give you the edge over the competition.
That includes small tweaks you can make to your content straight away, or crazy ideas that only the fearless will attempt and the outliers succeed at.
This article is the latter. By the end, you may think us crazy – or genius.
The answer is that we’re a bit of both.
What is Experiential Marketing?
Experiential Marketing has only been called that recently, before which you may have heard it as ‘event marketing’ or ‘immersive marketing’.
It has since been evolved to meet the social and tech environment that we live in, where the foundational business element of word-of-mouth meets the expansive possibilities of our digital age.
It is all about creating an experience for the consumer, one which is highly sensory and unique, usually involving immersing the audience in a live event or situation.
The desired outcome is that the experience is so memorable that they either themselves take immediate action or share it with their friends and network.
Case Study: Breaking Bad ‘Los Pollos Hermanos’ Pop Up Restaurant
An example of this would be the 2017 pop-up fried chicken joint Los Pollos Hermanos from hit TV series Breaking Bad, which ran for two days in Potts Point to promote their spin-off show ‘Better Call Saul’.
The shop Thirsty Bird was turned to look like the infamous Los Pollos Hermanos restaurant, from the food, decor, to the uniform. Even the show’s villain Gus Fring himself paid a visit.
Can you imagine how viral that content went and how the participants went and shared that with everyone they know?
— Luke Hopewell (@lukehopewell) April 11, 2017
How to create an immersive experience for your Open Homes
From movie promotions, restaurant launches, tech events to fashion shows, experiential marketing is the crux of brand experience. Now think about our industry. This is where we’re going to go a bit nuts.
We already have something very close to an experiential marketing experience. It’s called an Open Home.
Rather than just see pictures and videos online of a property, we open the doors for people to come in and experience the space for themselves.
Unfortunately, the industry isn’t really aware of its power, so we’ve treated it more like an “inspection” than an experience. We may play some soft folk music and light a candle, but really we’re rushing a group of people in an anxious way in few minute windows through what is normally one of their biggest purchases in life.
Some are done better than others – but we all can do so much more.
The closest thing I have seen in this space are clued on agents throwing what is essentially a cocktail party at a property, inviting connections, potential buyers, and potential clients. It’s a great way to showcase a unique marketing philosophy, but more importantly, it gives buyers a sense of what entertaining would be like in the space and creates a standout experience they soon won’t forget.
So, here are 6 crazy ideas you can use to be different, forward-thinking, and I imagine getting a whole lot of attention.
1. Sunrise breakfast open home.
Does the property have an incredible sunrise? Does your copy say “imagine waking up and having breakfast as the sun rises?” Imagine? Screw that! Let’s do it! Organise a breakfast feast for some qualified buyers, and see if we can sink that emotion-hook and have them thinking about it for days.
2. Live Experience Open Home
As much as you may not admit it, everyone loves a bit of reality TV from time to time. What do you think would happen if you hired actors to play a family within the home? The actors were strictly not allowed to interact with the people viewing the home.
They would act out scenes, showing how people live and interact with the space. They could even have dialogue and recreate memorable live moments. A young couple finding out they are having a baby, a marriage proposal over a meal, a bbq with friends, or a birthday party. The only limitation is your own imagination.
Guaranteed it would be all across the media as well if promoted right.
3. A Game of Hide-and-Seek
Hide prizes around the home. Make them fun, unique and most importantly shareable. Again, this one is about attention and doing what others won’t.
4. Live Stream Open Home
Yes, you can immerse people who aren’t there as well. Live stream the open home, allowing other buyers to see the property and existing owners but also potential new clients see how you run your opens. Are you engaging? What questions are you asking? How hard are you working for your clients?
What I love about this is the total transparency of you on the job. If one of your biggest objections is going to be a lack of trust, I can see this going a long way to alleviating that.
Can you imagine sitting in a listing presentation and saying to your potential clients that every open home is live-streamed, and they can watch you work from anywhere they like? Pff, you’re getting signed up.
5. Exclusive 20min Preview for Neighbours ONLY
How many of your contacts have been made through neighbours not looking for anything just snooping at the home next door? Is reputation important to you? Connecting with your local area? Word of mouth?
Imagine being upfront and honest, door knocking or leaving a note for everyone in the area, inviting them to a no-pressure open home exclusive for them. It piques curiosity, they won’t be stand-offish trying to pretend to be something they’re not, and you’ll get a chance to meet and talk to everyone without your sales hat on.
Now create a real experience for them, and watch how your business will grow exponentially.
6. Halloween Themed
Ok, it’s October so thought we’d throw it out there. It’s a bit silly but it could be fun and go viral.
Set up a Halloween themed open home. Hell, even do it during trick or treat. Getting all the neighbourhood parents knocking on your door for once, priceless.
Think of other holidays this could apply to too. Easter-themed neighbourhood egg hunt in these beautifully manicured gardens with district views? Yes, please.
The idea with experiential marketing is in the name: Create an experience. The biggest brands in the world are doing this now, thinking different, memorable, and shareable. How are you standing out from the crowd?
Whether or not you do any of this, I’m super excited for what the next few years in real estate marketing will bring.
Think differently. Zig when they zag. And be the fearless leader who will take this industry into its next phase.
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