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One Year Ago Today - Understanding Your Audience

Crowd One year ago today I wrote my first blog post.  No one ever read it.  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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Comments

Good post. One of my web designers years ago came up with a great way to expose thieves that was a perfect way to shame a hack into removing the stolen content. He created a feature on our site called "Separated At Birth" and displayed the original content and stolen content in side by side frames.

Thank you for sharing this and keeping me abreast of trends, new marketing concepts, and valuable resources.

Thank you, Jim, for what I consider an excellent post, informative and easy to understand for those of us who are novices when it comes to real estate! I'm amazed people didn't flock to it the first time around, but I'm sure your traffic will keep increasing if you keep posting useful info such as this!

So...this is a nice first post (a year later). Nice opening, to the point. I have bookmarked this site and will use it as a reference when training REALTORS on blogging techniques.

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