Connect with us

Business Marketing

Want to Know How to Influence Buyer and Seller Behavior?



Influence aka manipulation

influenceBoy that word “manipulation” sure sounds evil, doesn’t it? Implying that people can be influenced (or as I like to refer to it as for fun, “manipulate”) gets people in a tizzy, but guess what? All marketing studies, tactics and implementation involve influence of others and it’s not evil, it’s a simple understanding of the human mind. Don’t you want to know how your spouse’s mind works? Don’t you want to better understand your buyers and sellers? Would you read this entire article to learn tips on how to influence your buyers or sellers?

Studies show:

A variety of studies reveal a human behavior called “mere measurement effect” which “demonstrate that merely measuring consumers’ purchase intentions changes their subsequent purchase behavior.”

For example, a study of Canadian blood donors that were surveyed asking if they would donate again in six then 12 months showed increased blood donations at a significant rate.  A 1993 NYU study showed increased purchase rates on cars and computers by asking a buyer’s intentions.  Neat, huh?

How to use this in real estate:

The measurement effect is not a new concept- the marketing world has been privy to it for ages and there are some simple ways to implement this in your real estate business:

  • After a closing, send your standard questionnaire and include questions like “would you use [insert agent or brokerage here] for your next home purchase?” or “will you contact [insert agent or brokerage here] at least 60 days before your next purchase?”
  • While touring homes, ask your buyer questions about their intentions like “you said you like the home and you’d like to make an offer, do you intend on making an offer today?” or “I remember that you enjoyed the game room in the last home, do you plan on building shelves on the west wall?” The second question does imply intention to build shelves, not buy a home, but it does influence a decision to point out the obvious likes or dislikes of a purchase.

Will you use the Mere Measurement Effect in your practice? If you read this whole article, was it because you were asked about whether you would in the first paragraph or because the title was in the form of a question (hence measurement, hence influence, hence manipulation)? What other questions can Realtors ask to aide purchases?

Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The American Genius - she has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH and Austin Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

Continue Reading


  1. Darlene Anderson

    October 29, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    I think this concept really works. My team partner & husband will let the buyers know ahead of time that he’s going to ask them to purchase each home he shows them. That way he prepares that buyer that may find the first home is the one for them but feels like they just have to look at 20 others to make up their mind. He lets the buyer know that if they feel the first one is the one they may loose out while looking at the other 20. I’m not quite that brave so I tell them we can only keep two homes on the list at a time and I do not give them the info sheets on any except the two they choose at the end of the day. If we go back out those two stay in the mix. It has shortened the time I work with buyers.

    • Hilda Porter

      October 30, 2009 at 12:11 pm

      I love your idea but some clients want to look at the flyers and make notes so that they can remember the homes. What do you say if they ask for a flyer of each home or they pick up one inside the house.

  2. Tom

    October 29, 2009 at 6:26 pm


    Great article! The use of professional persuasion or influence approaches in real estate can bring success to agents who study and implement these scientifically proven techniques. Thanks for helping to make agents aware of these important tools.


  3. Darlene Olivo ABR

    October 29, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    This is good!! Give me more!!

  4. Matthew Rathbun

    October 29, 2009 at 10:18 pm


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Business Marketing

Tired of “link in bio”? Here is a solution for Instagram linking

(MARKETING) The days of only one link in your Instagram bio are over. Alls.Link not only lets you link more, it gives you options for marketing and analytics too.



Woman checking Instagram on phone

If you’re like me, you’ve probably swapped out the link in your Instagram bio 100 times. Do I share my website? A link to a product? A recent publication? Well, now you don’t have to choose!

Alls.Link is a subscription-based program that allows you to, among other things, have multiple links in your bio. I’m obsessed with the Instagram add-ons that are helping business owners to expand the platform to further engage their audiences – and this is NEEDED one.

With the basic membership ($8/month), you get up to 10 customizable Biolink Pages with shortened links (and you’ll be able to choose your own backend). You also get access to Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel for your pages. With the basic membership, you will have Alls.Link advertising on your Biolink Page. Plus, you’ll be allotted a total of 10 projects, and Biolink Pages with 20 customizable domains.

With the premium membership ($15/month), you get link scheduling for product drops and article releases, SEO and UTM parameters, and you’ll have the ability to link more socials on the Biolink Page. With this membership, you’re allotted 20 projects and Biolink Pages with 60 customizable domains.

If you’re unsure about whether or not Alls.Link is worth it (or which membership is best for you), there is a free trial option in which you’ll be granted all the premium membership capabilities.

Overall – premium membership or not – I have to say, the background colors and font choices are really fun and will take your Biolink Page to the next level. Alls.Link is definitely a program to consider if your business has a substantial Insta following and you have a lot of external material you want to share with your followers.

The day-by-day statistics are a great tool for knowing what your audience is interested in and what links are getting the most clicks. Also, the ability to incorporate Google Analytics into the mix is a big plus, especially if you’re serious about metrics.

