Marketing gurus have been telling us to produce great content. The problem is that many experts took that advice and are producing great content. They are producing so much content most people are in sensory overload and don’t want any more. Smarter brands have moved from content production to true storytelling. The difference between the two is that prospective residents and customers use their own imagery and imagination to visual the message. Simply producing content does not provide the same opportunity. Content is the byproduct of the content producer and does not really involve the audience. Content is designed to be absorbed whereas stories are collaborative efforts between the teller and the audience.
The most powerful stories are created in the mind of the audience. That’s how emotional connections are made. So why are stories now so much more important than content. It is because residents and prospects today have access to as much information or perhaps even more information about the living experiences at your community as do leasing consultants. The information gap has narrowed and may very well be closed. Customers and residents know almost everything they could possibly want about a brand, what takes place at the community, who lives there and what the surrounding community offers. It’s not about a state-of-the-art fitness center or rooftop lounge. It’s about what residents think about the community that is key to making emotional connections. And the best way to connect emotionally is to tell a compelling story. It’s about sharing experiences and know the right questions to ask that enable you to connect with prospects. When you ask the right questions, leasing consultants will recognize which parts of the story they need to create, which they can co-create with their prospects and which parts that they can leave to prospects’ imagination.