A No-Fail Real Estate Marketing Strategy: Create Real Estate Buyer Personas
The most successful businesses of all sizes, in all industries have something in common.
They know exactly who they’re selling to.
Whether they’re selling cars, clothes or computer repairs, these companies and entrepreneurs have zeroed in on who their customers are. And they make their business and marketing decisions based on those details.
Those details are called buyer personas. And they’re a marketing secret weapon that REALTORs® can use, too.
In this post, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about real estate buyer personas — what they are, why they matter, and how you can create your own to help strengthen your real estate marketing.
What are real estate buyer personas?
Let’s look at how some of the top digital marketing resources define buyer persons:
“A buyer persona is a representation of your target customer’s preferences and behavior as they shop and interact with your online business” – Neil Patel
“A buyer persona is a detailed description of someone who represents your target audience. This is not a real customer, but a fictional person who embodies the characteristics of your best potential customers” – Hootsuite
“A buyer persona is a research-based profile that depicts a target customer. Buyer personas describe who your ideal customers are, what their days are like, the challenges they face and how they make decisions” – Social Media Today
In summary, a buyer persona is a portrait of your target customer. Like a dating profile of sorts. It captures who they are as people and as consumers. What their hobbies are, what they do for work, what they like and dislike, what they need and want, and what inspires them.
Buyer personas are based on:
- Information you already know about your clients (from your experiences with past clients). For example, first-time home buyers are typically between the ages of 22 and 38.
- Insights you infer, based on experiences, observations, interviews and other research. For example, first-time home buyers prefer to work by text message and email.
Why are real estate buyer personas important?
Real estate buyer personas are important because they help you:
- Gain a deeper understanding of who your target client is
- Empathize with your target client and their needs and wants
- Learn what motivates your target client when it comes to real estate-related decisions
- Create, position and share marketing content that’s best suited for your target client
In summary, real estate buyer personas are key to helping you grow your client base through marketing efforts designed specifically for them.
Examples of real estate buyer personas
The real estate buyer personas you develop will depend on who you’re hoping to bring into your business as a client.
Here are two sample personas to give you a sense of what types of personas you might focus on and what a completed buyer persona might look like.
Rupi Guptha – first-time buyer
- 29 years old
- Rents a one-bedroom condo in Toronto’s Liberty Village neighbourhood
- Has a bachelor’s degree
- Works full-time as a marketing manager
- Annual salary: $89,000
Lifestyle and Behaviours
- Orders takeout three to four times per week
- Uses local bike-sharing and car-sharing services
- Shops almost exclusively online
- Has a large collection of plants
- Belongs to several subscription streaming services
- Uses Instagram and watches TikTok; doesn’t have a Facebook or Twitter account
Goals and Needs
- A space she can put her mark on
- A home big enough to accommodate a potential partner
- An area where everything is immediately accessible by foot
- A neighbourhood or building with other young professionals
- Something that feels like a smart investment
Pain Points and Challenges
- Feeling like she’s behind her friends
- Getting stuck paying rent and feeling like that money is being wasted
- Not having autonomy
- Fears that she won’t be able to afford a home
- Concerns that she’ll be “house poor”
Keith Burbank – investment property buyer
- 43 years old
- Married, with two children under 10
- Owns a detached home in a Calgary suburb
- Has a master’s degree
- Works full-time as director of operations
- Annual salary: $185,000
Lifestyle and Behaviours
- Has a print subscription for the Globe and Mail
- Works with a financial advisor
- Listens to podcasts daily
- Uses Facebook occasionally and LinkedIn for professional purposes
- Drives to work
Goals and Needs
- Wants to make a long-term investment that can evolve and serve different purposes over time
- Looking to make an investment now that his kids will benefit from when they’re older
- Hoping to take advantage of his buying power and current low interest rates
Pain Points and Challenges
- Being a first-time landlord
- Feeling over-extended
- Choosing the wrong area
- A market crash
How to create your own real estate buyer personas
First, decide or remind yourself of the types of clients you want to focus on signing. These could be first-time buyers, luxury buyers, young families, retirees, investment buyers and/or vacation home buyers. These are the people you’ll be creating real estate buyer personas for.
To start gathering the information that you’ll use to create your personas, first look back to your client base. Which of your past clients fit (at the time of purchase) your target client profile (e.g. first-time buyer, luxury buyer, and so on)? Identify as many as you can and take notes on details like their age, profession, marital status, income, reasons for looking, what they were looking for, and anything you can remember about their lifestyles, habits, pain points and preferences.
Once you’ve mined your client archives, move onto external research. Look up studies, data and articles about the generational groups you’re targeting (e.g. millennials, baby boomers), buyer and seller data, housing trends, technology use and so on. This research will provide you with further insights into your target clients.
Another strategy for collecting meaningful information based on real people? Interview friends, family and acquaintances who fit your target. You can also use polls in your real estate Instagram Stories to survey your followers.
When you’ve got pages of notes on your target clients, start writing out profiles like the examples above. If you’d like, you can add additional sections like Personal Values, Favourite Brands, Skills, and Personality.
How to use real estate buyer personas in your business
Your completed personas are your key to building marketing plans that are specifically tailored to provide your target clients with what they need, to address their challenges and to help achieve their goals.
In other words, marketing plans that are designed to position you as the right real estate agent for them.
Don’t let your real estate buyer personas just sit there. Refer to them constantly as you write social media captions, run Facebook Lead Ads, write your website content and create your real estate listings. Use them to inform what type of marketing content you create, what the content looks like and what it promises, and what format you deliver that content in.
What buyer types are you targeting this year?