How to Master Brand Storytelling to Generate Real Estate Leads

How To Craft a Compelling Brand Story For Your Real Estate Business

You’re a real estate agent or investor. You sell houses, buy houses, flip houses, and rent houses… you don’t sit around the fire telling stories.

In fact, brand storytelling probably isn’t something you’ve dedicated a whole lot of time or energy to. And that’s only natural — you might not see a clear and direct line between brand storytelling and profitability.

If you don’t, you’re missing out!

What is Brand Storytelling?

Stories are proven to get a person’s attention. Stories stimulate brain activity (we cover this more below so keep reading).

But brand storytelling can be confusing. I want to clear that up a bit before we move on. Here’s a definition…

Brand Storytelling is “Using a narrative to connect your brand to your audience. It focuses on the strong connnection of what you stand for and the values/experiences you share with them.”

We know stories need five essential elements… characters, setting, conflicts, a rising action, climax, and resolution.

These elements allow your audience to follow along with the story, feel emotions, feel connected and remember it.

Storytelling should communicate what your brand stands for. It’s not the service you provide, and it’s not the money you make.

It’s about the driving force behind your audience. Your brand is what differentiates you from the competition. It’s why you exist. It’s you providing the hop to make their lives better.

How Powerful Is Brand Storytelling for Your Real Estate Business?

Have you ever worked with a company at least partly because of its values, beliefs, or political agenda?

While humans don’t like to admit it, we buy things and work with companies not just for purely logical reasons, but also for emotional reasons — because of the story that companies tell us and whether or not those stories resonate with our own core values.

Sometimes, we buy from people or businesses just because we like them… and that’s that. Perhaps that’s truer in the real estate industry than it is anywhere else — every buyer and seller wants to work with an agent or investor that they feel they can trust.


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Examples of Brand Storytelling:

Each year, Carrot tells a year-end story. We celebrate our members’ successes, our business milestones, and the work that has been done in our communities. Check them out…

Even better! We’re passionate about helping small businesses create real impact in this world. Here’s how we use stories to communicate our passions…

And, most of us know what an amazing storytelling job Coke does…


It’s difficult, in the moment, to put a finger on exactly why we are drawn to certain businesses and brands.

But it’s almost always because that business — its colors, logo, products, and messaging — is telling a story that we like, a story that we agree with, a story that drives us to take action.


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Maybe it’s telling us a story of luxury, or of status, or of hustle, or of attractiveness. Whatever the case, we like the story and so we buy from the company.

Here are some stats to prove my point…

Simon Sinek famously said that “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”

Brand storytelling is a great way to show your target market why you started your business (according to Simon Sinek, that’s the real reason that people work with you) and you can connect with your audience through something that researchers call Neural Coupling.

Basically, storytelling causes brainwaves between the speaker and the listener to match up, creating connection and intimacy.

But how do you tell a compelling story that attracts your target market, builds immediate trust, and increases your website’s conversion rate?

Here are 5 Steps to Compelling Brand Storytelling to Generate Leads

Note: This is one outline for telling a compelling story. There are lots of different formats and methods, but this is one that we’ve found works wonderfully.

Also, one of the best places for your brand storytelling is your website’s About Page.

Visitors really do want to learn more about your story. Here’s proof: Carrot Website Reveals The Most-Clicked Page On Your Site

Here are some good examples of “about” pages. Use these or others as inspiration, but remember not to copy.

Step #1: Empathize With Your Target Market

The first step to telling a good brand story is to empathize with your target market, to show them that you know what they’re going through.

That answers, after all, one of the first questions a prospect asks when landing on your website or visiting your About Page — am I in the right place? or Can this person help me?

There are lots of different ways to empathize with your target market, but one of the most effective ways is to describe what the prospect is going through.

Here’s an example of what this might look like…

It feels like the walls are closing in.


Maybe you’re going through foreclosure, or a divorce, or bankruptcy. Whatever the case, you’re at a loss for what to do.

You need to sell your house fast, you want to get a fair price, and you need a cash buyer — you don’t have time for all the diddle-daddle of going through a bank or a real estate agent.


It’s frustrating, debilitating, and… frankly… the whole thing seems impossible.


You need a way out.

See how that shows the prospect that you know exactly what they’re going through? The more specific you get to your target market with this step, the better.

To show empathy, ask yourself,

  • What emotions is my target market experiencing when they visit my website?
  • How do they feel?
  • What are they going through?

Then mirror those feelings and that situation back to them at the start of your story.

Step #2: Introduce The Problem

Every story has a problem that needs to be solved. And so too does every prospect.

The second step to writing your story is to, quite simply, introduce the problem that your target market is experiencing.

This can be just one sentence or a short paragraph describing their problem — the goal here is to make their problem real but to also show that you understand their dilemma.

Continuing with the last example I wrote in Step 1, here’s what that might look like.

It feels like the walls are closing in.


