How To Find Your Niche In Real Estate and Connect With Your Ideal Client

One thing we must get right in real estate marketing is identifying our ideal client. But that’s not enough.  We have to understand why these people are ideal and will they feel the same. Finding a niche is one of the best things you can do for your business.  

Let me explain.

In the early days of the web, we were expected to be on the mountaintop talking to everyone. No longer. With an online world more cluttered than a grandma’s attic, we need to figure out who we’re talking to from the start or risk wasting a lot of precious time and money. 

If you are trying to talk to everybody, you’re most likely talking to nobody. 

A broad message is impersonal.  Personalized messages bring a significant ROI and have a better chance of being noticed.

Take social media ads, for example.

They are everywhere and here to stay. We can’t control that.  But we can control the type of ads we see. Would you rather see ads that speak to your specific interests and needs or random ads that don’t pertain to you?  

I’ll bet you you chose specific targeting. That’s how you want your desired audience to feel when they come across your content.

I know that creating a niche sounds limiting.  Don’t be afraid to specialize; you won’t lose business. Instead, you’ll attract people who want what you offer.  You can specialize in one area or expand into other niches later on.

Meet Ben Caballero.

He is the founder and CEO of HomesUSA.com and holds the Guinness World Records title for the most annual home sales transactions through MLS by an individual sell side real estate agent.  You may have seen him in a recent Realtor.org feature.

Ben attributes his success to one primary factor.  Specialization.  

In his own words:

“Specialists dominate all professions from ditch digging to rocket science. I can’t overstate its importance to success in any profession. Real estate has many areas in which agents can specialize. I choose to be a corporate specialist.”

Whether you realize it or not, you are already attracting people who connect with your bio and online presence.  It’s the law of attraction.”

Let’s do an exercise.  Grab some paper and we’ll get started.

Write:

  • All of your past and present skills.
  • Why you got into the real estate business. 
  • What you enjoy most about selling real estate.  
  • The buyer/seller you work with most often?  
  • What is the average age?  Where are they located? 
  • The real estate you sell most.  

Look over your list. You’ll notice a theme. See what fills a need or if much of your business is associated with one or more items.  

Think about how your education, career history, and skills have helped in the past and how they’ll help your clients today.  If you are unsure of your skills and talents, check out the Clifton Strength assessments by www.Gallup.com

Do you have a corporate background?  Are you an investor? Own a vacation home or other specific property?  Work with a lot of divorcing couples? Have bank relationships or a finance background?  

If so, you are best suited to help these types of buyers and/or sellers.  I feel first hand experience adds a lot of value to someone who knows nothing about the process.  You can empathize with them and share your personal journey.

People want an expert not someone who holds many titles but masters none.  Specializing allows you to be the go-to person in a particular area of your field.  This is where the niche says loud and clear “You have found the right person”.

Potential niches:

  • Co-ops.
  • Condos.
  • Vacation homes.
  • Relocation clients.
  • New development.
  • First-time investors.
  • Divorce and estates. 
  • Waterfront properties.
  • First-time home buyers.
  • Corporate professionals.
  • Short sales and foreclosures.
  • Foreign investors or home buyers.

I want you to do one more thing.

Beginning today, erase “I can help anybody looking for X” or “I help buyers and sellers” from your sales pitch or “about me” page. Can you do that?  Good. 

Now that you have formed a niche, let’s fill in your blanks with a new brand positioning statement. It will consist of WHO your ideal audience is and HOW they will benefit from working with you.  Sounds easy, right? It is. But also requires considerable thought.  Take your time!  

Going forward, this statement will shape every single marketing decision you make.  

It is also the foundation of your elevator pitch and will help others talk about your business when referring you.  The clearer you are, the easier it is for them.

 

 

Below are some examples of a brand positioning statement.

  • I help first-time investors make calculated decisions and grow their money.
  • I help relocation clients find their place and adjust to life in Westchester County, NY.
  • I help improve communities by getting sellers the most amount of money for their home.

You’ve identified your niche.  Crafted your benefit positioning statement.  Now you’re ready to brand yourself and market to your niche.  I’ll show you how in my next post.  Stay tuned.

Until then, look at your competition.

  • Identify agents who focus on the same niche.
  • What do they do well and not so well?
  • What would you do differently to set yourself apart from the competition?

Know someone who needs clarity and guidance?  Share this post with them!

3 Best Ways To Promote Your Business And Show Your Value As A Business Owner

The online world moves fast, like a freight train barreling down the tracks! And, it’s pretty congested too.

How can you cut through the noise?

I will show you three of the best ways to maximize your reach and exposure. Then, you can repurpose these ideas across your various social media channels and website.

