One of the biggest traps a seller can fall into is confusing features vs. benefits. Often when selling a product or service, sellers merely present a list of features--and that's simply not enough to make a sale. Both features and benefits are equally important for effective advertising copy, but at the end of the day, it will be the benefits that give you the best advantages for converting customers.
One common mistake real estate professionals (and salespeople in a variety of industries) make is focusing too hard on selling the house, and not enough on selling a solution to the buyer's problem. The house is the product. It's the center piece of the transaction. But it's your buyer's lifestyle, family situation, age, income, career, and a multitude of other factors that determine whether or not a specific house is a good fit for them.
Focusing on your customer's pain points and the ways your product or service can provide the solution to their problems is known as solution selling. In order to be successful in solution selling, you must understand the difference between features and benefits, and the most effective way to present both as you walk through the process of selling the home.
Features are Generic
A feature of a particular property is a tangible characteristic of it. A two-acre yard, a new furnace, multiple bathrooms, an eat-in kitchen are all features. As the person selling the home, you need to know the features. Potential buyers like to compare features of all the homes on their radar. Think of the features like a checklist clients have in their head that helps determine whether or not this particular home is even on their radar for consideration. The features of the home you are selling will likely come into play very early on, possibly before you even speak to a potential buyer.
Benefits are Personal
Benefits are what your customer has to gain from the particular features of the property you're trying to sell. Benefits are usually intangible and represent value to a particular buyer. They vary from buyer to buyer, depending on their needs and interests. A two-acre yard is a benefit to a buyer with three young children who need some space to run. To a retired couple without any nearby grandchildren, it might simply represent a lot of hard work they don't have the time, interest, or energy to perform. Benefits illustrate how the features solve the individual customer's pain points.
Bringing it Together with Solution Selling
Features definitely play a role in the real estate sales process. But solution selling is where you really have an opportunity to bring value to the transaction by understanding what a buyer is looking for, and clearly demonstrating how the features of a given property fill that need. Don't simply sell the same home to every buyer, in the same way. Adjusting your sales pitch to match the needs of the buyer demonstrates sincere interest in providing the best possible solution for them. Use features as the arsenal of tools at your disposal when trying to solve a buyer's problem with benefits. Sometimes, one particular feature will do it. Oftentimes, it's the combination of two or three features that serve a particular need. Even if the buyer doesn't purchase that particular home, it's a great strategy for demonstrating your client care skills and prospecting new buyer clients at an open house or a showing.