One Year Ago Today – Understanding Your Audience

CrowdOne year ago today I wrote my first blog post.  No one ever readit.  It was supposed to be the beginnings of a book about real estate emarketing.  My intentions have shifted dramatically since that first post, but it seems that my edifying tone was fully intact.  So, in an effort to begin again, here’s my take on understanding whom it is that you are all marketing to.

The unadulterated first post.

Understanding Your Audience

Arguably
the most important element of an effective marketing strategy is
understanding how to connect with your potential client.  “Calls to
Action,” “Hot Buttons,” and “Target Needs” are all used to describe
this active ingredient in a campaign.  To pen the perfect ‘call to
action’ and drive traffic to your lead generating website, one must
step
back and take a look at the internet and the behavior of the internet
user.

Stepping
into the shoes of your next internet lead is going to help you
determine how to communicate with them, and ultimately discern what it
takes to get them to cough up their identity and needs while on your
website.

As internet users, we recognize the value of the nearly
unlimited resource of information we have atNeeds_and_identites
our fingertips.  The appetite
we have to learn more about a
subject, in this bottomless pit of resource, has embedded itself into many important
decisions in our lives. I haven’t purchased a plane ticket with the aid
of a travel agent for so long, I wouldn’t know who to call. I scrutinize
dozens of hotels in minutes, making my decision of where to stay based on
pictures, reviews and convenience. I have self-diagnosed many an ache
and pain, somewhat confidently, before even considering a trip to the
doc. My last car was and next car will be found searching and
researching online. In fact, if I don’t have to leave the computer to
buy something you can almost guarantee that I will compare and contrast until
I am satisfied that I am making the best decision.

I was not always
like this, I used to talk to people in order to make decisions like those above. But times have changed, and I’m (we’re) not turning back.

So how does this affect the real estate industry?

Realtors need to understand that their audience will do their research,
and a lot of it, before putting themselves in a position to offer up
their needs and identities.  Expect that we will look at dozens of
websites for dozens of weeks, as we educate ourselves and percolate
into your potential client.

What do we want to know?

1. What’s on the market? – more effectively: what is on the market that meets my specific needs?
2. What is the value of my property?  Or what has sold in my neighborhood recently?
3. How can I be notified of listings that meet my needs as soon as they hit the market?
4. What can you tell me about the home buying/selling process that I don’t already think I know?
5. Educate me on the area!  I need to know why I may want to live in certain neighborhoods.
6. How can I trust that I will get the service that I require?

Here’s what we don’t want to know/see:

1.  Your welcome message
2.  What your hobbies are
3.  How fun and exciting real estate can be
4.  That you are my Realtor for life
5.  How to win anything
6.  That you have a guest book
7.  What awards you’ve won
8.  Your canned free reports
9.  Your glamor shot
10. 15+ options on the homepage
11. 50+ options on the secondary pages

If you are marketing to reach the buyer/seller audience, and you aren’t using the first list above to develop your ‘call to action,’ then I can guarantee that you have lost them to someone else who is.

Two things:
1. If you don’t have these items for your prospective online client you will lose them.
2. if you don’t make an effort to let them know you have these items available to them, you’ll never get them

To learn how to effectively create the incentive your audience needs
to see/hear to drive them to your website, stay tuned for my next
article: “The Starbucks Mistake”

—-

So there it was.  My first ever blog post.  I had such great
aspirations and intentions back then… But, sadly, I never did write
“The Starbucks Mistake.”  And on I went living my life as a
non-blogger.  The new me won’t let that promise hang, so look for it to
lead tomorrow.

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