This is Steve Jolly with Real Estate Marketing All-Stars, thank you for stopping by.
Today were going to talk about the four steps to clone your ideal clients. Step #1 is understanding our ideal client with market research. Step #2 is targeting people that are like your ideal clients with content and ads designed for them. Step #3 is a plan for engaging those folks that you’re targeting. Step #4 is a plan for education or (creating content for those folks that are like your ideal client). We use these four steps to attract, connect and build relationships with people who are similar to your ideal clients.
The first step is understanding. Harper Lee, the famous author who wrote To Kill a Mockingbird, said you never really understand a person until you consider things from their point of view. That’s what we are going to talk about now. The big question is how you understand people that you have a never met, and how you attract people that are like your ideal client. Understanding requires market research. So we need to learn the Who, What, Where, Why and How of your ideal clients. Only then will we start to see things from their point of view.
Your market research should focus on your ideal clients or any other group that you want to clone. Where will we get this market research information? One of the first places is a discussion with the best of your past clients. Drill deep with the questions that you’re going to ask. Ask the questions behind the question. Or keep asking why until you have found the source of the motivation and the emotions behind it. Second, you can send a survey to your past clients to get more information. This is not as effective as a face to face discussion, so do not let a survey take its place. The third source information is from the NAR or local associations. The last source of information would be the WAV group or other similar organizations that produce market research.
Since we do not have any ideal clients to interview, let’s look at market research from NAR and the WAV group. The first slide asks the primary reason the buyer is purchasing a home and answers the question, “Why do they want to buy a home?” Please understand this is generalized information from across the United States. You will uncover other answers when you interview your clients. Some people have asked if this is too basic a question. So, let me ask you this.
How can you convince someone to buy if you don’t understand their motivation and their desire? We need to dig deeper with your client so you understand the emotions driving the home buying process. Look at the number one desire on the list, to own a home of my own. What does this tell you about the emotions driving their decision?
The next slide is titled, what problems do they perceive. This slide represents the most difficult steps in the eyes of the buyer. These are the pain points. When you address and answer their concerns, it creates a connection. They feel you know and understand them(because you do) and it builds trust. Notice paperwork is the number two concern. What other concerns we will you uncover when you talk to your ideal clients.
The next slide, Where else are they affected? These are minor pain points of the buyer. Clients see these as services that agents provide. You need to address all concerns in your content to effectively overcome any objections that the buyer might have.
The next slide is, Why can’t they solve the problem? These are the major pain points. This is what buyers want most from you. These are the opposite of pain because they provide relief. Buyers expect your expertise in these areas so they should be in your content. Buyers also need understand why You are the one to solve these problems.
The next slide is how they tried to solve the problem. Think of these as steps taken to buy a home without you. This means that they took steps and failed to solve the problem before they contacted an agent. How does this help you? These are great ways and places to find buyers before they have talked to an agent.
Here are other research questions that you may want to ask.
- Who are your ideal clients (and be very specific)
- What do they feel without their new home?
- What is life like when buying with you?
- Why you are you the best person to help them solve their problem.
One way you can target your ideal client is to find out where they are and go meet them. You saw that is the slide, How they tried to solve the problem. The second way is to creating a customer avatar. This avatar or personal is a representation of your ideal client. It is the culmination of all of your market research. A persona consists of a lifestyle, interests, emotions and problems that you can solve.
Keep in mind that you will be creating content for this persona. Think of it as a real person so your writing will be more conversational and people will connect to it. People will feel like you already know them which makes building relationships easier.
This process works for any type of ideal client.
Facebook allows you to target on many levels. I expect future ad platforms will be building similar models. When you create an ad on FB, you can target demographics, life events, interests and behaviors.
The obvious targeting selections include location, homeownership, renters and other demographics. You can also target based on life events such as long distance relationships, engagements, and newlyweds. These events typically lead to buying and selling real estate, or they may be related to your ideal client. Want to target real estate investors? It is there. New employer moving into town? Yes, you can target those too. If you know that a majority of your ideal clients have a special interest like football, you can target that too. This is only a small portion of the targeting options available on FB and coming soon to other platforms.
