Taught by my Six-Year-Old at Bedtime
Anyone who has ever tried to say goodnight to a beloved six-year-old knows it is not easy.
I never truly grasp the intellectual power or the tenacity of my son until it is 8:30pm and I’m trying to close his door and say ‘Goodnight.’
All of a sudden, my son’s gears start turning and coming up with creative and engaging ways to get me to communicate with him just one more minute.
Realtors who are writing engaging content should tap into these special powers of six-year-olds at night.
1. Research your clients before they research you.
He may tell me all this stuff he wants to talk about during the day, but he somehow manages to find something I am truly interested in talking about as I’m closing his door at night.
“Dad!” He pauses as he comes up with his gameplay.
“Remember in Back to the Future …?” My favorite movie.
“when the Delorean …” My favorite car.
“went back in time?” My favorite kind of sci-fi.
Brilliant, this comes from a six-year-old who knows how to engage the targeted audience, me. We talk about time travel and he gets to stay up longer. A win-win for everyone.
Marketing tactics for Realtors have changed a lot in ten years. We now have all the social and interactive tools online. In the past, Realtors showed off services, and they spent their advertising and marketing resources on self-promotion. Today, it is a whole new ballgame especially for Realtors in the luxury market. They are attempting to gain trust as knowledgeable market area experts. Today, brokers need to have content that engages their targeted clientele with what they want; whether that be local area infographics, how-to videos, or community insights. Self-promotion is out.
Agencies need to show a track record and online history of knowing what your prospective clients want to hear. That first comes with market analysis to specifically define your target audience and then to study the keyword context of that group. For example, if you find out your buyers are coming from New York, using an iPad within the evening hours searching for gated community homes in golf communities, then you’ll know how you can tell them what they want to hear.
2. Offer prospective clients only what they want.
“Dad!…tomorrow can we go get ice cream?” He loves to make plans and to have something to look forward to.
Setting up plans with clients, however small, is relationship and trust building. What can possibly go wrong eating ice cream? Nothing.
Any interaction with a prospective client should be anticipated by the client. There are those emails that we see the subject line and pass over, and then there are those subject headers we just have to click on. Instead of “Thank you for registering;” offer a “Check out these two local articles on… and these two listings in your area next to my favorite park.” Those local articles and listings would be recommended based on that client’s search queries on your site.
You are not going to get rejected by registered visitors for just sending custom recommendations about the local area you know so much about. As long as you are interacting with valuable help, you are indirectly promoting; but the minute you start self-promoting in emails or blogs, you are losing your charm as a market area expert.
Committed homebuyers searching in your neighborhood want to sign up for original information only about the market they are searching. This month, Realtor newsletters featured articles such as “5 Easy Fixes For Funky Tasting Ice Cubes” as the headliner. While a good article about ice cubes is informative, it is still about ice cubes and it is not ideal to include as your first correspondence for motivated home buyers who just registered on your site. Be original and offer to be as targeted as you can from what you know of your client searching for homes. (So how many of you left to read about ice cubes? I did too.)
3. Be Candid. Be honest.
“Dad!…I didn’t like that.”
I appreciate it when my son tells me parts of his day he didn’t like or even what he feels about my falsetto singing. Anyone who hangs around a six-year-old knows you will get an honest answer whether you want it or not. And yes, my son strategically chooses to bring these up at bedtime.
A survey was conducted years ago on the personality traits that people most respected and trusted. Was it the people pleasers that followed the masses or those who blazed their own path? Ironically, the masses have more trust and interest for someoone who does not cater to everyone. While the masses may not always agree with these trailblazers, they value more what they have to say because of their honesty.
Who would of thought ten years ago, small companies could gain an advantage with their customers for being open, candid, and opinionated. Respect the customer, represent the company, but your social presence should be human. Your clientele want to interact with a human, whether it is being entertained, informed, or helped. Brokers in the luxury market especially understand that branding themselves helps gain trust with clients. Realtors and small businesses have an advantage of providing a more personable tone on their site and social media. Be natural and sincere helping your clients online, and that trust will turn to leads.
4. It is less about attention and more about interaction.
“Dad!…You be the monster!”, and my son runs out the door.
When I’m wrestling my son, it is interaction at it’s finest. When I’m telling him goodnight over the phone, it is less than stellar.
Your clients in the luxury market want personal attention instead of just a subscription to home listings. Find ways to wrestle with them and by this I mean personally interact with them from the moment they sign up so they know you want to build a relationship. When a client gets a response back from a company, it is scrutinized to see just how human or cut-n-paste the response really is. Instead of setting up auto-responses back to your clients, remove the auto response.
Observe their viewing habits. Can you imagine the first impression you can make with this knowledge?
Review the search history on your real estate site to see what towns, price ranges, pools, and acreage your client really wants. Reply back with a few suggestions and tips based on their own search query. That is something big companies can’t do. See your visitor’s search history, what page they initially visited, what page they left your site, and sometimes what search query they typed in Google to get to your site. Can you imagine the first impression you can make with this knowledge?
5. Detail your whole marketing strategy on your website.
“Dad!…How many more days until Christmas?”
I’m not joking when I’m telling you this happens over the summer…in Florida. I learned the hard way to tell him the exact number because he will actually count down those days. Telling your son ‘That was an estimate’ after a week of countdowns doesn’t fly.
Luxury homebuyers will gravitate towards Realtors who have some distinctive advantage in their marketing plan.
Give your clients something to look forward to by detailing your whole marketing strategy on your website. Detail the 20 steps you take to market homes. Emphasize the steps that make your plan distinctive in case they are comparing notes with your competitors. Setting up an action plan timeline for your homebuyers gives them a roadmap of what to look forward to. It helps the clients feel better about how their hard-earned money is being utilized. Providing timelines of your services along with a personal status of what is being done helps your clients appreciate your hard work and set you up for referrals to other luxury homebuyers.
Your best clients are usually the ones that approach you first.
Most first impressions for Realtors are not done with a handshake anymore. First impressions are being made online. Your best luxury homebuyer leads will be the ones that have analyzed your worth to them before they even talk to you.
Solid marketing analysis will define your prospective clients so well that you can create an online presence that provides one-of-a-kind community resources and local market expertise. You want those clients that are searching in your local market from Google to experience your website and say “This is the only Realtor in town who understands what I’m looking for.”
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