Humanizing Real Estate Development Through Words & Actions

Real Estate Development

Read Time: 7 Min

Whether it’s the home buying market, apartment rentals, new home developments, or mixed-used developments — those looking to rent, buy, or interact with the real estate world are often skeptical about its sincerity. At AOR, we believe the key to connecting with your audience, being more emotionally invested, and ultimately finding success in real estate development is to tame the monster, the real estate monster that is. Find the human elements in real estate and bring them through to every aspect of the process — put people first.

The pressures of such a competitive industry riddled with fast-paced decision-making and deadlines make it easy to lose sight of what we do real estate for — the people.

Wholistically you should focus on bringing people to the forefront of your decision-making, interactions, marketing, and overall real estate strategy. If you’re looking for a place to start, think about how you talk to people through your brand, and how you interact with them both in person and digitally.

It’s Called ‘Home’

The way you speak to your audience matters. It sets the stage for your relationship long-term and acts as a first impression for customers as they enter into the scary world of real estate. You want to make them feel comfortable like they have support, and like they can trust you.

Consider Your Language

How are you framing the way you write and talk with your audience? Do you sound robotic, like you’re just trying to get the job done? Consider some of the following tips when writing marketing materials or updating your website copy:

Be Conversational: These are real people you are talking to after all. They want to know there are humans behind the words looking out for their best interest. Ensure you are writing in the same way you would speak to your customers in person.

Watch Your Words: Sales language can often come across as very cold. There are minor tweaks you can make to ensure your words come across as welcoming, warm, and like a person wrote them.

  • For example, instead of using the word ‘units’ to describe your apartments or builds in a community, say ‘homes.’
  • Avoid overly-used superlatives like amazing/wonderful/fantastic, they sound ingenuine.
  • Don’t refer too much to yourself or your team, make sure you remember your customer’s name and address them directly. Keep the conversation focused on their needs, wants, and hopes in the process.

Tell stories: Imagine you are catching up with a cousin you haven’t seen for many years. Make the conversation personal, full of stories, and easy to follow. People want to know you’ve interacted with others in their situation — pull from those experiences and let your future customer or tenant know they aren’t alone.

Tap Into Emotion: Emphasize the personal, emotional side of real estate. Empathize with your client’s fears and limiting beliefs and ensure you are making their real estate experience about more than just numbers. Connection with your future tenants and customers is more important than anything, so try to get personal and tap into the emotional side of this process.

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Consider Your Content

What kind of content are you writing or shooting, and how you are presenting real estate content to your future clients? Are they sifting through an endless amount of overly touched-up images? Are they taking virtual walk-throughs created with AI or matterport imagery? These are great tools to use when you need to show off your space, but it doesn’t allow your future clients to imagine themselves in the space. Consider some of the following tips for more human-center content:

Testimonials. Ask current tenants to speak on your behalf. If they have wonderful things to say about your property or development, future tenants are more likely to believe what they hear. They may also hear answers to questions they have about the space, and feel more comfortable considering it as they move forward.

Employee Anecdotes. The environment you build with your tenants includes employee interactions as well. For example, the tenants in your apartment building will interact with your front desk receptionist on a daily basis. Getting to know the staff puts humans behind the complex. Since future tenants can’t do that in person right away, consider highlighting your employees on social media and allowing them to write in their own words what it’s like to be a part of the property or development community every day.

Showing the Possibilities. Add imagery to your portfolio of people interacting with your available spaces. Put a dog out in the backyard with a tennis ball, and show some kids playing in a playroom. This may even be a cool opportunity for you to ask current tenants of an apartment or homebuyer in a community if you can show off their space and the way they’ve decorated and utilized it.

The Power of Tonal Communication

Whether in your words or in your content online, tone matters. Tone and voice impact communication and how your audience perceives you. Not only does it impact audience perception, but it also indicates humanity. Using your tone when communicating with potential tenants will help them connect with you better as well.

People have fears, excitements, and frustrations, especially people looking for a new property or space to occupy, by using tonal communication to balance out the big feelings of your clients, you are letting them know they can rely on you, they can trust you, and that you are just another person like them. The power of tonal communication comes through in both your words, written or in-person, and in your content. But what about your actions?

Don’t Forget to Smile

The way you interact with future clients or tenants is crucial to selling your property or development. They are finally getting the opportunity to interact with your company directly, it may be the first time they are interacting with an actual person — it doesn’t get much more human than that. Believe it or not, sometimes interacting with sales representatives or employees in real estate doesn’t feel human at all. Remembering that we’re all people doing our best to get by every day is key to humanizing your actions and in-person interactions with future tenants and clients.

Our Biggest Tip: Listen

We talked a lot about words and tone earlier in this insight, but more importantly, you need to listen. Listen to what your customers are saying, but also listen to how they are saying it. Their tone could help you shift your body language and ensure that not only your own tone but also how you present yourself balances the energy of your customer.

Speaking of body language, how you hold yourself matters. When people approach you in person, don’t get rigid and put up a wall. Be calm, collected, and confident, but more importantly, relax and be yourself. Your customers want to know that you’re on this journey with them, so make them feel comfortable from the start by being as transparently you as possible.

But most importantly, open up your heart. Heart is what makes something human. Real estate has a heart, and it’s people — that includes you, so open your heart to your customers, and they’ll open theirs to your property or development. A deep connection and relationships with your customers will go a long way.

Keep the ‘Real’ in Real Estate

Any purchase or agreement in real estate, for the customer, can be extremely stressful. It is even more stressful when they can’t pinpoint the genuine companies and people. In a world riddled with AI and other disingenuous sales tactics, it’s important to stand out as an authentic option for your target audience. In other words, keep the ‘real’ in real estate. Watch out for how you’re writing, what you are saying, and how you present yourself in your interactions with clients.

We’ve worked with so many wonderful real estate professionals over the years. Check out some of the work we did for them.

If you’re a real estate developer looking for some more tips and tricks, or you need to revamp part of your branding, web or marketing, give us a call, we’re happy to help.

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