You are viewing our site as an Agent, Switch Your View:

Agent | Broker     Reset Filters to Default     Back to List

Client Personas are Critical to the Success of Your Real Estate Farming

August 14 2014

buyerpersona leadingagentDo you know who you are marketing to in your geographic farm area?

WAIT! Before you answer that question, stop and really think about it.

Do you "really" know who you are marketing to? Do you know what the homeowners in your farm do for a living? How much money they make? If they have kids? Are those kids going to college and moving out? Do they like to vacation, or stay home and visit local restaurants and coffee shops? Are they potentially looking for a bigger house, or needing to downsize?

If you can answer these questions, congratulations! Since I'm a betting man though, I'll guess that most of you were unable to answer many, if not every one, of these questions. If you are in that boat, don't feel bad. Week after week, we find that Realtors® are spending hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars per month on a geographic farm with no real grasp on any of these questions.

Why, you may ask, are these questions pertinent to your real estate marketing campaigns? These questions are what define the personas of the people that live in your farm area. If you are unclear on the persona of the person you are marketing to, you cannot guarantee you are going to be touching them with information that is pertinent to where they are in their lives, or something that they deem interesting enough to them that they will stop and actually review it.

A inventory of client personas are the foundation of any marketing campaign. They are the building blocks you will use as the springboard for every message you craft, ad you build, and marketing initiative you undertake.

Crafting a persona can be a little trickier than it seems, but it is certainly not impossible. Today, I thought I would spend a little time explaining:

  1. What a persona is and what a persona is not
  2. A brief background of the whys and hows of personas

What is a Persona? (and What Isn't)?

moving mature

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 client.

For instance, your farm area might be comprised of families with kids moving away to college that wish to sell and downsize, new and growing families that are wanting to purchase a larger home, and high-tech "DINKS" (Double Income, No Kids), that are flocking to the new loft living options in the downtown district that your farm area surrounds.

If this was the make-up of your farm area, you would build three separate personas to use as barometers for your real estate marketing messages and goals.

What Client Personas are NOT

When creating your client personas, it is important to always remember that these personas are not:

1. Specific, Real People

Your client personas should never, ever be built around a specific person (e.g. a past client you recently did a transaction with). These personas should represent a conglomeration of all in your marketplace.

2. Are Not Influenced By Target Markets

This one may at first glance seem a little confusing to you, however your personas are never tied to a specific marketplace. Remember, your personas are built with your DREAM client in mind. Your dream client's persona will actually end up being that of someone that could be found in many geographical markets, across your marketplace, and across the country.

This is a very, very important concept. Done correctly, not being tied to target markets, these personas will not only help you figure out the voice of your marketing and the types of content you are going to market your real estate practice with, but also help you evaluate the potential of a prospective farm area and what you might get out of it before you even craft one message or spend one dime.

3. Are Not Influenced By Changes In Technology

This is actually a great thing about personas. When you build your client personas, you will not have to change them or update them very often. That is because whatever tools your clients are using to find you, or whatever tools you are using to help them succeed in their goals are not relevant.

It's not about the tools your dream clients are using. It's the "why" they are doing what they are doing (buying or selling homes).

So for that reason, your client personas are not influenced by changes in technology.

Client Personas

So now that we've addressed what client personas are not, let's discuss what client personas are:

1. Common Behavior Patterns

Again, taking the scenario of the "Empty Nesters," there are specific things that are common behaviors all empty nesters exhibit. For instance, perhaps the desire to downsize their home, take up more travel, or even start researching active adult communities.

All of these behavior patterns would be part of the persona you would build for this type of client.

2. Shared Pain Points (Both Professional and Personal)

If you give it enough thought, you will find common pain points that unify this patricular client persona. For instance, what about the growing family that is feeling cramped in their current home? Or, what about the struggling young family where both parents work and access to local services, such as community daycare, is a necessity?

You will find things like this that are universal pain points. These points need to be woven into the persona you build.

3. Universal Goals, Wishes and Dreams

Essentially, see point #2 and you can figure this out. Again, though, think in broad terms and don't get so specific that you are talking about a single individual.

4. General Demographic and Biographic Information

This is a very important and rarely considered set of information. You NEED to know these things so you can ensure that your messages are relevant to your marketplace and being absorbed.

5. Not Just Fluff

Your client personas need to be in-depth. If all you have are things like facts about the houses in the neighborhood (remember, DO NOT limit to Target Market), or something general, such as, "My persona is a family," you are not going to be successful.

You need to dig deep and paint a picture.

Why You Need to Build Client Personas

couple virtual homeAgain, it is important to understand that EVERYTHING you do for your real estate practice needs to be tied to these personas. They are the cornerstone of everything you will do. They ARE NOT optional.

Personas are not optional. They will help you figure out:

  • Where people spend their time
  • How to craft your marketing messages
  • If you are part of a team, personas will give your team a unified mission, message and voice
  • Personas will help you relate to your clients and prospects
  • Personas will help you pinpoint the right prospects and therefore the right clients

So I hope this article has been helpful and that you see why these personas are so critical to the growth and success of your real estate practice. I'm happy to help you get started, review what you have put together, or help you in any other way I can.

To view the original article, visit the Leading Agent blogLeading Agent blog.