How the Brain Encodes New Memories

This topic is a bit brainy. But it’s essential for new home salespeople to grasp. Knowing this could change your selling effectiveness!

Probably the best metaphor of how the brain stores information is to describe how a computer works. When you add a picture—let’s say a picture of your model home—to your computer, it must be uploaded, or encoded, into the system.

Then it’s stored in memory (the hard drive, or the cloud).

When you want to look at the picture later, you send a command to retrieve it from memory.

Encode. Store. Retrieve.

Let’s dive into memory encoding, in this first of a three-part series.

Stage 1: Memory Encoding

The first stage to create a memory is encoding. It happens in the hippocampus, which is associated with memory. Consider these four sensations and how they trigger new memory:

1. Visual: How is your model home staged? Colors? Does it feel like home?

2. Auditory: Do you have soft music—classical perhaps—playing to relax the mind?

3. Smell: That new home smell—sort of like new car smell—is transformational to many!

4. Touch: What do prospects touch first? The quartz countertops in the kitchen?

When you activate all four of these senses—each with its own unique contribution—you more deeply encode the memory because of the integration of these perceptions. Experts believe that your brain analyzes these senses in both the hippocampus and frontal cortex to sort out what is worth remembering.

So as a new home salesperson working through the mind’s pathways to create new memory grooves, the first thing you need to accept is that perceptions are the foundation of a person’s memory.

A person’s perception of a situation or circumstance (or in our case, a house) is their own reality of that situation or circumstance. Trying to change someone else’s reality, once established, is hard to do. As a result, you need to be mindful of your customer’s perception from the very first meeting and try to manage their experience in such a way as to hopefully create the perceptions that benefit your efforts to sell them a new home.

People remember what is significant to them, and importantly, that significance is influenced by how they perceived the information you provided.

Now that the memory has been encoded, it needs to be stored. I’ll cover that brainy topic in a couple of weeks!