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February 3, 2011


Attentionomics; The New Buzzword

by mark mclean

At last month’s management meeting Maureen O’Neill, former TREB president, devoted a few minutes to discuss a recent real estate conference she attended in NYC.  We have all attended conferences at some point in our lives.  Some are better than others, but with any organized event my biggest hope it that I will come away with one or two choice jewels that I can incorporate into my life or, at the very least, use in one of my office meetings.  Maureen attended a marketing seminar and the lecturer used the word “attentionomics”.  This is a great portmanteau that seems particularly apropos to the society that we live in and, by the way, I have had to “ignore all” on my computer’s spell check.

We are all familiar with the Greek word economics, literally translated to mean ‘The law of the household’ and of course we recognize the word ergonomics which is simply the science of designing the workplace or other environment to fit the user. So what exactly is attentionomics and why is it so important to our industry today?

I think we can all agree that we live in a fast paced world. We are constantly bombarded with messages, images, buzzwords and brands. The marketing world is always looking for a way to capture our attention. They know that they have only a few vital seconds to make an impact on us. The message has to be loud, clear and memorable.  So, for me, the word attentionomics, as it relates to our world, means the art or science of creating marketing assets that capture the public’s attention. This is an ever increasingly difficult task.

For the next few weeks try this simple task. Save all the flyers that come to your door or through your mailbox.  Next, sort through them and keep the ones that look interesting. You have probably just eliminated 98% of your flyers.  Now, think about all the money that has been collectively wasted on those 98%. Make some notes on what you liked about the 2% that you kept. These are the benchmarks for your future flyers.  You can do the same for your competition’s websites and blogs. I am amazed at how many of my agents don’t have a handle on what their competition is doing.

There was a point in time when real estate was a sales job, but today it is less about “sales” and all about marketing. The public will make their own decision on what they want to buy, because every house has a buyer. If we want to excel, we have to be creative. We have to market ourselves. To hold onto the public’s rather short attention span, we have to reach them effectively and show them what our “value add” is.

The same goes for social media marketing. For instance, if you are a Twitter user, you probably find that things move pretty fast especially if you have a lot of people in your “stream”. It sometimes can be hard to filter out (or in) the stuff that is valuable. Just like a flyer that comes in the mail, you have one or two seconds maximum to capture a reader. If you are advertising a new property listing chances are everyone will overlook it if the twitter post says “Check out my new listing at 123 Main st. Great detached 3 bedroom for $599K” . One word…BORING. Your chances of having people click on your link will rise significantly if the post reads “Nudist’s dream home. Private backyard gets you closer to nature. Check out this private home for just $599K”.  I know I’m interested. Chances are that your Social Media followers will too.

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Matthew Shapiro
    Feb 3 2011

    We must understand our Competitive Points of Difference and how to convey them to the client.


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