#3 – Check out www.HARO.comThat stands for Help A Reporter Out. It’s an online resource for journalists to get feedback and input from business owners like you. A little-known fact is it started out as a Facebook group in 2008 and quickly grew to a 100,000 person email list. Now it’s a tremendous opportunity for you to position yourself as an authority in your industry.

You can sign up for free or get a paid subscription, and up to three times per day you’ll receive an email digest of inquiries from journalists looking for your input on your preferred topics.

#2 – Interviews – They offer you an opportunity to tell your story, add credibility to your business, and help you develop a relationship with the interviewer.

Collaborate with other industry service providers. You can interview each other and then repurpose the interview to reach a broader audience online.

Bonus Tip: When you receive the audio file from the interview, add it to your website. Transcribe it for SEO purposes. Google crawls through text more efficiently than video or audio.

#1 – Public speaking – In the form of hosting a class or a workshop. There’s no better way to let people experience the person they are considering hiring than getting in front of them and showing your value.

Unlike social media, you won’t have to worry about who hears you because you’ll have an audience who made a conscious decision to come and hear you speak.

 

Create Better Videos For Your Business With This 7 Part Framework and Productivity Tip

If you’re a business owner you probably already know by now that video is the essential tool for marketing your business but you might also be intimidated by the thought of putting yourself out for public display. You’re not alone.

 

When I began working with video a few years ago I had a fear of public speaking and I didn’t like the way I look at certain angles. The way I worked through my fear was pushing myself to record videos. 

 

I forfeited a chance to go on a family vacation and locked myself in the house for three days. I recorded about 20 videos but it took about 350 takes to get to the finished product.  I had poor lighting I didn’t have a microphone but I had a good message.

 

What I learned from this experience is the more I do this the more I push myself, the easier it becomes. I began to realize that it’s not about me it’s about you, the people who I’m trying to deliver a message to. What’s your take away?  The more I was able to put you first the easier it got for me. 

 

The top 3 reasons people tell me they don’t record videos are: 

#1 They don’t know what to say.  

#2 They hate their voice or the way that they look, and

#3 I’m not interesting.

We all just start somewhere but start we must!

The trick is to organize your thoughts before you hit record. Writing out a script will help you deliver a clear message but when you do hit record don’t sound scripted. 

Remember, take a deep breath and make it about your viewer the more you take yourself out of the equation the quicker your critical self will disappear. 

Here’s a 7-part framework that you can use to create better videos for your business.  

Part 1  The Opener, dive right into your topic from the beginning, in

the first five to ten seconds your viewer is going to decide whether they

want to keep watching your video or not. Plus it shows that you value and respect their time. 

Part 2  A branded bumper – this is a 5-15 second animation of your logo that you place after your opener. If you don’t have any creative skills or know any graphic designers you can go to fiverr.com and get one made for about 5 or 10 bucks.

Part 3 – Welcome your viewers. This helps build loyalty and everybody likes to feel special (Clapping)

Part 4 – Jump into your content. Let’s get into why we’re all here. 

Part 5 – Add a micro call-to-action (optional). A call-to-action is what you want your viewers to do and how you want them to do it. The reason we add one here is that we want viewers to make it to the end of the video. If they don’t get there they won’t be able to hear your final call-to-action. An example might be, at the end of the video I’m going to offer you a promo code or something special. 

Part 6 – The Closing. Wrap up and recap some of the important points from your video, and

Part 7 – Your final call-to-action. Remember, this is what you want your viewers to do and how you want them to take action. This could be subscribing to your channel, connecting with you on social media, or visiting your website.

If you’re struggling to find the time to record videos I get it. First, you have to record, then make edits and distribute your video across all your various social and other online channels. It’s a lot of work but the payoff is

well worth it if you’re consistent. I like to take a day of the week where I can commit 4-6 hours and batch record videos. If I can get 3 or 4 videos in that one session and I do that once a week, or even every other week, I will have anywhere from 8 to 16 videos in the bank for future use. You can also batch produce thumbnail images for your videos in that session as well.

 

Create a schedule and stick to it. Consistency is key. Your viewers are going to want to know when to expect your next video. By doing so you’re training them to come back to your content and that is what builds loyalty. If you have questions about video or you need some help with coaching you can send me an email at [email protected].  I respond to everyone.

American Frozen Foods: A Client Story and Work Sample

Just fourteen months ago, American Frozen Foods in Scarborough, Maine, was having a hard time putting together a successful digital marketing strategy.  They wanted to reach new customers while adding value and deepening relationships with their existing customers.

My work with them initially consisted of individual coaching sessions and grew to more of an in-house role.  I analyzed everything they were currently doing, researched their ideal customer, and asked lots of questions.  We determined that they were casting too wide a net and haphazardly posting on their social channels.

