I’m just not that complicated, Darling
You’re chasing new technology, gadgets, and widgets in the hopes of capturing the almighty buyer and seller, and if you’re lucky you might capture one that says ‘right now!’ Am I right? Of course I am. We’re constantly looking for new content to write, the right copy to place and the perfect listings to promote, all in the hopes of transacting as many transactions as possible from our online people machines- wow, that’s a lot when I put it that way; way more than I thought when hypothesizing this article for your review.
As agents, we’re a constant study not only of the market, but of our competitors and sometimes we get a dabble of consumer behavior study as well- but all in about that order, and I think that may be the problem for some of you.
About 1.5 years back, a desperate agent called me and told me that her forward facing blog was gaining absolutely no ground in market share although she owned the top 5 spots in Google for just about every possible real estate keyword. As we spoke on the phone and I listened to her frustrations, I visited her site in real time. The damn thing was gorgeous from head to toe, the titles were crisp, clear, and fun too. I was captivated by the sentences she had pulled together into full bodied but short paragraphs- her blog was a delight to say the least and I had little to criticize, but instead a few choice questions to ask her.
- What is the demographic of your typical consumer? (her answer led me deeper)
- Location, price point, style of construction?
- I’m glad you own Google, but is that where your client consumes real estate?
- I realize you rank highly with your blog, but does your consumer know what a blog is?
The kicker question I asked:
- Would your website perform better if it had a front landing page that led to the blog?
You’re probably wondering why in the world I would lead her to make such simple changes to her website and that answer was simple once I ascertained the average age of her client. From there I was able to apply simple statistical studies for that age group to better understand how they consume the internet, plus to me it’s common sense and I already knew the answer, some of which has changed, most however, in that market is still true today.
There’s an even better way of gathering information on the best way to present your own website to your consumer and brace yourself, it’s really laden with complications and land mines, but trust me, it’s the only way- you‘re going to have to ask (wow, there’s a novel idea).
My suggestion to anyone who fits the overwhelmed description in my first paragraph, I suggest the following… At your very first face to face meeting where a computer is involved, ask your consumer/client how they found you, actually pull up your website to refresh their memory, and ask them if they wouldn’t mind taking home a simple questionnaire and remind them through the buying and selling transaction to complete it. Be thoughtful, because what you’re doing is crowdsourcing your website with your very own patrons to better help the next patrons, and you’ve also done a little more than that- you’ve given a little bit of ownership of your website to your clients, and what client wouldn’t want to refer new clients to somewhere they had a hand in fine tuning.
Trust your consumers, they’ll tell you everything you never wanted to know about your website, but everything they wished you’d known- think about it, try it, and do it over and over again. Consumer behavior should be job one on the study list, not an accident.
As we all know, Holly Golightly, the gorgeous creature from the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s would probably say, “I’m just not that complicated, Darling!” But as we all know (watch it again if you’ve forgotten) she compared her entire life experience to the experience of Tiffany & Co. Check out this exchange:
Holly Golightly: He’s all right! Aren’t you, cat? Poor cat! Poor slob! Poor slob without a name! The way I see it I haven’t got the right to give him one. We don’t belong to each other. We just took up one day by the river. I don’t want to own anything until I find a place where me and things go together. I’m not sure where that is but I know what it is like. It’s like Tiffany’s.
Paul Varjak: Tiffany’s? You mean the jewelry store.
Holly Golightly: That’s right. I’m just CRAZY about Tiffany’s!
or this one…
Holly Golightly: Well, when I get it the only thing that does any good is to jump in a cab and go to Tiffany’s. Calms me down right away. The quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there. If I could find a real-life place that’d make me feel like Tiffany’s, then – then I’d buy some furniture and give the cat a name!
and as you know, in the end, Tiffany’s engraves the ring from the Cracker Jack box.
Experience, how consumers engage our brands, and how our brands engage our consumers is still the same today as it was in 1961 when Breakfast at Tiffany’s was made. The streets are new, and the world is exciting again and our main difference now is that our store fronts are digital, and no one says they can’t be as sexy and appealing as Tiffany & Co. not only in class and stature, but in also in culture, and style.