Too often, salespeople sell with their guts, reading their client’s body language, speech patterns, and, with that, they think they know the buyer, what kind of life they want, what kind of home. Unfortunately, that only works sometimes, and what used to be an acceptable failure rate (though is a failed sale ever really “acceptable” if you work on commission) grows less and less so as business shifts toward analytic- and marketing-driven models of success and sales possibility.
Now, as real estate agents, you know your marketing. I know you do. And there’s no reason why you shouldn’t put some of its most successful principles to work when showing homes. Sure, clients come with wish-lists and budgets you have to work with, but thinking beyond that to what kind of people they are, what they watch on tv, and what kind of lives they lead can give you the edge you need to close a deal quickly.
Remember, it’s not about selling a house (though, of course, it is); it’s about selling the right house, and the quicker you find it, the quicker the commission’s in the bank.
But how do you make selling in real estate more effective?
- Do a Segmentational Analysis: This sounds a whole lot fancier than it is. Make a spreadsheet of all the kinds of people you meet on the job, and create a persona for each: Larry the Cat Guy who works as a blogger and is quiet and bookish, Angela the Attorney who’s never home but who prides herself on her appearance. These are cues you can pick up in basic conversations, and they’ll give you good insight into the kinds of properties these people are most likely to be interested in.
- If Your Marketing Department Has Data, Use It: Knowing what kind of people are buying right now, what homes are the most desirable in your area, which marketing efforts are creating successful returns on their efforts… this is the kind of data you can use in your audience approach. With it, you can predict and plan your initial meet with a client, even before you’ve had time to figure out where they fit into your segmentation.
- Watch Real Estate TV: It’s no secret people are hooked on the stuff, but what you may not know is that, as much as TV is representative of people’s ideas and tastes, it informs the unsure even more. Especially when dealing with first-time buyers, having seen what they’ve seen can help you manage their expectations and find them just the right home.
- Throw Them a Wild Card: A client has come to you and said “I want X, Y, and Z, but you know a lot about them from your audience, data, and media analyses that suggests they might like something else a bit more. Show them something they didn’t ask for, and see how they respond. If they hate it, fine; just move on and know that what they’ve asked for is what they want. What you might find, though, is an increased loyalty to you for your ability to “anticipate needs they hadn’t even thought of.” It’s what marketers do all the time.
More and more, marketing intelligence is informing the way salespeople approach consumers, and it always always always comes back to how well you know your audience. By understanding them socially, culturally, and from behavioral-based data-perspectives, you’re much more likely to find them a home that makes them (and you) very happy.
Any other must-have tips for understanding real estate audiences?