Maybe you’re going through foreclosure, or a divorce, or bankruptcy. Whatever the case, you’re at a loss for what to do. You need to sell your house fast, you want to get a fair price, and you need a cash buyer — you don’t have time for all the diddle-daddle of going through a bank or a real estate agent.


It’s frustrating, debilitating, and… frankly… the whole thing seems impossible.


You need a way out.

But… what is there to do? Real estate agents won’t work with you (or they’re too slow for your liking), most real estate investors with cash on hand aren’t trustworthy, and no one seems to be playing your corner — no one is on your side.

Notice how that paragraph illustrates the problem and intensifies the pain that the prospect is feeling? That’s a critical part of the story before we introduce the hero… your business.

Step #3: Put Yourself In Your Audience’s Shoes

This is where the real storytelling begins. So far, we’ve just empathized with your target market and described the problem that they’re facing.

Step 3 is where the real magic starts to happen — you’re going to introduce yourself and your business into the story, positioning yourself as the holistic solution to your prospect’s problems.

This is where you what to start showing them the “truth”. Even successful people must reinvent themselves from time to time.

And the way to do that is by putting yourself into the prospect’s shoes and explaining that you know what they’re going through.

For example…

It feels like the walls are closing in.


Maybe you’re going through foreclosure, or a divorce, or bankruptcy. Whatever the case, you’re at a loss for what to do.

You need to sell your house fast, you want to get a fair price, and you need a cash buyer — you don’t have time for all the diddle-daddle of going through a bank or a real estate agent.
It’s frustrating, debilitating, and… frankly… the whole thing seems impossible.


You need a way out.


But… what is there to do? Real estate agents won’t work with you (or they’re too slow for your liking), most real estate investors with cash on hand aren’t trustworthy, and no one seems to be playing your corner — no one is on your side.


I know what it’s like. I felt that way once.

I remember when I was going through bankruptcy, losing the house I’d lived in for over 10 years. I couldn’t believe it. How did it get to this point? And yet, there I was, desperately trying to find a solution — someone who could help me escape this mess.

The goal here is to show the prospect that you’ve been down on your luck before just like them — you know what it’s like to feel lost.

In the example above, I told a story of bankruptcy that directly relates to the prospect (if you have a similar story, tell it!), but if you don’t have a story like that, then just tell the story of a time when life wasn’t going how you expected — it could literally be anything (maybe you were overweight, uninspired, jobless, etc).

The point is to show the prospect that you’ve felt how they feel — not necessarily to show them that you’ve gone through what they’re experiencing.

Step #4: Explain Your Own Transition

In a superhero movie, this where the hero comes in to save the day.

In Step 4, you explain your own transition from frustrated and confused to excited, relieved, or joyful.

This provides proof of concept for the solution you’re going to give to the prospect’s problems. It’s a way of communicating that “It worked for me. It can work for you, too.”

More importantly, you’re giving them HOPE.

For instance…

It feels like the walls are closing in.

Maybe you’re going through foreclosure, or a divorce, or bankruptcy. Whatever the case, you’re at a loss for what to do.

You need to sell your house fast, you want to get a fair price, and you need a cash buyer — you don’t have time for all the diddle-daddle of going through a bank or a real estate agent.

It’s frustrating, debilitating, and… frankly… the whole thing seems impossible.

You need a way out.

But… what is there to do? Real estate agents won’t work with you (or they’re too slow for your liking), most real estate investors with cash on hand aren’t trustworthy, and no one seems to be playing your corner — no one is on your side.

I know what it’s like. I felt that way once.

I remember when I was going through bankruptcy, losing the house I’d lived in for over 10 years. I couldn’t believe it. How did it get to this point? And yet, there I was, desperately trying to find a solution — someone who could help me escape this mess.

The answer came in the form of a piece of direct mail I received from a local real estate investor. “We’ll buy your house for a fair price in just 10 days,” it said. Seemed too good to be true.

But I called the number on the postcard and got an answer. The fella on the other end seemed nice enough and I told him that I’d at least hear his offer.

I got a call 24 hours later and he offered me exactly what I needed in order to get out of my ordeal. I accepted the offer and everything was settled within a week.

It’s difficult for me to express the relief I felt after finishing that transaction — no more late nights trying to figure out how to pay off the mortgage, no more late-notice bills in the mail, no more stress.

This was such a big deal for me that I decided to do the same thing for people going through a similar situation — people like you.

Again, your story doesn’t have to relate directly to what the prospect is going through.

You can tell your come-back story which relates to weight-loss, for instance, and then transition by saying something like, “My personal trainer helped me to overcome a big hurdle in my life and I decided that I wanted to do the same thing for other people. And real estate is the thing I love doing…”

You want to show people that you know what they’re feeling and that someone else inspired you to be the hero that your prospect needs right now.

Step #5: Call To Action

Finally, it’s time to call the prospect to action. In most cases, that will be dialing your phone number. Or maybe it’s filling out an info form on your website.

Here’s what that last section might look like…

It feels like the walls are closing in.


