Why Do People Rent Your Property?
December 1, 2004
Sure, they say they’re just looking for a place to live. But they aren’t. If they were really just looking for a place to live a tent in a field would work just fine. The back of their car would work fine, too. They don’t pick either of those options, though. In fact they don’t pick lots of other options that don’t meet some criteria they have established in their minds.
People aren’t just looking for a place to live when they look for a new home. They are looking for specific features that appeal to some emotion. They are looking for what benefits their new home has for them. People buy on emotion and then rationalize their decision on the features.
“If you lived here, you’d be home now.” Have you seen that sign on an apartment complex? They are all over the country. Why doesn’t the apartment complex just put up a sign that says, “2 BR, 1 Bth $550 per month” instead?
“Pet Friendly” You’ve seen those signs, too, or something similar. Why doesn’t the apartment complex just put up a sign that says “A real gem” instead?
I know–some apartment complexes put up signs similar to both of the “instead” signs. But ask yourself, which appeal to a positive emotion more? Which are more likely to get someone to start thinking about a real emotional need?
Most apartment complexes that put up signs display the ones that appeal to emotion, that show a benefit. What is a benefit? It is the emotional need that the feature fills.
“The handle on that mug on your desk is a feature,” points out the E-Zine “Practical Selling.” “The benefit is the ability to enjoy a hot beverage without burning your hand.”
The “if you lived here sign” promotes a couple of benefits. One benefit is time-saving and convenience. If you lived in that apartment complex you could stop driving right then, rather than having another 30 to 45 minutes to go. Another benefit is more family time. If you lived in that apartment complex you could be spending more time with your children and/or spouse, instead of wondering what your children are up to while you are driving home.
The “Pet Friendly” sign promotes the benefit that people all too often love their pets more than many of their family members. By saying “pet friendly” you are saying that they can keep Rover and Fifi, the two critters they love most in the world; and their home will be a warm, cuddly place to live. And the sign implies that the management loves pets, too.
Still, you read the classified ads on Sunday and you see page after page of truly creative ads whose headlines say “2BR, 1Bth, $550.” Wow, that really makes a prospective tenant feel all warm and cuddly, doesn’t it?
The most effective advertising is that which gets people to thinking about what the product will do for them. Only if you’re price is truly beyond low is it worth mentioning that as a benefit.
What emotions do rental properties appeal to? Here are some:
Pride: people are proud of where they live
Security: the place where they live makes them feel safer
Love of family (or pets): the place they live makes it easier to be with family
Thrift: many people brag about how much money they save, or the deal they made.
Relief: your property solves a problem the renter has.
Peace of mind: your property makes the tenant feel better about something
There are more, but I am sure you get the idea. What benefit can you put in the headline of a classified ad that will appeal to one of the emotions that get people to buy? Emotion is what sells any product. Look for the benefit that will sell your rental property.