4 Ways To Leverage Psychology To Grow Your Commercial Real Estate Brand
Psychology explores the effects of biological influences, social issues, and environmental factors on human thoughts, actions, and emotions.
Successful players in the commercial real estate sector embrace psychological insights to support their relationships with all stakeholders — investors, personnel, and the public.
Despite the upsides of incorporating psychology in the efficiency- and metrics-driven industry of commercial real estate, many operators still neither realize nor harness the psychological element of the business.
But recognizing and respecting consumer behavior is crucial to creating a brand that’s ready to lead and serve.
To leverage psychology to grow your brand, consider these four fundamental strategies:
1. Align with the values and ethics of your stakeholders
Productive long-term business associations are relational, not transactional.
In other words, every founder has the capacity to forge lasting bonds when they cultivate synergistic relationships with stakeholders based on aligned values — rather than finance.
The word ‘Stakeholder’ appears in almost every CRE monthly newsletter, weekly op-ed, and quarterly business review.
But what do we mean by that?
Your stakeholders are everyone who is personally, professionally, or financially invested in the success of your venture — which includes the community.
So, how does someone become your stakeholder, and why would they want to?
For the why,, it’s because they believe in what you’re doing and who you are.
As for the how, a critical thinker will only choose to invest in you, financially or emotionally, if your values and ethics match theirs.
Get to know what’s important to your various groups of stakeholders, and build your offering and brand around them.
The road to merging their beliefs with your brand begins with goodwill.
Let the public and your potential stakeholders know that you’re motivated by the greater good — most everyone would say they are — and then back it up by dealing fairly, delivering on your promises, and operating according to the ESG principles.
2. Frame your brand with benefits and consistency
Your brand is among your most valuable assets, with two of its major components being visual image and perception.
Consequently, it’s vital to consciously shape that awareness and interpretation of your company to fit the needs of your stakeholders.
Starting with market research — which some would argue shares threads with psychology — we can identify the needs, both physical and emotional, that drive our target market’s beliefs and actions.
Thanks to your discovery, you can speak directly to their preferences through your marketing messages, visual campaign designs, and communication channels.
To build trust and maintain credibility, stay consistent in the visual and written voice of your brand, the benefits you offer, and what you stand for.
3. Build confidence and trust by demonstrating transparency, knowledge, and experience
Trust is, in itself, a social behavior and psychological concept.
Still, it must be earned.
How do we earn trust?
By doing what we say we’ll do.
At its heart, trust is about a basic physical and emotional need: safety.
For investors, ‘safety’ means their money, time, and reputation are protected by your willingness to openly share information and your possession of the knowledge, tools, and experience to deliver returns and manage exposure.
You can further foster trust by providing insights and solutions to your target market’s key questions and concerns.
Position yourself and your firm as a thought leader and build familiarity by holding seminars, producing white papers and case studies, and sharing your knowledge through your blog, contributor articles, and media interviews.
4. Be the firm your peers and clients want to be associated with
Lenders, tenants, employees, and peers want to work with a successful firm: i.e., a market leader and innovator.
Capitalize on the innate desire to work with the ‘#1’ by leveraging your success stories in your marketing and honestly projecting the core competencies that drive your value proposition.
Keep it real, but don’t understate why you’re the most qualified and how you’re leading by example and results.
As you’ve seen me advocate in other articles, tech adoption and utilization set the best apart.
Our society values tech not only for its novelty but also for the powers it grants the organizations that wield it wisely.
Appeal to that need for physical and emotional ‘safety’ by showing you have the technology to seize any opportunity and adapt to all economic, social, environmental, and regulatory conditions.
Stay ahead of the curve, and you’ll stand out as a nimble leader of an organization capable of stable growth and returns.
Developing and implementing strategies based on these psychological factors aren’t sly tactics we utilize to gain an upper hand.
Rather, the study involved in that planning and execution is how we learn to authentically relate what makes us the best fit for those we partner with.
Understanding how our stakeholders think and feel is fundamental to our finding ways to better meet their needs and offer ideal solutions in a way that appeals to their sensibilities.