Step Three is the engagement plan. This plan is your guide your initial communications and a mechanism for staying up-to-date with your engagement. This is where most agents fail. They create a plan that never gets implemented. They continue to go forward with no results. This is the plan that I use for buyer and sellers. It works for me and my audience, however, it is not a one size fits all solution. You need to create something that works for you and your clients.
For my online leads, I will send a personal email or communication once a week for two straight months in order to elicit a response. If I don’t get a response than I move them in to Long Term Nurturing, where I slow down and engage once or twice a month. If they respond, I will set an appointment, move into long-term nurturing or delete them from my system.
One common problem with engagement is not knowing the prospects preferred method of communication. It should be one of your goals to understand for each person. So let’s look at a study by the California Association of Realtors. The survey uncovered a big disconnect between telephone and text messaging. About 30% of the people that you are calling would rather have a text. Try using a text message in place of a voice mail nest time and see if you’re surprised at the results.
Engagement is a time intensive process so I use tools for efficiency. One of those tools is a lead aggregator. FollowUpBoss and FiveStreet both fit that category. I currently use FollowUpBoss to organize my leads and help me stay on task. It works as both a lead aggregator and a CRM.
It is also helpful to track emails to gauge interest and ensure delivery. If you notice someone clicking on the links in your email, it may indicate a higher level of interest and trigger you to reach out to the prospect. Sidekick and Yesware are great for your laptop. I have used both and am currently using Sidekick. Sidekick and MailTracker both work on mobile. Although, I have both apps on my phone, I primarily refer to Mailtracker on mobile because it tracks the emails that I send with FollowUpBoss on my phone.
Discovery is another important part of engagement. Discovery tools allow you to find social profiles and other information on people automatically. Connect6, Rapportive and Sidekick all do this inside your Gmail account. It is a great way to learn more about your prospects and find alternative ways to engage them.
We will wrap up engagement with CRM, or Customer Relationship Management Tool. A good CRM will keep a record of your engagement and trigger you to stay in contact. If you are spending more time working on the CRM than working with it, you need a new tool. I use FollowupBoss because it automatically pulls all of my email communication from Gmail and MailChimp into the CRM. I also use the smart lists to help me stay on my 60 Days of engagement plan. Not every CRM works for everyone or does everything that you want. Find the one that works best for you. Other options include Streak, Contactually, Insightly, Realvovle and many more.
The last step is education. Your education plan is a plan for content development. It is the type of content that you will produce, a calendar for creation/publishing, where you plan to publish the action that needs to be taken by the audience and how you will re-purpose your content.
Actionable content is more interesting useful and addicting to your audience. It helps them feel like they’re taking the next step.
The main type of content that I produce are stories. Each of these stories follows a writing pattern.
Here are the main types of stories that I write:
- Hero’s Journey or Cautionary Tale
- Here’s How I Can Help
- Market Info
- Industry News
- Behind the Scenes
Most of these stories will be published on my website and also sent via email to clients and prospects. The stories help people get to know you and the problems that you can solve, but they are not the best for generating conversation.
To generate a response, I use what I call conversational emails. This are typically one or two sentences in the form of a question. These type of emails work best after the prospect has read several of your emails and has some level of comfort with you.
My current favorite: What can I do to earn your business? I send this at the end of the 60 Days of Engagement Plan and it gets a great response.
You will also have to write “sales type” letters or marketing pieces. Formulas or patterns are best to use for sales letters. In fact 99% of the content I write is based on some formula or pattern. You need to find a formula that works for you and learn how to use it. Almost all creative writing can be broken down in the pattern. This is why we can intuitively guess what is going to happen next in stories. It is not because you are a psychic, it is because your mind recognized the pattern and used logic to determine what happens next. Patterns help us connect to the story subconsciously and keep us interested until the end.
Cloning your clients is not easy, but the rewards are worth 1000x more than the effort.
Don’t forget my #1 rule, “If you write to everyone, you connect with no one.”