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Who’s Your Target? How’s Your Aim?

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By Gee Dunsten

When Willie Sutton, the world’s greatest bank robber, was asked in 1970 why he robbed banks, his reply was, “That’s where the money is.” Without a doubt, he knew where to find the best prospects! Do you know how to identify and where to find your best sources or prospects? Past customers, friends and/or their referrals?

Don’t forget—it is more fun and less costly to stay in contact with friends than strangers. Facebook spokesperson, Malorie Lucich said, “People share, read, and generally engage more with any type of content when it surfaces through friends and people they know and trust.”

Former McDonald’s Marketing Director Lawrence Light said, “It no longer makes economic sense to send an advertising message to the many, in hopes of persuading the few.”

We’ve all probably heard at one time or another that “every transaction should lead to at least two more transactions,” however, according to a recent survey conducted by the National Association of REALTORS®, 89 percent of residential homebuyers and 85 percent of home sellers stated that they would use and/or recommend the same agent, only to find out that 11 percent of the buyers and 15 percent of the sellers actually did! This is due in large part to failure to stay in touch.

You can’t be everything to everyone, but you can be everything to your customers. The biggest challenge is staying in touch to maintain the relationship between a buyer’s closing until they’re ready to move again, usually 5-10 years.

Meeting the challenge for maintaining top-of-mind awareness starts with creating a marketing plan that:
1. Identifies and understands your target customer.
2. Creates a point of difference and value proposition.
3. Develops a continuous follow-up program.

Just 14 percent of people trust ads, which means 86 percent of people don’t. Meanwhile, 78 percent of people trust consumer recommendations. Entrepreneur, author and public speaker Seth Godin said, “One way to sell a consumer something in the future is simply to get their permission in advance.”

You must position yourself to:
1. Be their personal source of real estate information.
2. Be an information leader in your community.
3. Help your contacts become better homeowners.

Every communication must be interesting, relevant and anticipated; so before you send, post and/or tweet, focus on valuable content. Leverage your effort to maximize results.

Become the Angie’s List for your community and homeownership by developing a relevant content formula to help your friends and clients become better homeowners. Include information on:
-Taxes
-Insurance
-Maintenance
-Protecting your home’s value
-Financing
-Construction and remodeling
-How-to tips, i.e., FHA, gift registry
-Local, regional and national statistics

We must always be mindful that our content strategy does at least one of the following:
-Educate
-Enlighten
-Entertain

So, like Willie Sutton, select the biggest target—direct mail, email, social media or blogging—and take careful aim to create top-of-mind awareness by helping clients become better homeowners.

George “Gee” Dunsten, president of Gee Dunsten Seminars, Inc., has been a real estate agent and broker/owner for almost 40 years. Dunsten has been a senior instructor with the Council of Residential Specialists for more than 20 years. To reach Gee, please email gee@gee-dunsten.com.

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