Sell to all your market segments
One size does not fit all – not in t-shirts, not in lattes and certainly not in real estate. As a result one of the biggest mistakes developers make is to use one brand statement to try to reach everybody. In the old advertising days they used to call it “Spray and Pray” because it involved blindly blanketing everyone with the same message, and hoping and praying it sticks to somebody.
Those days have been replaced by highly targeted, individual marketing where all of your prospective buyers receive a marketing message that is specifically targeted to them. If you have three different target groups, say investors, first time buyers and empty nesters, start with three different website addresses or URLs that focus the information on that particular group.
Investors generally do not care about the esthetics of the home, rather they want to know about the commissions, contracts and closings. The site should answer all of their financial questions about the rental market, typical resale value in the area and other relevant concerns.
First time buyers on the other hand want to know that the area is young, sexy and hip. Their website should focus on these details and fresh imagery that would get their attention.
The empty nesters are usually looking for a lot of floor space, storage and two or three car garages - they may want their pets to move in too. They will usually be less interested in financing as they will be selling another property at the same time and buying their new home with cash.
Some strategies to keep in mind:
When marketing to investors, use the imagery and the words they use to market financial services. Also talk about diversifying – if they own a lot of single-family homes, they may need more multi-family housing. If they own residential now, they should try looking into commercial.
When marketing to first time buyers stress the prestige of owning your home rather than renting, the wise financial decision of buying and the way in which this decision will help to create a much brighter future. Also focus on the hip and trendy lifestyle that awaits those who act now.
When speaking to boomers or empty nesters use physically attractive people with a touch of gray – or those that most empty nesters would aspire to look and act like.
Regardless of which market segment you are trying to reach, or which medium you are using, be sure to use testimonials – an incredibly powerful way for you to drive your message home.
Try targeting a specific market
And one last point about creating customized targeted niche marketing. You may not know this but I spent the early 1990’s as the one-man marketing machine behind the then unknown bands the Backstreet Boys and ‘N Sync, at a time when the Internet was just emerging as a marketing tool.
Back then we had absolutely no budget but we did have a very focused target audience of 13-year old girls. The decision to narrow our focus rested on some solid research that suggested this age group had the interest, the time, the disposable income and the influence to take our two previously unknown boy bands and promote their music, message and merchandise around the world. And it worked.
The Backstreet Boys as an example went from zero to $1 billion in sales in 27 months through the power of target marketing.
I bring all this up to remind developers that sometimes, focusing your marketing efforts on a niche audience can be a very wise decision. And whether you are speaking to a local, international or niche market, be sure to craft content that resonates with them specifically and makes them feel that this project was custom designed for them.