When marketing real estate, it is vital to sell the lifestyle that will be attained by the buyer after purchase. What this means is that the implied quality of life to be gained is just as important as tangible property features offered by the home itself. Real estate agents have long known that marketing a lifestyle image is of paramount importance in order to connect to prospective buyers on an emotional level. After all, once a buyer decides that a property is the “right one” for their family, they will go to great lengths to retain it for themselves.
What exactly is a lifestyle image and how can it be utilized to increase the perceived value of any saleable piece of real estate? In this tutorial, we will answer these questions, as well as discuss some of the psychoemotional strategies that can be used to connect a buyer’s lifestyle goals to a property in order to get the home sold fast and for maximum profitability.
What Does it Mean to Sell the Lifestyle?
Every home should be marketed to a well conceived target buyer demographic. Although it is possible that several demographics might be interested in a property, it is always a good idea to focus in on the most likely buyer type and do everything possible to appeal to their wish-list criteria.
Lifestyle image is defined as the desirable characteristics of living in a perfect property and idyllic neighborhood. Selling the image portrayed by the home will help to endear the property to buyers who are seeking to become more like the vision portrayed.
It is vital to represent this life image in the home staging, since this is the most effectual way of developing an emotional connection to potential buyers. Therefore, staging should never be performed until the lifestyle image for the home has been analyzed, altered and fine-tuned to appeal to the widest range of likely purchasers.
In essence, lifestyle image describes a perfect vision that buyers will have of themselves if they decide to purchase a home. They must see themselves living the type of life they desire and being completely fulfilled by the property in as many measurable criteria as possible. This is the truest definition of selling a lifestyle, instead of just selling a home.
Strategies that Sell the Lifestyle
Strategies to achieve the goal of marketing a lifestyle are diverse and can be accomplished by the real estate agent, home stager and homeowner. Let’s investigate a few of the more common and effective techniques that promote positive-impact lifestyle imaging:
What does the home have to offer that separates it from the competition? Is it waterfront? Is it on a cul-de-sac? Is it a penthouse high-rise? Whatever the physical property features are, make sure to strategize how these unique qualities can be used to sell the image of a lifestyle, rather than just mentioning them in passing or taking them for granted.
Likewise, the décor of the home should reflect this lifestyle image, as should the functionality. It is crucial to tie the décor into the lifestyle image package created, as well as provide the functionality that facilitates the realization of this image in day-to-day life. Be sure to highlight all these efforts to potential buyers for maximum impact.
For example, a buyer looking to live near the water can be enticed to enjoy a “tranquil beach lifestyle” by a property that resides directly at the shoreline. This feature can be played up to differentiate the real estate parcel from its close competition, offering a “true beach lifestyle”, instead of just being “close to the beach”. Decorating the home to suit and providing functionality that beach-goers demand will seal the deal.
Another example might appeal to a family who is seeking a truly safe environment for their young children. Showing them a home on a cul-de-sac, in a great school district, with similar neighbors and a host of family-friendly features will win their hearts and minds, inciting an offer.
Finally, a young urban buyer might desire a prestigious professional lifestyle image. In this case, the ideal candidate property might be a contemporary unit in a respected building which offers the perks that executive types have come to expect. The unit should be decorated to appeal to the tastes of a young professional buyer and should be marketed to appeal to ego, habits and career-drive, as much as to the practicality of location, size and price.
Sell the Lifestyle and Sell the Home
Selling a life image will not work with every property or every buyer. Some properties just have little in the way of unique characteristics, and therefore, by default, appeal to a wide range of buyers, but only at a moderate level of emotional interest. Additionally, some buyers are not emotional about their home hunt and are simply shopping based on location, price or other particular features.
However, in the vast majority of cases, marketing the lifestyle of a property will help to get the residence sold faster, more profitably and to the buyer who will be truly thrilled with the purchase. This is beneficial to all parties and is a great way to close deal after deal, with minimal lag time.
As an expert home stager, my job is to represent a lifestyle in each home I prepare for sale. My design vision must match the lifestyle image of the potential buyers and when it is in perfect alignment, the home will sell immediately and for more money than was ever imagined. This is the power of conceptualizing lifestyle image, executing the design to sell this image at every turn and reaping the rewards of a well-planned staging project.