Maybe you’re going through foreclosure, or a divorce, or bankruptcy. Whatever the case, you’re at a loss for what to do. You need to sell your house fast, you want to get a fair price, and you need a cash buyer — you don’t have time for all the diddle-daddle of going through a bank or a real estate agent.
It’s frustrating, debilitating, and… frankly… the whole thing seems impossible.


You need a way out.


But… what is there to do? Real estate agents won’t work with you (or they’re too slow for your liking), most real estate investors with cash on hand aren’t trustworthy, and no one seems to be playing your corner — no one is on your side.

I know what it’s like. I felt that way once.

I remember when I was going through bankruptcy, losing the house I’d lived in for over 10 years. I couldn’t believe it. How did it get to this point? And yet, there I was, desperately trying to find a solution — someone who could help me escape this mess.


The answer came in the form of a piece of direct mail I received from a local real estate investor. “We’ll buy your house for a fair price in just 10 days,” it said. Seemed too good to be true.


But I called the number on the postcard and got an answer. The fella on the other end seemed nice enough and I told him that I’d at least hear his offer.


I got a call 24 hours later and he offered me exactly what I needed in order to get out of my ordeal. I accepted the offer and everything was settled within a week.


It’s difficult for me to express the relief I felt after finishing that transaction — no more late nights trying to figure out how to pay off the mortgage, no more late-notice bills in the mail, no more stress.


This was such a big deal for me that I decided to do the same thing for people going through a similar situation — people like you.

If this story resonates with you, if you’re thinking “Yes! I know exactly what that’s like,” then give me a call at (phone number) — my business is dedicated to serving people just like you and I’m sure we can make something work.

Can Your Brand Story Be Fictional?

This is a common question people ask when they’re putting together their brand story. Does it have to be true? Or can it be fictional?

But really, it’s your choice.

There are plenty of fictional brand stories that work wonders at converting prospects.

The only thing you have to answer is whether you’re okay with telling a fictional story to your prospects as if it is true?

The other option is to tell a fictional story but then to tell your prospects that the story is fictional and you used it simply to illustrate a point — that can certainly still hold power.

But our advice is to tell a true story when you can, don’t be afraid to embellish it as all good storytellers do, and tell a fictional story if you must, but make sure your audience knows that the story is fictional.

Bonus Tip: Use Case Studies

I couldn’t write an article about brand storytelling without mentioning case studies. They are one of the most powerful and effective ways to build trust, empathy, and connection with your target market.

Have a client who was particularly impressed with your service? Give em’ a call, ask em’ some questions, or have them record a short video testimonial for you and then publish that content on your blog.

For example, Carrot Case Study: Why A Website Developer Decided To Use Carrot To Grow His Real Estate Business

Also, check out, the Carrot Guide to Effective Real Estate Testimonials

You Have a Brand Story for Your Real Estate Business, Now What?

Leverage social media!

You don’t want your brand’s story to go unnoticed. You need to tell it over and over again in order to build trust, generate leads, and eventually close deals.

It can take a lot of work to create a good brand story, so you owe it to yourself to try to reach as many people as possible.

Your social channels are a great place to start. The larger the reach, the more people that see your brand story, the more will learn about you.

Some real estate professionals might not see social media as a storytelling tool. The vast majority see social simply as a place to post blogs or run ads, missing out on the “other” value these tools provide.

sharing brand storytelling on social media

Whether you’re posting a brand story, testimonials, or sharing highlights from recent transactions, social can an incredible tool for communicating with your audience.

Here are some simple steps you can take to promote your story on the four main social channels:

Facebook

Good stories can spread like fire. Right now, there isn’t a better place for this than Facebook.

Facebook gives you the opportunity to promote your story on your Page, posting your business updates, and utilizing groups to build a community to reach a wider audience.

Facebook also has a storytelling feature called Facebook Stories.

Share your stories with photos, videos, and posts!

Twitter

Twitter is a great tool for telling a good story.

Think of Twitter as a channel you can share a series of tweets that build into your main story. Basically, follow the above storytelling flow. The first post is your setting. Next, cover your conflict. Finish with your triumphant victory.

Other tips:

  • Use your band logo or professional headshot as your profile photo.
  • Use videos, photos, and text. Combine these different media options to create mini-stories.
  • If your time is limited, utilize automated scheduling and share tools.

Instagram

Instagram has started to grow within the real estate investment industry. You can post photos, videos, live videos, and text. Instagram also has “Stories”, making it easy to upload photos and videos to create an exciting brand story that appears at the top of your follower’s feeds.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn… the place to build professional relationships. It’s the mother lode for referrals.

LinkedIn is the place for professional conversations but is also the place to share your brand story. Along with market updates, trends and industry news, you can also inspire other real estate investors by showing them your journey.

Tell your story

“Tell me the facts and I’ll learn. Tell me the truth and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in heart forever.” – Ancient Proverb

Stories connect us. They capture our imagination and inspire us. By using the right structure and technology, your brand story will help you communicate your value to your buyer and seller audiences.

Now get started! And, please, please, please share your stories with us!

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