Stories From The Street… November 2016

The AMAZING Reticular Activator…

Alex’s 2nd grade class recently went on a ‘Walking Tour’ of Downtown Frederick and I was one of the Chaperones on the field trip.

The tour included 8 stops. The guide would stop and tell a Story and point out some key historical significance of the stop.  One of the first stops was in front of a massive building in Frederick, what is now the Keeney and Basford Funeral Home.

This is part of the Story from the Keeney Basford website:

The building that now houses the funeral home is known as the Trail Mansion. Built in 1852 by Col. Charles E. Trail, it is a beautiful example of classic Italianate architecture. Of particular note are the front entrance area, the Italian-designed windows and marble fireplaces, and the elaborate ceilings similar to those found in large 19th-century European estates.

And more from Visit Frederick:

Currently a funeral home, this Italianate mansion was constructed by Col. Charles Trail in 1852. The stepping stone along the street situated at the curb in front of the wrought iron gate was used by Frederick’s gentlewomen when getting in and out of carriages.

One of the takeaways from the tour is the ‘Stepping Stone’ that was pointed out that is still in front of the Trail Manson.  It’s maybe a 30 inch by 20 inch rectangle, about 6 inches in height.  Back in the day, the streets of Frederick were dirt and mud and there was horse drawn carriages.  The ‘wealthy’ had these Stepping Stones in front of their home to make sure they wouldn’t get their clothes and shoes dirty, coming from the carriages.

Why do I point this out?  Because I’ve lived downtown 3 times in my life, I’ve been downtown THOUSANDS of times and never noticed these Stepping Stones.  And since then, I’ve been downtown a handful of times and each I find these ‘new’ Stepping Stones that I never noticed prior.

Why is this?  Something called a Reticular Activator.

What is the Reticular Activator you ask?  Here is the definition from :

THE RETICULAR ACTIVATOR is a part of the brain the stays on alert. It’s job is to make you notice some things and ignore other things (if you noticed everything, you’d be too distracted to function). When you buy a new VW, it seems like the whole world has bought VWs, because you notice them everywhere. That’s the reticular activator at work.

Motivational speakers, business consultants, and authors of “success books” always stress the importance of having a clear goal. One of the reasons goals are so important is because they activate your reticular activator.

If you have the goal of writing and publishing a bestselling book, for example, you will start noticing things you’ve never noticed before. It seems the world is conspiring to help you out. You’ll meet just the right people. You’ll run into the perfect designer for your cover by an amazing coincidence. You’ll happen to stumble across a magazine article that tells you about a software program that will really speed up your writing. And so on.

All these things are happening because your clear goal has set up the conditions for your reticular activator to work well. That’s how it works. When you know exactly what you want, your reticular activator goes to work automatically to help you get it.

For the most part, you run on “automatic pilot.” We all do. You tend to think the way you have always thought. You tend to notice things you’ve always noticed. And you tend to overlook things you’ve always overlooked.

But when you have a new, clear, definite goal, you start noticing things you would “normally” overlook. And that makes all the difference.

The term “reticular activator” comes from the name given to the part of the brain primarily responsible for arousal and motivation in animals (including humans). It’s called the “reticular formation” and it’s located at the core of the brain stem between the medulla oblongata and midbrain.

You can’t be aware of everything all the time. The reticular activator is your first line of defense against the overwhelm of stimuli. The reticular activator decides what will get into your awareness (what you will become conscious of), and its decisions are based on survival instincts plus anything else you deem as really important.

For example, a woman is a sound sleeper. She has been all her life. Then she has a baby, and the smallest peep from her infant wakes her up. What woke her up? Her reticular activator.

My wife and I have alarm clocks on either side of our bed. I have mine on my side, she has hers on her side. She often gets up earlier than I do. Her alarm woke me up the first couple of mornings, but ever since then, I have slept right through it. Yet my own alarm wakes me up every time.

How does this happen? The reticular activator never sleeps. It is always active.

You can use your reticular activator as a powerful force for good in your life. Give it a strong, clear goal, keep your motivation at a high pitch, and your reticular activator will go to work for you, twenty-four hours a day, helping you find a way to make it happen.

I love this quote, “You can use your reticular activator as a powerful force for good in your life.”  You know that I studied Human Psychology for a good 18 months while compiling the research for my book, The Psychological Approach to Sell Real Estate and I’ve always found the “WHY” behind why consumers choose one home over another extremely interesting.

Using Reticular Activator as part of the Home Selling Process is part of what we do to help sellers achieve sales prices up to $30,000 more than other similar homes on the market.  We do this by using the professionally written Property Stories to create an emotional attachment to the home.

Then, if the home is in a neighborhood, the Story is sent directly to the nearest 100-150 homes along with a great personalized opening letter.

Why do we mail to neighbors?  Do we think that a neighbor will end up buying that home?

The answer:  No, we don’t think that the neighbor is going to buy that home, but what we are trying to accomplish is activating the Reticular Activator.  We want to alert the neighbor of the sale.  Because, ultimately, once they are aware of their neighbors’ sale they will then hear (or better said, notice) more and more people talking about buying homes.  Friends, Neighbors, Co-Workers… they will notice them talking about moving and can tell them that their neighbors home is for sale and to point them to the property story.

What we do is send as much information about the house out to the public and open as many eyes as possible.

Don’t other agents do this?

Yes, but their methods are haphazard and then most of the time direct the audience to an MLS listing or their own personal lead generation website where it requires you to enter your personal information to obtain access.

When we specifically market a property, we direct everything back to the Property Story and the Professional Photos.  We don’t try to capture information; out entire premise is to get as many people viewing the house as possible.  This is an example of one of the sites that we direct people.

The Reticular Activator is an amazingly powerful force.  Next time you start noticing things you have never noticed before, think back and something will have triggered your Reticular Activator…

Have a great Month!