The riches are in the niches. Someone famous said that, and people repeat it all the time because it rhymes and it’s true. Now more than ever, your ability to segment your market and deliver meaningful messages will determine the level of your success. Most people interpret this to mean that you can only serve a small segment of the market and ignore everyone else. But really, I think you can serve all the people in your database; you just need to be able to give them each what they find valuable.
Certainly there are many ways to do that, like targeting messages, in-mass on social media and large websites to reach strangers who “should be” interested. And that does work, but if you have a database of people who already know, like, and trust you, then consider how much more successful segmenting them and communicating valuable information directly to them would be.
So the key is to figure out what kind of little niches you can set up to divide your database into. “Buyers” and “sellers” is not specific enough. Don’t be afraid to get really granular with your groups and remember these groups don’t have to be mutually exclusive. You may have people in your database who will end up be in several different groups and that is ok. If they really do have a particular need or interest, then they will appreciate the information from all those groups.
So what kind of groups should you set up? Sometimes it is easier to start with the valuable message you would deliver, and then identify the group of people who would most benefit from that information.
Back in the day, the value proposition for real estate agents was access to the listings. They were on printouts locked in the broker’s office and buyers had to come see you to know what was for sale. Now the internet has all the data that anyone could ever imagine available to anyone 24/7, but that does not mean you cannot add value through data.
Because there is so much data available, now what people really need is an expert (that’s you) to organize and deliver that data in a useful and easy way. The perfect example of this is preparing neighborhood reports. Sure, anyone can find that data, and there may even be someone organizing it in your town already, but they are not personally delivering that information directly to your database.
If you have your email list sorted by people who live in a particular neighborhood and people who are interested in moving to that neighborhood, then you can provide value to them by delivering the information they want to them. So when you are looking at your email list, ask yourself what special data groups of these people would want and set up a group for that.
Another way to sort through and organize your email list is to look for common problems that you can offer a solution to. I live in a college town with a lot of student housing, so helping parents with college aged kids find housing seems like a no-brainer. So you would want to go through your email list and find the people with kids in high school and start sending them information about buying vs. renting for college and lists of the best student-housing locations.
Those same people may also need to go in your downsizing list if their kids are moving away. Starting with problems, you can identify several groups of people in your database that you can help in very targeted ways.
Big life events often affect housing. Getting married? Then you are probably moving out of your current house and getting a place together. Having a baby? You may be looking for a bigger yard and better schools. Whatever the event, if you have a content plan for them and a group set up to add them to, then your chances of helping them with that housing change are much better.
The groups can be permanent but the people you assign to these types of groups will fluctuate over time. You may have people in your database that you move from one group then to the next as they go through the phases of their life, and if it all goes to plan, you could be there to help them with all those moves from just married to just retired.
Ultimately, that is to goal of all this email organization – lifetime value of your clients. Just because you helped someone buy their first home five years ago does not mean they will be calling you for their next move. You need to continue to provide them with the information they will value at the time they will value it if you want them to think of you as their real estate agent.
So if your current CRM does not offer the flexibility to group and send targeted messages, you should check out the tools Homes.com has to offer. The Homes.com lead manager will let you create custom groups and our agent IDX websites are the perfect platform to host your targeted, custom messages.