In 2015 my husband and I are planning a move out of the great State of Minnesota. While we love it here, we do not love the winters! Right now we are in research mode on where to take our family of 5 and settle down. It’s an exciting, yet very scary thing, to move your kids away from the only area they have ever known, their family and friends and plop them down in a new area. So what do I do when I get freaked out? I research and I research and I research some more. I feel by researching every detail I can, it will help with the freak out when the actual move happens. (It won’t but it’s a nice idea!)
Right now Dallas is on our short list and I am currently getting my hands on every piece of information I can find about Dallas. One of the things I did was request the Relocation Guide from Dallas’ Chamber of Commerce. It arrived in the mail a couple of weeks ago and I finally had a chance to devour it last night.
The Real Estate Ads
While I was looking through the relocation guide, I came across a few real estate ads. One of them really caught my eye, but not for the reasons you might think.
*Public Service Announcement*
Now before I break down my thoughts on this ads, I want to say I do this to educate Real Estate Agents. I am not doing this to be mean or point fingers at someone and tell them their marketing was not good. In fact in the ad I didn’t like, I have taken out all of the Agent’s information because I refuse to make this mean-spirited. We can all learn from this, me included.
*End Public Service Announcement*
I am going to make up a fake name for this Real Estate Agent. I will call him Josh. Josh’s ad was one of the first that I saw when looking through the relocation guide. I looked at it and then I looked at it again. Can you see the problem?
This is a relocation guide. A guide for people about to take that scary journey, potentially across the country. They are more than likely having the same feelings that I am having right now. Yet Josh is talking to me in this ad about how he wants my referrals? Referrals? I don’t know anyone in Texas. I can’t refer them to you. I thought this was just strange.
What should Josh have done instead? What Josh should have done is evaluated his target market before placing this ad. The Dallas Relocation Guide is a beautiful guide and I know that advertising in it can’t be cheap. Josh should have thought about his Avatar. What’s an Avatar? That is the specific person you are marketing to when you put your advertising out into the world.
Josh has several different Avatars:
1. Single Person
- Wants to be around more singles, not stuck in suburbia
- Probably moving for work and wants to live close to work, but again not stuck in suburbia
- Needs information for activities for single people so they can really become acclimated to the area
- Doesn’t care about school districts
2. Double Income, No Kids
- More than likely relocating for work, could be moving away from the Snow Belt
- Potentially may have kids in the future so may be interested in school districts
- Wants to live close to work and around fun things to do
- More than likely moving because of job relocation. Few families will uproot their kids for weather. (Only my husband and I are crazy enough to do that!)
- Wants to live in a nice, safe suburb
- Number one priority is a good school district.
- Second priority is living close to work so they don’t have to deal with a long commute and be away from the family more than neccesary
- Wants a suburb that feels like a community with plenty of family activities and a place where it is easy for everyone to make friends
4. Empty Nesters, Seniors
- If they are not retired, they are more than likely moving for a work related relocation
- If they are retired, they are moving to get away from cold winters
- They will want to be close to work and don’t mind the suburbs
- They don’t completely care about the school districts, but they wouldn’t mind being in a good school district area because it helps their property value
- There may be a few that want to be in the heart of a city and around all of the action.
Here we have 4 different kinds of people that are relocating for many different reasons. How do you create one ad geared to 4 different Avatars? There is only one way you can do this. With Empathy.
Sure all of these people have different needs and wants, but the one thing that ties them together is that they are leaving their current home and moving to a completely new area. That is exciting and scary and filled with tons of anxiety and stress and worry and even tears. What should Josh have done with his ad? Show Empathy.
How I Would Do it Different
“Relocating is scary. I want to help make the move easier on you.”
“Relocating can be challenging. I am here to help you acclimate to your new life in Dallas.”
“Moving across the country is stressful. I will help by answering all your questions about Dallas, even before you get here.”
Do you see the empathy in those three sentences? Put it back on the client, the person you are there to serve. Show them that you understand what they are going through. Show them that you care what they are going through.
Any and all marketing should come from a place of empathy and trying to solve peoples’ problems. It should never, ever be about you the Real Estate Agent. In fact that is so important I am going to repeat it. Your real estate marketing should never, ever be about you the Agent. It must be about the clients, their needs, wants, fears and desires. Otherwise your marketing will fall flat and will not be effective.
Relocation is hard on everyone even if it is by choice. Remember that when you are marketing to and working with people that are relocating. They are about to leave their entire lives behind and start over somewhere new. They want someone they can trust to guide them through this challenging time, not someone that is out for themselves.
I challenge you to take a look at your marketing and evaluate who your Avatar is and if you are really reaching out to their needs with your message. If you aren’t, I have good news! You can fix it! People want to connect with you and you can make it easy for them to do it by simply knowing who they are.
Do you find yourself struggling with what to write in ads? Have you seen advertising for real estate or other things that have completely missed the mark? Please tell me about it in the comments below!