If you have a big team (or manage multiple pages), I would suggest going premium just for the sheer quantity of domains you can customize and link, though there are various other reasons I’d also suggest to do so. Take a look and see what works for you!

Continue Reading

Business Marketing

Use the ‘Blemish Effect’ to skyrocket your sales

(MARKETING) The Blemish Effect dictates that small, adjacent flaws in a product can make it that much more interesting—is perfection out?



blemish effect

Presenting a product or service in its most immaculate, polished state has been the strategy for virtually all organizations, and overselling items with known flaws is a practice as old as time. According to marketing researchers, however, this approach may not be the only way to achieve optimal results due to something known as the “Blemish Effect.”

The Blemish Effect isn’t quite the inverse of the perfectionist product pitch; rather, it builds on the theory that small problems with a product or service can actually throw into relief its good qualities. For example, a small scratch on the back of an otherwise pristine iPhone might draw one’s eye to the glossy finish, while an objectively perfect housing might not be appreciated in the same way.

The same goes for mildly bad press or a customer’s pros and cons list. If someone has absolutely no complaints or desires for whatever you’re marketing, the end result can look flat and lacking in nuance. Having the slightest bit of longing associated with an aspect (or lack thereof) of your business means that you have room to grow, which can be tantalizing for the eager consumer.

A Stanford study indicates that small doses of mildly negative information may actually strengthen a consumer’s positive impression of a product or service. Interesting.

Another beneficial aspect of the Blemish Effect is that it helps consumers focus their negativity. “Too good to be true” often means exactly that, and we’re eager to criticize where possible. If your product or service has a noticeable flaw which doesn’t harm the item’s use, your audience might settle for lamenting the minor flaw and favoring the rest of the product rather than looking for problems which don’t exist.

This concept also applies to expectation management. Absent an obvious blemish, it can be all to easy for consumers to envision your product or service on an unattainable level.

When they’re invariably disappointed that their unrealistic expectations weren’t fulfilled, your reputation might take a hit, or consumers might lose interest after the initial wave.

The takeaway is that consumers trust transparency, so in describing your offering, tossing in a negative boosts the perception that you’re being honest and transparent, so a graphic artist could note that while their skills are superior and their pricing reasonable, they take their time with intricate projects. The time expectation is a potentially negative aspect of their service, but expressing anything negative improves sales as it builds trust.

It should be noted that the Blemish Effect applies to minor impairments in cosmetic or adjacent qualities, not in the product or service itself. Delivering an item which is inherently flawed won’t make anyone happy.

In an age where less truly is more, the Blemish Effect stands to dictate a new wave of honesty in marketing.

Continue Reading

Business Marketing

Google Chrome will no longer allow premium extensions

(MARKETING) In banning extension payments through their own platform, Google addresses a compelling, if self-created, issue on Chrome.



Google Chrome open on a laptop on a organized desk.

Google has cracked down on various practices over the past couple of years, but their most recent target—the Google Chrome extensions store—has a few folks scratching their heads.
Over the span of the next few months, Google will phase out paid extensions completely, thus ending a bizarre and relatively negligible corner of internet economy.

This decision comes on the heels of a “temporary” ban on the publication of new premium extensions back in March. According to Engadget, all aspects of paid extension use—including free trials and in-app purchases—will be gone come February 2021.

To be clear, Google’s decision won’t prohibit extension developers from charging customers to use their products; instead, extension developers will be required to find alternative methods of requesting payment. We’ve seen this model work on a donation basis with extensions like AdBlock. But shifting to something similar on a comprehensive scale will be something else entirely.

Interestingly, Google’s angle appears to be in increasing user safety. The Verge reports that their initial suspension of paid extensions was put into place as a response to products that included “fraudulent transactions”, and Google’s subsequent responses since then have comprised more user-facing actions such as removing extensions published by different parties that accomplish replica tasks.

Review manipulation, use of hefty notifications as a part of an extension’s operation, and generally spammy techniques were also eyeballed by Google as problem points in their ongoing suspension leading up to the ban.

In banning extension payments through their own platform, Google addresses a compelling, if self-created, issue. The extension store was a relatively free market in a sense—something that, given the number of parameters being enforced as of now, is less true for the time being.

Similarly, one can only wonder about which avenues vendors will choose when seeking payment for their services in the future. It’s entirely possible that, after Google Chrome shuts down payments in February, the paid section of the extension market will crumble into oblivion, the side effects of which we can’t necessarily picture.

For now, it’s probably best to hold off on buying any premium extensions; after all, there’s at least a fighting chance that they’ll all be free come February—if we make it that far.

Continue Reading

Our Great Partners

American Genius
news neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list for news sent straight to your email inbox.

Emerging Stories

Get The American Genius
neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to get business and tech updates, breaking stories, and more!