Understand your customer journey!

Want a good tip on how not to waste your marketing budget? Understand your customer journey before you start spending money. What do I mean by that? I mean that you need to remove yourself from being the business owner and put yourself into a potential customers shoes and start thinking like them. If you can do that, you will be better able to anticipate their behaviour and adjust your marketing accordingly.

A consistent example I see time and again of people seemingly being totally oblivious of how their potential customers behave is with Real Estate agents. A key driver for them all is to get listings, yet in my experience at least, most don’t seem to understand how people choose their agents. If you want to have success in getting listings, then it’s a pretty good idea to understand how people go about choosing agents, so that you can then create a strategy to maximise success.

It is time that somebody let agents into a secret – offering a “FREE” appraisal, is not something new and given everybody does it, who cares!! If you want to achieve cut through – how about a unique idea!!

The four main ways people choose real estate agents is as follows: 1) Used them in the past 2) Referral from a friend 3) Open Homes 4) Market Presence. To get listings from either 1 or 2 you need to have performed in the past! Which means you didn’t over promise and under deliver in the past (the classic being to inflate the appraisal to get the listing and then start rolling out the excuses to drive the price down). Such is the general poor standard of Open Homes, I can only assume that few appreciate that an Open Home is an opportunity to not only sell the home, but also get the next listing! The other main way is through “market presence”, which means that the agent is very visible in the local market, which need not be from a lot of sales (although that is a big help), it can be from effective marketing. Due to “positive” market presence, they are perceived as the “go to” person.

You may not be in Real Estate, but if you can understand the ways in which people might go about choosing the product or service that you offer, then you can start strategically planning to get the best result.

In Real Estate, there is a lot more online traffic searching for properties for sale, rather than the best agents in the area to use. What agents should also know, is that a lot of people will start looking for their next property before they list their own. Why? They want to check out what’s on the market and what prices are like before they make the commitment to sell. What is the significance of this? A lot of people searching for property for sale, also need an agent to sell theirs!

I have seen first-hand agents using “properties for sale” type keywords on the Google network when placing ads, to get new listings. They get great numbers through to their website/landing page but complain that the advertising didn’t work! The job of the ads was to drive traffic through to their website/landing page. Given the great numbers, the ads did work. What failed was their website/landing page. Why? Because the agent didn’t understand the customer journey!

Consider being a person looking for property online. You see an ad; you click through to the website and check out the listings. If you find a property that you like you may call the agent, or you may just turn up to an Open Home. If you don’t find a property of interest (which is highly probable), then what are going to do? Leave and head to the next website, which may have a property of interest.

As an agent, what do you do to get people to call you? Give them reasons!!! It doesn’t matter whether you are a Real Estate agent, sell a service or sell a product, unless your website does the actual selling and collecting of the money, your website needs to give visitors reasons to call you so that you can sell to them!!

There is no point having amazing statistics for website visitors if you can’t convert any of them into sales. The messaging on the website might be that you need to call now to get a special discount, or call to find out our latest stock as things are selling so fast that we can’t update our website in time! You need to give them reasons to call with urgency!

If the real estate agents I mentioned above had taken the time to consider their potential customer’s journey, they would have realised that they needed to add content to their website/landing page to give their visitors compelling reasons to call them regardless of whether they had the right listings or not! Instead they made no adjustment to their website and wasted their advertising money! Don’t make the same mistake. Take the time to understand your potential customers journey and plan accordingly!

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