Real Estate Marketing Ideas

Boost Your Listing Performance with Sensory Marketing

By Michael Yates Last Updated May 11, 2021 5 min read
You’ve heard the same old story on how to market your listings.
Leverage your sphere of influence, experts say. Send direct mailers, others preach.
While those are great, there’s a more direct way to appeal to consumers without spending a lot of time or money.
By leveraging the science of sensory marketing, you can speak to consumers’ brains in a way that boosts your brand and sells your listings faster!

What is Sensory Marketing?

On a basic level, sensory marketing is the ability to earn a customer’s trust and attention by appealing to their five senses.
According to Harvard Business Review, there is new research that centers on “embodied cognition”—the idea that without our conscious awareness, our bodily sensations help determine the decisions we make.
In fact, many neuroscientists believe that over 95% of our decision-making process and emotions happen subconsciously.
When you appeal to a consumer’s five senses, you trigger their subconscious in a way that makes them reach decisions in a way that traditional marketing by itself could never do!

Examples of Sensory Marketing

The reason sensory marketing works is that consumers don’t perceive it as marketing and thus don’t react with the usual negative feelings towards ads and other promotions.
Think about the last time you bought a new car.
Do you think that “new car smell”, or the gratifying sound of the door opening was created by accident?
Carmakers have been using sensory marketing for years to help sell their cars by creating a unique and luxurious experience.
Another great example is a Dunkin’ Donuts campaign that ran in South Korea. When the donut chain’s jingle played on city buses, an atomizer released the smell of fresh coffee. The use of brand recall (the jingle), and their product (coffee) increased visits to Dunkin’ Donuts shops near bus stops by 16% and increased their sales by 29%!
When you walk by a Cinnabon in the mall, are you tempted to grab a delicious, warm cinnamon bun? It might be because that unforgettable scent triggers tasty memories that make you buy one so you can experience that memory again and satisfy your craving.

Ways to Use Sensory Marketing

You don’t need to be a large consumer brand to use sensory marketing.
In fact, as a real estate professional, there are ridiculously easy ways you can use sensory marketing for your listings!

Follow Your Nose 

Researchers believe that smell is the sense that is most linked to emotion, with over 75% of our feelings being produced by odors.
According to Aroma 360’s Marketing Manager, Megan Bunce, research shows that scents directly affect emotions to boost positive feelings, decrease bad moods and lower stress levels; which can be crucial in the stressful and overwhelming process that is buying a home.
In addition to enhancing the client experience, scenting a for-sale property can:

Make a Good First Impression

Everyone knows that there is no bigger turnoff to a potential buyer than the smell of smoke, pets or musk. “A person is, on average, 100 times more likely to recall a scent than an image,” says Aroma360 Founder, Farah Abassi.
This means that it doesn’t matter how beautiful the kitchen is or if the master bedroom has a big-enough walk-in closet; ultimately, the sale comes down to the buyer’s first impression.

Elevate the Experience

Choosing the right scent is key – and it comes down to the property’s decor, like light fixtures, paint colors and artwork. The rule of thumb here is that the scent should match the setting.
For example, for a majestic home in the mountains, the scents of fresh pine and cedar can evoke feelings of calm and serenity related to the vast and peaceful nature surrounding the property
When it comes to scenting a property for an open house or private showing, stick to clean, subtle and less distracting scents like citrus, vanilla, green tea, and pine.

Music to Your Ears

Sound has been a major branding component for decades.
From the “Intel Bong” to classical music playing at a high-end jewelry store, companies large and small utilize sound to appeal to the senses.
Here is how you can use sound in your listing marketing.

Consistent Audio in Your Video Marketing

Whether you’re doing listing, lifestyle, or branding videos, your audio soundtrack should remain consistent.
Consistency will create brand recall with your sphere of influence and beyond – which will be handy when they need your real estate services!

Hear the Results

Combine pleasing smells with on-brand music at your open house to make buyers feel more comfortable and help them fall in love with the home!
Selling a luxury listing? Play some classical or light jazz throughout the property.
Selling a condo in a trendy part of town? Opt for some light-hearted acoustic or instrumental chill music to set the tone.

The Eyes Have It

Sight is the most prominent sense used in sensory marketing and for good reason. 90% of what your brain takes in is visual in nature and does so at blazing speeds.
The human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text, and 90 percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual.
In addition, a team of neuroscientists at MIT found that the human brain can process entire images that the eye sees for as little as 13 milliseconds.
So what does this mean?

Use Professional Photography!

With 13 milliseconds to capture the attention of a home buyer and with 86% of them agreeing that images are the most important factor when deciding to view a home in person, your photography better be eye-catching.
There are thousands of professional real estate photographers that can shoot your listing, however only Virtuance provides images that are scientifically proven to capture attention better than other solutions.
In 2018, Tobii Pro, a leading eye-tracking technology company, conducted a study with homebuyers to measure the effectiveness of various professional real estate photographers and their ability to capture attention.
The result? Virtuance’s HDReal® images were noticed faster and held attention longer than any other photographer’s images.
“2 out of 3 homeowners preferred to view Virtuance’s images than any other photography solutions,” stated Shannon Finetto, Tobii Pro’s Research Manager.
So now that you are a master of sensory marketing, go start experimenting and see your listings perform better than ever before!