We talk a LOT about data and how its strategic use can help agents get ahead in today’s busy real estate marketplace. But we want to be clear that while we leverage a repository of “big data” for our data-driven marketing and predictions, agents can also move the dial by putting your own “small data” to work.
If you’re not yet ready to go all-in on predictive analytics, here are four ways you can find data about your sphere contacts and leads, and use it to help develop smart content marketing campaigns.
1. Send a survey
First, you need to get your hands on insights about your sphere contacts, leads and even potential prospects. Create a survey where you ask them:
- If they plan to buy or sell in the next 1 year, 2-5 years, or in more than five years
- What they love about their current house or apartment, and what they want in their future home
- If they currently own or rent (so you can determine first-time buyers from within the pack of all potential buyers)
- If, in their next move, they’ll be down-sizing, up-sizing or “right-sizing”
You can consider asking a few more questions but keep in mind that the more you ask for, the more likely your respondents will be to drop off without finishing the survey.
Send the survey via email to your sphere contacts and past go-nowhere leads. To use it as a prospecting tool, promote the survey via a radius-based Facebook ad campaign. Mention in your Facebook ad that you’ll be giving away a few gift cards to a local restaurant or cafe to help incentivize responses from people you don’t know.
Be sure to, at the very least, collect an email address from each respondent. It’ll be impossible for you to run targeted marketing campaigns to any of your audience segments if you don’t know who they are.
PRO TIP: Google allows you to create free, professional surveys via Google Forms. They automatically collect the responses in a Google spreadsheet so you can work with the results and keep them organized over time.
2. Review the responses and create audience segments
We personally think that this step is the most fun! Once you start getting responses, open up the Google spreadsheet (or download it and open it in Excel).
Peruse the responses and start to give “values” to each respondent. Categorize them as:
- First-time buyers or repeat buyers
- Past clients or contacts, vs. new leads
- Hot prospects or slow-nurture contacts
- Up-sizers, down-sizers, or right-sizers
There’s no end to the audience segments you can create. But keep in mind that by starting with just a few audience segments, you’ll be in a better position to create unique marketing campaigns that resonate with each small group. If you segment too much, you may end up looking at 20 different segments who need different campaigns — and no one has time for that!
3. Write emails that resonate
Now is the time to begin writing the content that will resonate with each different audience segment. Consider not only where they are in the process of buying or selling, but also how they fit into your offerings as an agent.
For example, if you have a segment that will be up-sizing to larger homes in the next year or so, you may typically write, “We’re here to help you find the right home, at the right time, for you and your family.”
But that’s not very specific, is it? Consider offering more context so they recognize themselves in your marketing. Here’s an example:
“Whether you’re trying to buy and sell outside the parameters of the school year or traveling soccer season... or you’re an accountant who absolutely can’t think of selling until after April 15, we’re here for you. Together, we’ll find the right time, and the right home, for you and your family.”
The examples in the last statement can be taken directly from your survey responses, or you can use the survey responses as a guide for the different life stages of your survey respondents.
Isn’t it risky to get specific? What if I leave people out?
This is a great question. Consider the best ads you’ve seen — for Nikes, iPhones, Gatorade, etc. These ads don’t promise to be everything to everyone. Instead, they promise to a specific thing to specific people — and then they deliver on that promise perfectly.
By allowing your audience to imagine specific buyers and sellers who will hire you as a real estate agent, you’re also gently prodding them to consider what they have in common with those buyers and sellers. By getting more specific, you’re offering imagery that can help prospects realize they may actually be ready to transact.
4. Track your progress and try again
Review the open rates, click-through rates and the replies to your segmented emails. If you fall short, consider testing out another segmentation.
You’ll never find a perfect email or approach, but you will begin to narrow down the prospects who are ready to talk to you… and those who will need a little more attention or time before they are ready to hire you.
Too much work? Let us do it for you
Each of the above steps are automated and included within the SmartTargeting platform, which uses predictive analytic and data-driven marketing to help agents predict likely movers, target them with online and offline marketing and convert them once they’ve made it clear they are getting ready to transact.
Whether you want to better understand your market area or the contacts in your CRM, SmartTargeting can help you win business using data-driven marketing. Reach out now for a free, no-pressure demo.