How do I engage my ideal customers to close more deals? This is one question you want to ask yourself before diving into marketing your new listings. Luckily there is a key practice that can help you answer it: creating real estate buyer personas. Buyer personas (also known as customer personas) help you connect with your ideal customers more personally, based on mutual goals and motivations. This way, you are able to form connections on a human basis. Doing so then helps your brokerage stand out as one that really knows and cares about their customers.
So what is a buyer persona? Simply put, a buyer persona is a representation of your ideal customer. You create personas based on research into the real estate industry, as well as historical data from your past and present clients, your agent notes, etc. Each persona is meant to represent an audience segment of people who share common traits and goals.
When creating real estate buyer personas for your brokerage, you want to take into account not only demographics of your customers and leads, but also their wants, needs and motivations. What is someone’s age, gender, income and lifestyle? What is driving them to buy or sell a house? Do they have any issues or concerns? What is important to them and what do they hope to ultimately get out of the transaction? These are all questions that buyer personas help you answer. After developing complete personas for your ideal customers, you can then more effectively understand and reach your leads with valuable content.
Throwing out a sales pitch or email blasting your leads and customers generic messages is easy. It’s understanding your audiences on a more advanced level that sets you apart as a top marketer in the real estate industry.
It’s vital to your success that you have a deeper understanding of your ideal customers. Knowing their age and gender, or what they do for a living is a start, but it’s not enough information to make an impactful connection with someone. Incorporating real estate buyer personas into your marketing strategies ultimately makes you a more efficient marketer. It takes the guesswork out of your outreach, as you have more knowledge on how to effectively communicate with your target audiences.
Knowing your buyer personas helps you segment your contacts into specific lists. You can then send your contact segments different relevant content, based on their needs. For example, you could build a list of renters vs. buyers or sellers, and segment lists based on location and price range. This can help you send out effective listing updates. A good real estate CRM should have marketing automation software that allows you to create smart lists, and then continues to populate them, automatically, with new contacts that fit the criteria.
First comes segmenting, then comes targeting, then, hopefully a conversion. Understanding your buyers’ and sellers’ goals and problems helps you figure out how you can best address their needs. You’re also then able to adjust your content delivery to share highly targeted and relevant content with the right people. Your content should be customer-focused in order to be relevant for your different real estate personas, our blog post on how to create customer-focused content is a great guide on how to create captivating content.
In real estate, conversions typically don’t happen overnight — there is a lengthy sales cycle involved. This means each lead in your system needs very specific nurturing to move forward. Buyer personas will help you move your leads down the funnel when they’re ready. Personas allow you to further segment your lists based on positions in the sales cycle. Then, you can devote effort to nurturing the right leads, with the right content, at the right times. In fact, Boardview notes that 71% of companies who exceed revenue and lead goals have documented personas.
Once you develop real estate buyer personas that help you understand your ideal customers, you’ll find yourself forming stronger, lasting connections with your leads, and see your brokerage closing even more deals.
Like this post? There’s more to discover about buyer personas. Download our free eBook, Creating Customer Personas for your Brokerage.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in 2016 and has been updated for accuracy.