The Curse of Knowledge

The Curse of Knowledge in Real Estate is very real. It’s a problem that many people have and they don’t even realize it. It’s especially important when doing online marketing, like with blogging for example. Do you know what The Curse of Knowledge is?

The Curse of Knowledge is a problem that professionals have when talking to people outside of their industry, who aren’t themselves experts. It’s why when you hear a doctor or a lawyer speak to you that you often have to say “in English please”. So the terms you use every day as a professional, aren’t easily understood by those outside of the business. 

Let’s look at a really basic example. You have a new listing so you go on Facebook and type in “Got a new listing today!”. Do you know who knows exactly what you’re talking about? Real Estate Agents. Of the general public, some will know from having bought and sold before, but some still won’t. They don’t use the term listing when talking about homes for sale. They say home for sale. So adapt your language to what the consumers use. Don’t use your language. You should think of it as joining the conversation thats already happening in the mind of your consumer. 

You should be answering your clients needs. What a lot of people do is talk about why they are a great real estate agent. Why someone should hire them as a real estate agent. This is another form of the curse of knowledge. You are skipping steps. In your mind, someone hires a real estate agent and then buys a home. In the mind of the consumer, they want to buy a home and end up getting a real estate agent to help with that. They start with buying a home. So use your knowledge of buying a home, and help them learn about it. Give them as much of the knowledge you have as possible.

People are not normally coming to your website or your Facebook page to learn about real estate agents. They are coming to help them in the process of buying or selling a house. They want you to have the answers when they come to your site, they are pulling for you to be able to help them. That’s why they are coming there. They aren’t coming to be forced to register to view certain listings. They have questions and they want quick and easy answers. Give them a reason to stay on your site by sharing your knowledge, just make sure to use their language and not yours.

How many times has a client asked you “Hey what does “bwl” stand for in the description?” or about any of the other million acronyms that are seemingly made up? I remember when I first started in real estate, I had to ask what bwl meant the first time I saw it. Broadloom Where Laid by the way. How are consumers supposed to know that? Some consumers may not even know what broadloom is! 

If you’re using insider language in your posts then they also won’t be found as easily by google. Google is going to look at the language you use and match it to what people are searching. If you only ever refer to a home for sale as a listing then someone searching homes for sale may never find yours. Use the language of the consumer, not your own. It’s the same reason I try not to use CTR, PPC, CRO, SEO, UI/UX, or a million other tech acronyms without first fully explaining them. 

Know your audience and know the language that they use. Meet them on their level. Don’t assume they know your language. If you need to run it by someone outside of the industry then do that. Know start using the consumers language in your online marketing and you’ll see you will get better responses.