28 Apr How to Build a Real Estate Client List You Can Be Proud Of
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A lot of new real estate agents wonder how they can ever hope to build impressive client lists when they don’t know anyone in the real estate business yet. While this task may seem daunting, it isn’t as difficult as you might think. In fact, it’s never been easier to build a great client list that you can be proud of – you just have to know how to harness the power of data.
Understanding demographics, web analytics, and search engine marketing can help you successfully target and attract your ideal clients. How? Well, first you have to know who that client is. Then you have to follow the data to find out about your ideal clients’ online and offline habits and behaviors. Knowing who you client is will put you in a position to determine what they’re searching for online so that you can create buyer personas and create a branding and marketing strategy that’s specifically tailored to attract those clients.
Does all that sound like a lot of work? Fortunately, it’s a lot simpler than it may seem, so let’s break it down into a step-by-step process that you can follow.
Step 1 – Describe Your Ideal Client
To whom are you marketing your services and business? Trying to sell to everyone is a waste of time because some people simply aren’t interested in buying or selling homes in your area. So, just like with any other business, it pays to narrow the field down so that you can more specifically target your ideal clients.
Sit down and ask yourself a few questions about your ideal customer. Ask yourself:
- How old are they? – Couples in their late twenties to early thirties are often looking to buy their first homes. Empty-nesters whose kids have just gone off to college are often ready to sell and move to a smaller home.
- Where do they live? – Are they living in or moving to the area and neighborhoods where you want to sell?
- Are they married? – Not all buyers and sellers are married, but it’s easier to buy a home with two incomes, so a lot of real estate agents target couples over individuals.
- Do they have kids? – Remember what we said about empty-nesters? Also, if you’re selling three- and four-bedroom houses, you’re probably more likely to be selling to families than individuals or childless couples.
- What is their education level? – Knowing what level of education your typical client will have is important in communicating with them and marketing to them.
- How much money do they make? – You need to build a client list of people who can afford to buy the houses you’re selling. Furthermore, you want to know what demographic you’re marketing to so that you don’t make mistakes like focusing on bargains when your clients are more interested in luxury.
- What is their profession? – Do they work in an industry that’s growing or that has a significant presence in your area?
- What are their hobbies? – Are local attractions and amenities going to fit well with their hobbies and attract them to the areas where you’re selling?
- Anything else? – The more detailed you can get, the better you’ll be able to reach your target audience.
So where do you find all of this information? Fortunately, you can get all of the data you need on your ideal clients through the US Census Bureau’s website. Here you’ll find all of the statistical data about the people who live and work in the area(s) you’ll be working in, and you can answer these questions and build a pretty good picture of your ideal client with the information on this website.
Step 2 – Follow the Data. Where Is Your Ideal Client?
Now that you know a bit about who your ideal client is let’s talk about where you can find them. It’s time to get the answers to a few more questions, including:
- Are they online?
- Do they use email regularly?
- Which social media platforms do they use most often?
- Do they get online with their mobile devices?
- Do they watch videos online and/or on their mobile devices?
- Do they use search engines and which ones?
Can you see how this information can help you use the right media and target the right websites for your online marketing campaigns? Understanding how your ideal client uses the Internet makes it a lot easier to create more efficient means to reach them without blowing your entire marketing and advertising budget on a gamble. And you can get this information from the statistical and analytical research done by Pew Research Center.
What Is Your Client Searching For?
The next step is to figure out which keywords and phrases you should be using on your website, on social media, and in your other online marketing and advertising endeavors. You can find this information by doing a bit of keyword research through the Google AdWords keyword planner, WordStream, and Moz.
Don’t just guess at your clients’ most-used keywords when you do your research, though. Enter your specialties and your area of expertise, your clients’ interests, and your location (get specific with neighborhoods and communities). Then you can get data on the most effective keywords for your target audience.
Step 4 – Bring Your Ideal Client to Life With Buyer Personas
Now that you’ve done all of your research on the data you need to understand your clients and how to market to them, it’s time to create some buyer personas, bring them to life, and make them real to you. For example, let’s say that your ideal clients are couples in their thirties with one or more children. Instead of just describing them this way, tell a story about them. One of your client personas might look something like:
John (37) and Diana (36) are married and have two young children. They live in San Jose, California where John is a software developer and Diana works in information security. They both enjoy living close to work and the ability to get out in the woods or up to San Francisco whenever they like.
This story tells you a lot about the kinds of people you want to aim your marketing efforts at, right? Create a few of these based on the information you’ve gathered so that you have a better idea of the kinds of branding and marketing strategy you’ll need to build your client list.
Step 5 – Create a Marketing and Branding Strategy Around Your Ideal Client
Now you don’t just have a bunch of data – you have a real picture of who your ideal client is and what kinds of messages they respond best to. As you build your branding and marketing strategy, with everything you do, ask yourself, “Would my ideal client be attracted to this?” For example, are they attracted to your branding and logo design, the content you put on your website and where you do your marketing online?
The more effort you put into understanding your ideal client and how they behave online, and the more you think of them in your branding and marketing efforts, the faster you’ll build a client list that will make you proud.
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