Find The Right Buyer For The Right Home Using Buyer Personas
The internet has given us many wonderful things from videos of dancing cats to the latest news at our fingertips. But I’m afraid one thing it can’t give us are websites that know each of us as individuals, where they know our personalities and can adapt their offering based on our moods, like the local village storekeeper used to be able to do. Luckily, with the help of marketing automation tools (*ahem, HubSpot), we can do the next best thing – Create effective Buyer Persona’s to attract the right audience.
Each Buyer Is Different, Regardless of Gender, Age, or Geographic Location
While many sites have mountains of customer data available, garnished from a host of different sources, the one thing that is usually missing is information about what we are like as people. Just because two people share the same gender, age, income level, and geographic area, doesn’t mean that they will behave and interact with a company in the same way.
It’s true that certain assumptions can be made based on quantitative data sets and targeting can take place as a result of it, but to truly engage with a customer, homebuilders need to understand their personality, what makes them tick and what drives the decision to purchase a new home.
It’s for this reason that buyer personas are created.
A buyer persona takes demographic data and creates layers of new data until we have a much better understanding of our customer. It encompasses:
- A Typical Day For The Customer
- Personality Traits, and
- Everything Else That Makes Someone An Individual
That’s a lot to take in, but the reason for creating buyer personas is that it helps builders see the products and services they offer from the customer’s perspective. In doing so, it helps formulate the company’s inbound marketing strategy which ultimately delivers the results they need. This is the evolution of the old ABC way of categorizing the target audience.
Within any industry buyer personas are important but particularly with new home sales as they help salespeople attract and keep in contact with the right type of client. House buying can be a very emotional purchase as it’s not just bricks and mortar that is being sold but a lifestyle. There may be many people that could be seen as a potential buyer based on demographics but is this the home they want?
For home sales the use of buyer personas can in fact drive the design of the house. A house with the same footprint can have many different configurations, and open plan living may work for a couple with a young family, but people that work from home may want more private, quiet spaces. This ability to segment audiences based on the understanding of their needs allows the builder to design homes that people want to live in.
Understanding What Makes A Buyer Tick
Rapport and empathy play a big role in selling homes and without an understanding of what makes a buyer tick, your salespeople might find themselves showing houses to people that are just not suitable. Over the long term this will reduce confidence in potential clients and have a significant impact on conversion rates and sales. By using buyer personas the realtor can engage with the right buyers in the right way to build that connection and trust between both parties.
There is no set number of buyer personas that have to be created, it purely comes down to how the marketing manager wants to segment the target audience. Obviously, the more insight and effort put into the personas then, the more valuable they will be.
Tools For Creating Buyer Personas
Creating a buyer persona is not an easy task and takes a great deal of effort. That said, there are tools available that make this pill much easier to swallow. Analytic tools will provide a good starting point which can then be overlaid onto an existing customer database to create the outlines of the persona(s). Talking to customers, using research, user groups, interviews, face-to-face or online surveys will all start to add personality to the persona(s).
Once a buyer persona has been created the marketing and sales team (yes both) can then use it to identify when a potential buyer is likely to make an offer. For example, some buyers will want to be involved in the construction stage when they can still influence the design and layout whereas buyers who do not possess creative flair or vision will want to see the finished showhome before putting in a bid.
Knowing this type of insight can be the difference between securing a sale or frightening a potential buyer off.