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Time and time again we see agents come to us, frustrated with the results they are getting from their marketing efforts. They studied the turnover, looked at the average sale price of homes, and found an area where there isn’t a dominate Real Estate agent doing all the sales. Yet, they still aren’t getting listings. Did they pick a bad area to focus their marketing efforts? No. Of course they didn’t. They are just not touching homeowners with information that is relevant to them, and consistent with their current life circumstances.
Touching homeowners with marketing material that isn’t relevant to them is even worse than sending no marketing materials at all. First off, there is the obvious point that if it isn’t relevant, you aren’t going to get any traction with your marketing and you’ll simply end up wasting a bunch of your hard earned money. Secondly though, by sending things that are completely outside the realm of what is relevant to them, you are putting the idea in the homeowner’s mind that you and they are not aligned. The problem with this is that when they finally do want to sell their home, you are not going to be on their list of Realtors® they will call for a listing appointment.
With that in mind, I want to share an exercise every Realtor® should employ, when planning a Real Estate Marketing Campaign.
Who Are Your Ideal Customers?
Before you start figuring out how to craft your marketing messages, you have to consider the fact that not every homeowner in your marketplace is one you are going to do business with. This could be for many reasons. For instance, maybe you don’t tend to do a lot of business with first time home buyers, or perhaps empty nesters, etc. Because of this, your marketing plans and actual marketing material may not be geared towards these people. This is okay.
Real Estate is a personal business. You need to be sure you are able to build great rapport with the homeowners in your marketplace that you will be representing. The first step to determining if you can do this is starting by building client personas.
Put simply, personas are:
Semi-fictional representations of your ideal customer based on real data and some select educated speculation about customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals.
The very important thing to note here is that these personas are built around your DREAM clients. You most likely don’t have one single type of dream client, correct? Just as, unless you are marketing to a neighborhood that looks like a page out of the Stepford Wives, there are probably not one standard type of person or family that lives in your farm area, right?
Because of these two facts, depending on the farm area you have selected to market to, you may have to make up multiple personas to fit all the different types of people you are targeting as your dream clients.
Once you’ve created these personas, it’s time to do research and make sure there are homeowners in your marketplace that fit these profiles.
Do Your Research
Now that you know who you are targeting, to be 100% certain you are focusing on the right marketplace, you need to do research on the homeowners that live there. In the past, this was a very difficult and sometimes expensive proposition. The great news today is with the power of the Internet, practically anything is possible. This is no exception.
Go online and research homeowners that live in your desired marketplace to learn as much as you can about them. Our personal favorite sites to use to accomplish this are:
• Facebook Community Pages
Additionally, for an added bonus, if you know a homeowner that has lived in that area for a while, you would be well served to spend some time talking with them, learning everything you can about the homeowners that live there.
Craft Your Marketing Messages
Now that you have your ideal clients in mind, and you’ve done your research to ensure that your ideal customers do live in the marketplace you are going to market your Real Estate Practice, it’s time to draft your marketing content. You will use both the above exercises as the road map for the content you are going to generate. You’ll use it to craft the messages of the marketing pieces themselves. You will also use them to determine what items of value you’ll want to be offering homeowners via your postcard capture codes, Facebook landing pages, etc.
When it comes to carrying out these steps, it is true that it will take some time to get things all figured out, set up and ready to roll. While some agents have an assistant, or perhaps some extra bandwidth themselves that they can use to accomplish this, if you find yourself too busy, and not having the appropriate manpower to manage these steps, it is CRITICAL that you not skip these steps, but instead decide to hire an outside marketing firm to help you with this market planning. Skipping these steps will all but ensure you are missing the mark with potential clients in your marketplace. You deserve to be successful, and these steps are the all important foundation that will get you there.