Writing property ads for investors vs. owner/occupiers

Tim Cronin, Published: Tue 15th Oct, 2019

When done well, marketing taps into the core human drives to improve someone’s day, make someone laugh, or help them get something done.

It’s no secret that the writers at Blerb believe in adjusting your tone to suit the audience. We’ve even written about it once or twice before.

It’s not always cut and dry, but at the core of writing for any audience is understanding where they’re coming from, what motivates them, and what they care about.

In The Personal MBA , Josh Kaufman describes the five core human drives as the following:

  1. Drive to Bond: the desire to be loved and feel valued in our relationships with others.
  2. Drive to Learn: the desire to satisfy our curiosity.
  3. Drive to Acquire: the desire to collect material and immaterial things, like a car, or influence.
  4. Drive to Defend: the desire to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our property.
  5. Drive to Feel: the desire for emotional experiences like pleasure or excitement.

With these motivating factors in mind, how should your advertising tone differ when you’re marketing to owner/occupiers vs. investors?

Investors will be attracted by the potential, while owner/occupiers and tenants will be attracted by characteristics of the location - schools, shops, and an overall sense of community.

The immediate difference is that with owner/occupiers it’s more emotional. For this audience, put factors like family, feeling, and security front and centre. In this scenario, your message should connect with the drive to bond and defend. How will purchasing this home support their future as a family? What memories will be made here?

In contrast, investors are looking for the potential return on investment. They’re analysing the facts and weighing up their options to achieve the best possible outcome. They are more factually motivated, so you want to touch on value and yield early on in the listing.

When marketing an investment property, you can lead with the return on investment, but you’ll still need to include a vision of what it would be like to live there - investors still need to see that it's a great place to live.

Some things, like space, proximity to amenities, and warmth deserve a mention in any situation. Even if you’re targeting investors, the warmth of a home is still relevant. After all, no one wants to live in a cold house.

Above all, think about your audience and find your emotional hook. This simple framing exercise will help you understand your customers, connect with potential buyers and market more effectively than ever.

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