If you’re selling a home this year, you most likely have read all you can about staging and selling your home. But have you heard about the new science in home selling? Get ready to deploy neuromarketing.
Neuromarketing is consumer behavior studies that applies neuroscience to describe and predict how consumers will react to specific stimuli.
Compared to standard consumer research, that solely collects consumer data via questionnaire, asking preferences and attitudes; neuromarketing research also collects neurological data via electroencephalographs (EEG) and electronic imaging (MRI, CAP, PET).
The data is used to understand why consumers make certain decisions. The application of neuromarketing is used in eliciting specific reactions to guide consumers in making a decision.
Real estate agents often advise their clients in preparing and marketing a home for sale by suggesting pseudo-scientific “rules of thumb.” For instance, many real estate agents advise their clients about colors schemes and home staging citing specific anecdotes. However, consumer research on home sales have contradicted much of the commonly accepted advice.
Take for example the notion that home staging can make your home sell for money. Research conducted by Lane, Seiler, and Seiler (2015. The impact of staging conditions on residential real estate demand. Journal of Housing Research, 24:1; 21-35) concluded that home staging is not a factor in getting a higher sale price.
Neuromarketing research also contradicts some of the standard Realtor advice, and provides insight in how to better market your home.
A 1995 study by Mitchell, Kahn and Knasko (There’s Something in the Air: Effects of Congruent or Incongruent Ambient Odor on Consumer Decision Making; Journal of Consumer Research; 22, 229-238) clarified how scents affect buying decisions. Past studies concluded that pleasant odors did not entice consumers to buy, although increased lingering. However, their research demonstrated odors actually increase buying behavior – but the odor has to be congruent with the object being sold. So, rather than filling your home with various aromas by baking cookies (which makes buyers hungry) and using heavy scented air fresheners – focus on “fresh and clean” odors. Fresh and clean elicits a relaxation response which can be beneficial to the decision-making process.
Neuromarketing can also guide you in using color schemes and sounds to evoke positive emotions from home buyers that can help sell your home faster.
When it comes to color schemes and a home sale, stay away from trendy. Instead focus on schemes that grab a buyer’s attention but also evoke feelings of trust and relaxation. Roger Dooley (author of Brainfluence: 100 Ways to Persuade and Convince Consumers with Neuromarketing) has talked about using colors to affect how buyers think and feel. The use of bold colors isn’t necessary to grab attention, but rather subtle hues of color schemes are enough to get home buyers to feel comfortable as well as envisioning themselves living in your home.
Neuromarketing research also has shown that background noises can influence perceptions and mood. Soothing music and or sounds may influence how a buyer perceives time, and may induce them to stay longer.
Besides music, consider white-noise or other subtle soothing sounds that can fill the background while home buyers are viewing your home.
If you are implementing neuromarketing techniques when preparing and selling your home, consider focusing on more than one sense modality.
Research has demonstrated that cross modality marketing (using odor, color, and sound) is exponentially more powerful.
Dan Krell is a Realtor® with RE/MAX All Pro in Rockville, MD. You can access more information at DanKrell.com.