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How well do you know who you’re selling to? Building buyer personas for estate agents

In light of new Tinder-style portals and tools that match Facebook users with properties based on likes, how well do you really know your potential customers?  

You don’t need sophisticated data analytics or the latest tools; instead you can draw on your knowledge and experience to begin mapping out what you know about your clients to start the process. Creating detailed buyer personas or customer profiles is a great way to develop a greater understanding of who you are trying to sell to and find your perfect client match!

So, what exactly are buyer personas?

A buyer persona is a profile compiled of research, insights and data that represents an example customer – or in this case – a buyer or seller. It’s the “who, what, why” that can help inform your marketing strategy and selling techniques to generate positive results, and ultimately generate more sales. 

Buyer personas can help you understand the following:

Who are you marketing to?

Pinpointing your target audience, or the types of customers you wish to attract is an important step in defining your marketing strategy. Clearly defining your target will allow you to be more targeted with the content you produce, who you push it out to and which channels you use to do so. 

What are their wants and needs?

Creating segmented personas can help you understand the wants and needs of different types of buyers or sellers so you can tailor your service more effectively and meet the specific concerns of each. When it comes to prospective buyers, it can also help you to find properties that are best-suited to their needs. While this is instinctive to most EAs, having clear customer profiles provides clarity and simplicity, and can act as a great starting point for less-experienced agents and a useful training tool.  

Understanding the key pain points or ‘deal breakers’ for buyers or sellers is also key for understanding how you can best help them and provide a service that really appeals to them.

What do they care about the most and how might this influence how they choose an agent?

With increasingly competitive pricing between agents, it’s important to understand which other factors are important to sellers when choosing an agent to list their property. Is it knowledge of the area, attention to detail, communication and presentation skills, transparency or simply likeability that’s most important to them? Building this into your buyer personas can help you to adapt your approach accordingly and improve your chances of winning the instruction. 

Where do your potential clients go for information/on which social media channels are they most active? 

Building in-depth customer profiles can help you to identify where your target audience is most active on social media and what publications they interact with which can inform your ad placement and content targeting strategies. 

What to include in your buyer personas 

  • Background 
  • Demographic information
  • What’s important to them?
  • Common objections/pain points 
  • Useful content 

How to create buyer personas

There are a number of different data sources and tools that you can use to compile your customer profiles, including:

  • Feedback from your sales agents
  • Testimonials
  • Audience Intelligence tools 

Feedback from your sales agents

  • What types of buyers and sellers do they deal with most regularly, e.g. families, young couples, retirement age couples
  • What are the common trends and patterns that agents have seen e.g. reputation of agent matters most to sellers 45+ or the common requirements for couples in their late twenties when looking for a property.

This will help to inform your initial persona segments which you can overlay with additional data and insights 

Testimonials 

  • Look back at testimonials to see what different clients valued most about your service as this can inform what matters most to different client segments. This can help you understand which selling points to emphasise when trying to win new listings, depending on the seller and which persona they align most closely with. 

Audience intelligence 

Audience intelligence is a type of social research which enables you to analyse your social media followers (and your competitors’ followers) to understand their interests, online behaviours, as well as socioeconomic and demographic information.

Using these powerful insights, not only can you understand your target audience better, but also how to target them in the most effective way possible.

There are a number of different tools to choose from; the screenshots below are from Audience Insights, audience intelligence platform, which has a free option available. Other similar platforms include Followerwonk, Pulsar and Affinio. 

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