Customer personas represent those motivated sellers you want to reach and help guide your marketing decisions to do so. Persona profiles help you create targeted content, meet their needs, and prepare for every eventuality, so you exceed revenue goals.
81% of customers want brands to know them and understand when it’s the right time to approach them with an offer. 90% of companies that use personas claim to better understand their customers and so reap notable benefits, including:
- Email click-through rates increase 14%;
- Website traffic goes up 210%; and
- Organic search traffic improves by 55%
Would you like this to happen for your Real Estate Investment business? If so, here are the steps to create motivated seller personas.
How to Create a Persona?
When creating a persona, you research and define your ideal lead types, then create a fictional persona for each type.
How many personas can I create? As many as you want.
90% of company sales are attributed to at least 3 or 4 personas. In the Real Estate Investing industry though, you deal with all types of property owners, each one motivated for a different reason to sell. These reasons can be foreclosure, probate, bankruptcy, or a tired landlord, to name a few.
The process to create a persona is not complicated, but it does take dedicated work. I have broken the process down into 5 steps.
1. Research Your Ideal Seller
Ideal motivated seller lead types fit well in your sales and closings. If you’re going to create a persona, you need to know the lead journey, as well as the seller’s pain points and motivations.
Go over your existing motivated seller data. Surely in all the time you’ve been investing in real estate, you’ve taken notes and kept records on your sales and clients? If not, now is a good time to start.
Do you use a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool? If so, it can generate reports that identify common traits of the motivated sellers with whom you were successful. Additional details include your interactions with the lead, their needs, and how you worked with them. From all the leads you worked with, which ones did you usually seal the deal?
2. Identify Different Segments
Once you have your data, separate your motivated seller leads into groups. These segments are based on similar demographics – where they live, their age, status, and behavioral preferences, plus the needs and services they purchase. You will identify which groups can represent one or more personas.
You may also be able to identify negative personas. These are types of sellers you want to avoid because they waste your time and efforts and never agree to sell.
As a reference, let’s say you form a landlord segment – a group of people who are all landlords with properties in your desired market area.
3. Understand the Differences and Commonalities
Talking to real people is very insightful. The more you do it, the more you start having a grasp of who your good personas are and their common traits.
- Listen to and understand their stress points.
- What were the biggest challenges (when trying to sell their property)?
- What makes them hesitate?
- What did they expect from you?
- What made them sign the contract with you?
Find out personal details too:
- Were they employed?
- Were they married, single, divorced, or a widow(er)?
- Did they have children? What ages?
- Were the children adults, and were they involved in the decision?
- What’s important when choosing who to sell to? (They may get many offers, but it isn’t always about pricing.)
Why do I need to know those things? Because you are looking for similarities between your motivated sellers, so that you can group them and identify a persona.
4. Put Profiles in Persona Templates
You have your motivated seller segments, so now you’ll put their details in a template. There are templates available to download online, but you may prefer to create your own.
Let’s use the Landlord segment example. You can build one or more personas within that segment. These are fictional characters, and you write a narrative, telling a story of how you help them. Here’s a very simplified example of the landlord personas:
- John Smith is an accidental landlord. He is the “responsible one” out of all his siblings, and now he has to decide what to do with the tenant-occupied property they inherited out-of-state. John has a full-time job and a family to support. This property is one more thing on his to-do list. The legal documents, travel, and other expenses tied to it are stressors he did not need. He will be more than happy to get rid of the property and all the trouble that comes with it.
- Ken Matthews and his mother inherited his father’s rental portfolio. He too is an accidental landlord. His mother has given him the power to decide what to do with the portfolio – to manage it or sell it. He is familiar with many aspects of it, even though he hasn’t managed a portfolio before. Should he sell some and keep others? Or should he keep or sell them all? This decision is what is paralyzing him from moving forward, and for now, he is keeping them until he decides.
Ideally, once your persona is complete, you’ll be able to identify areas for improvement (in marketing and sales) and how to provide a better experience. Different personas have different paint points and questions. They’ll benefit from different presentations of value.
While our persona, John, may see the value of a fast transaction that removes the burden of all obligations from him, Ken is more concerned with making the right decision and may need some “advice” from an expert investor on how to navigate this new world. He may decide to sell one or two properties now, maybe via seller financing to avoid taxes, and keep the rest until they need repairs, at which time he’ll then contact the trusted investor to sell again.
5. Humanize Your Personas: Are You Part of Their Story?
A narrative makes your persona more real and memorable. When an actual lead comes forward, you or your sales team can recall the persona and its story and know how to react in a way the motivated seller (who fits the profile) prefers – is it a John or a Ken?
Their story has a beginning, a middle, and an end. The conclusion is where the persona sells their property to you. That’s the ending you want with every ideal motivated seller. Include in the story why the persona sold to you (their motivation), their objective, and the value you offered.
Each persona is a unique case. You and your team will evaluate the stories compared to current marketing and sales decisions. Is what you’re doing now working? Or does something need to change?
Your team might start saying things like, “I don’t think that message resonates with John, the accidental landlord, or with Floyd in foreclosure” or “This pitch is perfect for Ken, the new landlord.” Your personas will become a part of normal business conversation, so every effort is targeted to generate leads and sales.
Let Your Personas Drive Your Strategies
Take another look at what you’ve been doing to attract leads, but through the lens of your personas. Is what you’re doing now going to get the attention of Debbie the downsizer or Ingrid with inherited property?
Your personas inform your business strategy. You and your team can use them to achieve the following:
- Focus your marketing campaign: Determine which channels will reach your ideal leads.
- Develop a targeted content strategy: Create good content that resonates with audiences.
- Adjust sales efforts: Make the seller experience streamlined and seamless.
- Measure performance: Discover new ways to measure your marketing and sales success.
GoForClose Has Your Personas and Markets to Them for You
At GoForClose, we understand and appreciate the importance of motivated seller personas. Our team has collected enough data to create several personas, representing the most common types of property owners. We know their preferred channels, keyword searches, and which messages best resonate with them.
We use personas when writing copy for text message, cold calling, and RVM scripts, plus emails, web content, social media, and PPC ads. We monitor each channel’s success and make necessary changes to continue satisfying persona preferences.
We have the personas, and we do the marketing for you, so that you can focus on sales and closing deals.
If you have questions or are curious to know more, request a free consultation below.
April Henley is a Professional Writer and our Content Developer. She has 5 years of Real Estate Industry knowledge, and 8 years of experience writing copy for various marketing initiatives. She came to us from a Fortune 500 Real Estate Company (Lennar), where she co-created content for a partnership with Amazon and wrote a variety of multichannel, multipurpose pieces for home buyers and owners.