When incoming leads slow, it's very tempting to "cast a wider net" when writing, hoping to attract a larger audience. The more you need clients, the better that idea sounds. There may even be a little short-lived gratification in seeing a tiny blip in the analytics report. But then the traffic usually falls right off, followed by search engine rankings.
Casting a wider net is usually a huge mistake. If you're not thinking about the lifetime value, your play only lasts so long. Please, can we start making the conversation about depth instead of width?
- Gary Vaynerchuk
When less real estate deals are being made, buyers and sellers have the luxury of being a lot more selective. Why settle for a general agent with no special skills, when there's a local specialist uniquely qualified to help them with the very type of property they are interested in buying, or selling.
When you try to be everything to everyone, you accomplish nothing to anyone.
- Bonnie Gillespie
The art of sales has often been compared with catching a fish on a fly. In fly fishing, it's possible to hook a fish with a generic fly like the Wooly Bugger or basic 'egg' pattern. And if you aren't particular about what species you hook, or are unsure of what's in the waters, it's a place to start. But at some point, getting 'skunk', or just landing any ugly ass fish that swims by, loses its allure.
When fishing for rainbow trout, I've learned to read the water and study the hatch of day, then I carefully match my dry fly to an actual insect specimen I caught in a net, by size, type and colour. Before releasing a trout, I've often vacuumed the contents of it's stomach to determine exactly what the trout are eating that day. The results always improve dramatically after carefully presenting a fly carefully selected for my target.
The trout fisherman who specializes in small streams will always out-fish the generalist who is out in a bass boat one weekend, tossing huge flashy lures into the lake; on the banks of the Fraser hunting for sturgeon the next; and now is trying to finesse the perfect drag-free cast on a small stream with a hand-tied midge pattern and a 3-weight rod, for a particularly wary rainbow.
Writing general real estate content, on the surface, addressing a range of cities and property types, seems like it would have broader appeal. But as a real estate pro, your prospective buyers are bombarded with non-specific marketing all day long. Like the skittish rainbow trout, they've learned to completely ignore the unappetizing crap that floats by. Your chances of attracting zero nibbles are extremely high when you present non-specific content.
A skilled fly fisherman brings an assortment of very specific fly patterns and sizes for the day on the stream. He doesn't throw together a bunch of different tackle in the back of his pickup, waiting to see what the day will bring. In other words, the fly fisherman who scores fully 'buys in' to his strategy. He knows where those fish are, what they are biting on, and how best to engage them with his offering.
If you aim at 'nothing', you're destined to hit it.
When you take the time to study your audience persona(s) carefully, determine exactly what they're feeding on, and match the content to it, your results will improve dramatically. Not only will you get more hook-ups, but they'll be from the type of the customer species you're after. If you sell luxury apartments in Downtown Vancouver to foreign investors, don't write so that a buyer interested in horse property in Cloverdale will ever come across your content online.
Economies where less deals are being done can be tricky. The more elusive and skittish your prey becomes, the more specific and targeted your focus must be, and more skillful your presentation.
Being specific takes courage. I realize there's more at stake here than on a day's fishing. But the principles are the very same. The more specific your target audience is — geographic neighbourhood and type of property — the better you can become at hooking and reeling in those wary prospects, consistently.
Cole Wiebe helps brands and professionals grow their influence and value online; so they can “out content”™ their competition. Cole is a content strategist, content writer, conversion copywriter and online marketing coach.
Real Estate Marketing Tips Blog