As a commercial real estate broker, you are always meeting and interacting with new customers. Marketing personas allow you to understand and cater to this audience in a more effective manner. Creating a marketing persona will let you break down the needs and wants of your borrowers, thereby helping you improve your products and services. Additionally, marketing personas can show you who to target as a potential borrower, along with the best medium for attracting that customer.
In part 2 of our series on creating marketing personas, we will detail the first step in the process: gathering data from your existing customer base. This data may be extracted from your company database or CRM, or may be based on your observations from meeting clients. The following includes our suggestions on the type of data you should collect to create your company’s marketing persona.
- Age: This is the first and probably the most obvious data point you’ll use to create your persona. Your borrower’s age is indicative of many things- for example, knowing the average age of your borrowers allows you to make inferences about their preferred method of communication. Their age may also affect how they do business- an older customer may want to meet face-to-face, while a younger customer may be comfortable conducting business purely online or via telephone.
- Financial Position: Applying for a small-balance commercial mortgage is a big decision for any borrower. The decision will have a huge impact on their financial position, so knowing your borrowers’ average salary or household income can aid you in tailoring your products and services to various needs. What is their FICO score? How is their credit history? Your borrower’s financial history indicates how likely they are to stay current with monthly payments.
- Location: If you know where the majority of your customers stem from, you’ll know where to focus your advertising efforts, along with which area may attract the most new customers. Additionally, business culture differs from state-to-state. If you are conducting business with a borrower in another state, you ought to familiarize yourself with their business methods, etiquette, and culture. Also keep in mind whether your borrowers are typically from urban, suburban, or rural areas.
- Job Title: Your borrower’s business is your business. You should know the size of your borrower’s company. Do they work alone? Do they have a partner? How many people do they employ? You should also understand their role in the company, as well as how long they’ve been with the company.
- Borrowing Needs: Understanding what your borrowers are looking to do is perhaps the most important data you can collect from past customers. How much money is your customer looking to borrow? Do they wish to refinance, or are they looking for a purchase or cash-out deal? What property types do your borrowers usually come to you with? Knowing the answers to these questions will allow you to quickly identify potential borrowers who are likely to succeed in doing business with you.
Gathering data is just the first step in creating a marketing persona, but if done correctly, it can tell you almost everything you need to know about your customer base.