People like stories. More real estate professionals should embrace the new marketing trend to communicate with customers. A basic biography, the “we do ‘x’ because ‘y,’” like “we make the data visual so real estate investors see opportunities,” is a fine summary, but will it really resonate with your target audience?
People like stories. More real estate professionals should embrace the new marketing trend to communicate with customers. A basic biography, the “we do ‘x’ because ‘y,’” like “we make the data visual so real estate investors see opportunities,” is a fine summary, but will it really resonate with your target audience? Presenting your brand values in the form of a story makes your “what” and “why” much more memorable. Branding, at its core, is about building connections. We connect to stories.
How to turn your work into a story
Brainstorm about opportunities inside your company ripe for the storytelling format. The basics of narrative structure have conflict and resolution. Common opportunities for brands to find stories lie in their founding story, struggles they have overcome, or examples of living the mission. Ask yourself, “where or when has there been struggle and how has it shaped the brand?”
What a good story has
Not all moments in your branding journey are ideal for elaborating into a narrative. A good story will:
- Be truthful. The story must honestly represent what actually happened.
- Have emotional value. Without an emotional center, the story won't relate with the audience.
- Reflect core values. A branding story is like telling a folktale. We must learn something from it about you, like a characteristic you value or a time you upheld your values.
- Demonstrate purpose. Sometimes when we ask people why they got into a real estate career, their answer is to make money. Financial stability shouldn’t be your driving purpose. Finding success and driving revenue is a byproduct of living your purpose. Find the real reason you’re in the business and use the story to demonstrate why you exist.
- A cast of characters. A good story doesn't center around one person. Let others join in the story-telling with interviews. Let them share their perspective.
- Conflict. We mentioned it before, but it's worth mentioning again. Good narratives have a good conflict driving them. Your story must set up adversity or a problem and then show how you resolved that problem.
- Connect to the future. During the story’s final act, connect the lesson learned or the brand’s future purpose. For example, if you learned your real estate agents needed a better way to prospect, mention how you expect to increase business by 25 percent over the next year thanks to this solution.
Where to Publish Your Story
Stories work with a range of content. While the “about” or “bio” page is the first place most people think of, your storytelling style works with:
- A video biography
- Any video marketing about team initiatives
- Blogging. Use anecdotes (short stories) to illustrate points or use narrative style in a thought leadership piece.
- Case studies. These naturally use conflict and resolution; it’s all in how you frame it.
- Client testimonials. The best ones explain how your service or solution helped them tackle challenges. Plus, testimonials add a cast of characters.
Examples of Brand Storytelling
Need to see how brand storytelling works in the commercial real estate space? Breather’s culture page does an excellent job explaining the story in different sections. This creative “Our Story” by The Alter Group exemplifies “cast of characters,” using photos, videos, and accompanying text to illustrate their history and values. The Bank of Tampa story hits on the conflict and how they worked through it. This video on Midwest Industrial Might by CBRE Institutional Properties in Chicago, uses narrative to talk about the local market.
Want to up your content marketing and branding game through storytelling? Our experts help craft stories through blogging and social media that connect with your target audience.