Some of these posts were cooking videos, and kitchen hacks from other companies.   I thought we should create our own videos and keep attention on American Frozen Foods instead of sharing posts that drive our customers away from our channels.

Since their Marketing Director, Theo Shaughnessy has 15 years of experience in the foodservice industry, I suggested we turn him into the American Frozen Foods resident Chef.   Kitchen Inspirations with Chef Theo was born, and four months later, we wrapped up our eighth episode (watch it below).  Theo was a little camera shy at first but with plenty of practice, he fully embraces his role and looks forward to it each month.

We support the recorded videos with Live appearances form Chef Theo for Q&A’s and various contests.

The response from their customers is overwhelmingly positive and providing the added value we all hoped for. They are engaging with us more and sharing the Chef Theo videos with their friends and family.  As of this month, we have gained 200 Facebook fans and Our videos have over 20,000 organic views!

More importantly, their customers are receiving the added value we hoped for and a little inspiration for preparing the products they purchase from American Frozen Foods.

Creative Email Marketing Video Tips

If you are a business owner, you probably already know that a video is an essential tool for marketing your business.  You might also feel a bit intimated by the thought of putting yourself out for public display.  

You’re not alone.  

The top three reasons people tell me they don’t record videos are:

1. I don’t know what to say.

2. I hate my voice or how I look.

3. I’m not interesting.

 

Embedding videos into your email responses are a great, low-pressure way to experiment.  Check out  BombBomb or CoVideo, they make it easy.

We all have to start somewhere.  However, start we must!

The trick is to organize your thoughts beforehand, smile, take a deep breath, and remember, people, don’t care about how we look or sound.  All they want is useful information.  Focus on them, and your critical self will eventually disappear.

When I began working with video a few years ago, I had a fear of public speaking and didn’t like how I look at certain angles.  

I locked myself in the house for three days and recorded 25 videos.  It probably took around 300 takes to get there.

I didn’t have a mic, poor lighting, and my delivery needed improvement.  I leave these videos out for the public to view so they can see how I began and where I am now.  Night and day difference.  I got here with perseverance.

Because of that experience and repetition, I am much more comfortable today and share my journey freely with others.

Take the ride, it’s worth it!

 

 

 

The Traditional Real Estate Agent Website Isn’t Dead

Traditional real estate agent website or google business listing?

I saw an ad recently from a popular real estate app stating the traditional agent website is dead and a Google business listing is your new home page because people go to Google for answers.  If you don’t have one, you could be missing out on valuable traffic.

If you upgrade to the PRO version of their app, they will create and manage your Google Business listing content.

They employed the “fear of missing out” technique.

There’s no need to pay a premium for any company to do this for you.  It takes minutes. Many companies prey on real estate agents because they think we are rich or can’t be bothered with handling our marketing.  

For some, this may be true, but I’m going to show you how easy it is to set up and maintain your listing. Nobody can connect with your audience better than you.  

If you don’t already have a Google Business listing, you can easily set yours up for free here.   Then, check out my step-by-step guide to optimize it here

The traditional real estate agent site isn’t dead nor is it for any other type of business.  A Google Business listing is essential but doesn’t guarantee that you are going to show up on the first page or amongst top results in a local search.  You will compete with companies who pay to appear there or are creating high-quality content regularly.

The content third parties create is usually generic and duplicated across the web.  That doesn’t help you.  Your audience wants to hear from you and to create unique, and high-quality content is your chance to demonstrate your value.  Provide your customers with an experience they can’t get anywhere else, and they will love you.

Yes, 97% of people go online to research businesses on Google, but they also turn to Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other search engines.  This is the beginning of a conversation. Your website is the continuation and should convert that viewer into a customer.

Despite my love for the Google Business listing, your website is your bedrock.  It should be professionally designed and used to generate leads and sales.

According to a Google My Business Help thread on Tuesday, June 13, 2017:

“One of the most common actions people take when exploring a Google listing is to go to the website.”

Blue Corona found that 30% of consumers won’t consider a business without a website and Research from Moz local explains in full detail why a site is more important in 2019 than ever before

Much of the online world is leased land; one policy change can affect what you can do from day to day.  Google and other platforms will do whatever it takes to keep your attention on their platform. This is one of the main reasons they offer various tools and web services, not for your benefit.

Even website platforms like Squarespace are leased.  They are great for beginners and, but I recommend WordPress.  You can create simple, free websites if your budget is small and when ready, upgrade to a more robust site and hosting without changing platforms.  I use SiteGround for web hosting, and BlueHost is well respected too.

If you have a proper website, you own it and control the contents.  Nobody can take it away from you.

