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By The Gonzales Group

RISMEDIA, September 5, 2008-At the Gonzales Group we receive numerous inquiries each week from readers who have a question or a commentary on the multicultural markets. We received a question that we felt necessary to share with you as a best business practice tip for how to begin marketing to Latino consumers.Q. I am a principal owner of a small real estate company in Phoenix. I have several sales associates who speak fluent Spanish. With the slowdown in the market we feel we can grow our business by having a strong focus on our local Hispanic market, but we are not sure where to begin. We are constantly solicited for advertising in the local Hispanic publications. Do you have any recommendations?

A. Since real estate is a relationship-based business, the first step we recommend is that you get to know the Hispanic consumer and sales professional in your local community. Leverage U.S. Census information and become more observant and ask questions about the Hispanics living in your area. The trends you uncover will give you a better feel for what they want as consumers.

As part of the research process, quantify the market opportunity and demographic trends in your local market. Determine where the Hispanic growth is occurring, and ask: What is their language preference? What are their primary countries of origin? How acculturated or assimilated are they? What advertising mediums do they prefer? Determine the mood for the move and examine the attitudes and motivations of Hispanic home buyers during current market conditions. Lastly, package the information for yourself and your team to begin formulating strategies and tactics to reaching Hispanic home buyers.

Once you have an understanding of your Latino audience, you should begin formulating a budget and strategy for media execution.

Since you are operating a business, understanding market conditions is critical. Don’t begin blasting customers with radio spots, newspaper inserts, billboards, and/or television ads hoping something will stick. Decide which media should be the most effective given the profile of the Hispanic customers you are trying to reach, and concentrate on making your advertising yield the most leads and results.

The advertising medium and communication message you choose will be determined by the information you uncovered during your initial research. If you found that the Hispanic consumers in your area prefer Spanish-language radio to other forms of media, then this would be the obvious choice for your initial advertising efforts.

Once you’ve decided on the type of media that will be most effective, you can maximize your budget by looking for long-term media buys and special promotions. Make certain that this is not just a short-term exercise to “see if it works.” You must fully commit to a Hispanic advertising plan or you’ll be wasting valuable marketing dollars.

In addition to paid advertising, you should also examine event marketing such as church socials or cultural holidays that can place you directly in front of potential customers. Look for events or workshops that you can attend or sponsor that will help you reach the Hispanic consumer.

Don’t try and go it alone. Work on forming strong partnerships with lenders, homebuilders and mortgage brokers that are also reaching out to the Hispanic consumer. Approach these organizations and propose ways you can collaborate and work together.

At the Gonzales Group, we continue to see a strong drive and desire toward home ownership among Hispanic consumers. Family is the primary motivating factor for Latino consumers in their quest for homeownership.

Remember that building relational equity with Hispanic consumers is critically important and may take a little time and patience. Those that have been successful with Hispanic consumers know that those two simple factors lead to huge economic rewards and stronger economic equity.

For more information, visit

The Gonzales Group and RISMedia are excited to introduce a ground-breaking White Paper that takes a realistic and practical in-depth look at the changing face of modern-day real estate. In “The New Economic Power Source: Increasing Profitability with Multicultural Home buyers,” the authors will help you unlock the potential of the multicultural market by answering the questions and clarifying the assumptions often associated with this consumer group. To order the White Paper, click here.