“US home prices jump as supply pinch plays out,” read a recent headline in the Wall Street Journal.  For real estate agents, that brings to mind the proverbial good news/bad news. Good news: houses are closing faster. Bad news: low inventory.

What if there was a way to address the shortage of houses, condos and housing properties for sale?  That would open the door to more sales and higher commissions.

Smart, successful real estate agents already offer property sellers a powerful marketing program and an impressive track record. But in this home selling frenzy, one needs to differentiate themselves from competing agents and wow homeowners with their thoroughness and commitment. That’s where ambient scenting comes in.


Whether you’re a multi-million-dollar agent or on your way to becoming one, adding ambient scenting to your listing agent proposals can give you an extra edge.

Think about the five senses. Can you name them all? There’s sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell. Appealing to homebuyers’ sense of smell is often overlooked in real estate. That’s a mistake. Scientists tell us that humans can detect at least one trillion distinct scents. Also, women, often the main decision-maker in real estate transactions, have a better sense of smell than men. 

As you’ll see, scent marketing isn’t about baking cookies for an open house. Cookies are made up of many different scents, including vanilla, chocolate and cinnamon, which when sensed together can go from pleasing to “What’s that smell?” in a hurry.   With your busy open house schedule, baking isn’t in the cards anyway.

To experience the sweet smell of success, leverage ambient scenting.


Ambient scenting offers a more holistic approach to how a home for sale is perceived by buyers. Staging pleases the eye but the right scent seduces. The home takes on an aura that’s naturally inviting.

One approach is to match a scent to the home. For example, if your listing is a house in the mountains, the scent of fresh pine or cedar may evoke woods and nature. Another approach is to use scents that evoke warm, inviting emotions and memories of home without being overwhelming in their complexity.

According to Eric Spangenberg, dean of The Paul Merage School of Business at UC Irvine, who’s renowned for his research on the effects of olfactory and musical cues in retail environments, using warm spices, such as clove or cinnamon, citrus, and natural, clean scents are the best approach.

If you have many listings, consider working with a company that specializes in creating custom scents. Imagine having a signature scent that homebuyers love and fellow agents envy. Listen closely and you might hear them mutter, “Why didn’t I think of that?” A custom scent designed for ambient scenting is a good fit with national and regional real estate companies.


You don’t have to be a trailblazing real estate agent to expand your listings and rack up commissions in a hot housing market with low inventory. You just have to think differently. Ambient scenting is one way to do that.

Nearly three years ago, a Texas-based home developer used scent marketing to set sales records. They matched fragrances to room themes in the model homes. The developer even challenged homebuyers to identify fragrances.  If it worked in Texas, why wouldn’t it work in your community?

It’s shaping up to be a great summer for property sales. The downside is low inventory. This is the time to up your game and put ambient scenting to work for you, increasing your listings and making them more enticing to potential homebuyers.