Here’s what your website can do that a Google listing can’t:

 

  • MLS IDX so customers can search for listings.  This keeps them on your site longer, and they will most likely check out your blog and other features.
  • Posts on Google expire after one week.  Your blog posts stay on your site as long as you want them to.  Your content can rank on in the search engines if you create in-depth, unique content for your audience.  Write in a conversational tone, speak to them, and don’t fixate on keywords.  Add images and videos.  Tag them properly to help with SEO.
  • You have their undivided attention.  There are no ads and distractions to pull them away from your content.  If you have valuable resources on your site visitors will spend more time there.  The longer they stay, the better your chances of them contacting you.

 

Conclusion

Before you shell out your hard earned commission check, research an offer and challenge yourself to see if it’s something you can do on your own.  Don’t be fooled by anyone telling you they will get you on the first page of Google right away.  Organic SEO is a long term play and takes work.  In today’s world, it’s more important than ever to take charge of your marketing.  

Need help?  Have questions?  I am here for you.  Send me an email [email protected]

Please share this post with any real estate agent or business owner who needs this information.

How To Sell A Home With The Neighbors Help

Selling a home is a big job, but sometimes the buyer is hiding in plain sight, the surrounding neighborhood.  That’s right. I am willing to bet that most neighborhoods have a resident who knows someone looking to move there.  But how do you find out if they know a buyer? Ask them.

Some of you may be thinking “I don’t need to do that my listing will sell in a week” or “the market is hot, it will sell quickly.”  The market won’t always be hot, and there’s more to this plan then just selling a listing.  

Let me explain.

We are going above and beyond to make a lasting impression and build relationships with potential sellers in a neighborhood.  

The old way of thinking: you sell a listing without engaging with the neighborhood on a personal level.  You send out the same generic just listed and sold cards like everybody else and never make a human connection.  You’ll need to send out more cards to build a presence than you will if you follow-up a mailing with an in-person visit.  

A new way of thinking: You personalize your postcards AND walk the neighborhood knocking on doors after sending them.  

Which do you think will have a more significant impact?

 

Here’s how you can do it:

Walk the neighborhood and knock on doors.

When your new listing hits the market, cast a net around the ten homes on either side of the subject property and across the street (or more if you like).

Tell the residents that you have just listed a house on their street and you want to give them an opportunity to help find their new neighbor.  You are planning an exclusive event and invite them to bring any potential buyers for a first look. This is your opening to a conversation. Build some report.  Even if they don’t attend, you may make a lasting impression on them.

TIP: If you are squeamish about knocking on doors, bring a colleague.  Having a familiar person to feed off of can add a layer of fun to the conversation and may put you at ease because the focus isn’t solely on you.  I am not much of a door knocker but find this method makes me more comfortable.

Host a neighbors only open house event.  

I say event because it should be unique and not just another open house.  This idea excites me for a few reasons. You get to meet new people and develop a relationship.  Relationships in the real estate business are everything.

Approach the guests with a genuine interest in getting to know them rather than “what can I get” mindset.  Even if they don’t have a buyer in mind, it will make planning a housewarming or block gathering easier when the right buyer comes along (more on that later).

Take ten minutes and present the home.  

Every home has a story; this is your chance to tell it.  Share what the current owner loved most, how they cared for it, and any interesting facts or history.  Create a unique take away gift that people will want to keep around or share with others.

One of my favorites is a branded key-shaped USB drive.  

You can load the virtual tour video, property details, and business card onto it.  

TIP:  Purchase a drive that has at least 4GB of space (easy to find on Google), so the guest has the option for personal use.  The idea is to give them the property info and something of value that they will keep around. Every time they use it, they will hopefully think of you.

Invite some neighbors to talk about why they love living there on camera.  

You may get some resistance here but go for it anyway.  Even if you get a couple, it’s worth it. Be careful they don’t unintentionally violate any fair housing or other laws.

Even though they said it, you are responsible because you used them in your marketing.

Tip: Look for the outspoken neighbor who is passionate and heavily involved in local happenings.  Every neighborhood has a mayor.

Be transparent with your plan to use the video and always get their permission.  You can repurpose these testimonials in a few ways.

  • Weave them into your property tour video.  Embed into an email blast for other real estate agents and your sphere of influence.  
  • Share them on social media.
  • Embed them into a blog post about the neighborhood.

The after party: Follow up with a handwritten thank you note.  If you received any phone numbers or email address at the event, get there feedback on the home.  

Once you find the right buyer for your listing, help coordinate a block party or house-warming event.  

The experience you create is what people will remember the most.

I would love to hear about your experience with neighborhood open houses or events.  Please share them with me in the comments.

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