Branding

I am a customer

Author
Marc Davison
No.
119
Date
12/16/07

As I sit working on my iMac, I think back to my old PC. It was a machine. I, its operator. We fought. We disagreed. We hardly communicated. We had a love/hate relationship. I loved it for getting me through the day; I hated it for being so self-centered. It was all about itself. "Talk to the hand" it often said as it froze up.

But I settled for it. After all, it seemed as if it was the best I could do.

Then the hard drive crashed. I lost everything. Work. Personal things. But in some ways I was relieved. I felt I could start over.

That night I watched an Apple commercial. And I saw myself. And I was not a PC. That was never me.  The next day I entered a Mac store. I never realized computing could be like this. I never imaged a retail experience could be like this either.

Over the next few days, I discovered a level of computing I never knew existed. I had never viewed a computer as a work of art. A computer had never beckoned me to compose on it. 

For Mac users, the device makes a statement about who they are. Apple has seen to that. In its relationship with its customers, they have defined them. How they feel. And how they relate to the work experience. Its users are part of a growing culture.

This relationship between brand and consumer eludes most brokers and agents. They either don’t understand it or just believe it’s impossible to create. They haven’t dug deep to learn who their customers are. To learn what makes them tick. And react.

For the most part, real estate just tries to throw a net around everyone.To be all things to all people. Well, the sad part is, that doesn’t work. You end up appealing to no one. You are like everyone else. Plain vanilla yogurt.

Mac commercials resonate because they speak the same language as the customer. Brand and customer are on the same side. Real estate doesn’t even pretend to do that. 

What you call a listing, is really my home.
What you refer to as a lead is really just a person looking for some information. 
The neighborhood I live in you call a … farm
Once I make a simple inquiry, you incubate me as if I were an egg.
To keep me interested you drip on me rather than shower me with affection.
When you sell my home, I become a notch on your top producer belt.
You market to me as if your personality means more to me than the value of my home.

In the end, many real estate consumers feel like I did before I bought my Mac — forced to use something suboptimal because there is no other alternative. What an dysfunctional relationship.

It doesn’t have to be like that.

There are going to be those people who read this, look at their 20 sales and say, "I did 20 deals last year — you know nothing". To that I say, while you think you did 20 deals last year, I believe what you really did is help 20 American families — moms, dads, sons and daughters — acquire for themselves a slice of the great American pie. And if you did 20, who’s to say with a little change, you couldn’t have done 40?

Davison