by Donovan Dillon Contributor
Posted on October 31, 2013 17:15 PM
Real estate sites often look very similar, with photos of the agents, the homes and businesses available for sale, and possibly information about the local area. One way to develop new content for your site that is unique and directed toward your target audience is to create customer personas, which are fictional characters created from real data on your target market. Creating a customer persona includes using information based on demographics and online behavior, and then speculating on motivations, concerns and personal history.
The first step in developing a customer persona for real estate sites is to understand the demographics of the agency. Search your existing customer base to learn what things they may have in common, such as age, income level, occupation, property types, etc. Organize the lists into groups, as you may have several different demographic groups. For example, your customers may include business owners looking for commercial property, upper-income families with small children, and retirees. These three personas may become “Hank the Hardware Man,” “The Smith Family,” and “Sam and Sue Silver.” Create fictional personal histories, geographic locations, income levels and other data to make the personas human to customers.
Needs of the Target Audience
Once you have developed histories on the personas, begin outlining other information related to your target audience. Consider what problems people in those demographics may have; what information they visit real estate sites for; and trends, both in the industry and in the local area, that could affect their needs. If possible, use marketing tools that inform you about searches that brought them to your real estate site, what they viewed while they were on the site, and any forms completed. Add the information to your customer persona to get a better feel for your target audience.
Now that you understand the customers' needs, demographics and any trends that may affect them, determine their online behavior. Understanding what each persona does while they are online can help you create real estate sites that are geared toward their particular interests. Determine if they are blog readers, are active on social media or whether they lean more toward email marketing. Learn what online information they gravitate to, such as news articles, graphic charts, interactive tools or videos. Know what area of your site they spend the most time on, such as houses in a certain location or a certain price level.
Remember that the more information you include while creating the customer persona, the more likely you will direct your real estate site to the right target markets. To learn more about the value small business marketing consultants can bring to your business, sign up for a free 30-day trial today. Make sure you follow us on Facebook and Twitter.