September is Marketing and Branding Month at Inman. That means we’re talking to the chief marketing officers at major brokerages about how the pandemic is changing their jobs and what it means for agents. We’re publishing a suite of tactical Inman Handbooks for marketing on digital portals. And we’re looking at what pages of the traditional marketing playbook still work. Join us all month long.

When asked who their “target audience” is, most agents and brokers simply state that it’s their “sphere of influence” — or worse, “buyers and sellers.” I beg to differ. 

In fact, most agents lose more business than they convert because they don’t have a clearly defined understanding of where their business comes from. So, let’s identify the five main audiences every agent should be marketing to on a regular basis. 

1. Past clients

Past clients are the most obvious group to identify. These are people who know, like and trust you because they already know what to expect when working with you.

Unfortunately, agents often close the deal and then close the relationship by failing to stay in touch on a regular basis. They falsely assume that the customer won’t be needing their services again for years to come. The problem with that is most past clients often give an excellent agent repeat and referral business in between transactions.

2. Pipeline

There are two groups of people — people you know and people you don’t know (yet).  Which one is bigger? Of course, the people you don’t know. Which one should you be prospecting? The answer is both.

Most agents tend to answer one or the other. So the lost opportunity is thinking that your current SOI is good enough. The truth is that it isn’t. You should be adding new prospects to your pipeline on a consistent basis.

3. Colleagues

Have you seriously thought about the value of the relationships you have with other real estate professionals? Think about the quality of the opportunities you could generate with a consistent referral partner in another part of the country or your state. What about a referral agent who specializes in a niche where they could deliver an exceptional customer experience? 

A common mistake agents make is thinking they can do anything as opposed to thinking of the customer first. Just because your license allows you to do something (like sell commercial or luxury real estate) doesn’t mean you should do it. That is, if you’re primarily a residential agent. Wouldn’t it be better to refer the customer to a trusted colleague and then collect your referral fee? 

4. Vendors and ancillary partners

You refer people to your favorite lender, inspector, title company or lawyer all the time! Are they referring business back? Are you asking for the business? Why not?  

Share opportunities, testimonials and mutual referrals with your vendors and ancillary partners. A motivated, qualified and loyal customer and closed transaction has the potential to be way more valuable to you than sharing co-marketing expenses.

5. Friends and family

Sometimes working with close friends and family as customers can be a challenge, to say the least. However, they are oftentimes our biggest and most raving fans. Are you focused on training your friends and family to rave about you?

Deliver content to this group that supports their claim that you’re the best to work with.  Have them testify to their knowledge of who you are via testimonials, shares and conversations. Train and thank them for supporting your business through their referrals and validation of your profession.

Want to know the most efficient tool to communicate these varied messages to these varied groups? Video! But that’s a topic for another day. In the meantime, are you friending, following or marketing to your entire target audience? Are they receiving relevant, consistent and helpful information from you through your various marketing channels?

Start segmenting your database against these five key audiences and deliver content that’s relevant to each group and watch your business grow. Because clarity is the key to abundance, let’s get clear, consistent and committed to growing our real target audiences.

Kendall E. Bonner, Esq., is a broker-owner at RE/MAX Capital Realty in Florida. Connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn

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