Witnessing in my lifetime a black president being inaugurated not only once, but twice, is an inspiring spectacle that highlights we as Americans are embracing change. I listened to the event through NPR all day, and periodically took a break to watch some of the days highlights on TV (I for one felt the President’s dance with his wife was moving, but that’s the girl in me.)
Notably, the announcer on NPR also made it known the poet laureate Richard Blanco is the first Hispanic and openly gay Americans to read an inaugural poem. Although it shouldn’t matter if he was gay or straight, the fact is, there are still prejudices and exclusions experienced by people of “minority.”
We Live in Changing Times
Interestingly, though, the landscape of the United States is changing. Caucasians are no longer the overwhelming majority, and Spanish is widely spoken in many areas of the country. Here in Phoenix, we are a virtual (and literal, it seems like during summer) melting pot of every race, creed, and demographic. And although, again, it shouldn’t matter what your sexual preference is, color, or primary language might be, might I offer the suggestion to embrace it to attract a bigger following for your real estate business?
Before you shirk and curse my name, let me give you some examples I know of personally:
- One of the top short sale agents here in the Valley is a virtual no name. How does he do it? He is of Eastern Indian origin and lives in an area of the Valley where there is a higher population of Indian families. He has used that to his advantage and created a referral based business that has allowed him to thrive, with no large scale marketing (that I’m aware of.)
- One of the groups in my office does real estate radio shows to reach Hispanics, and does very well with it. Being Spanish-speaking themselves, they reach a community that not everyone has access to, and have built trust, loyalty, and a large referral based business. I speak broken Spanish, but would love to be able to work more with the Hispanic community, and I envy the amount of traffic they drive!
It’s truly not any different than say, a firefighter, retired engineer, or any other practitioner tapping into their sphere of influence; it’s simply gravitating towards another group that you may have another layer of “trust factor” built in. What else can you think of that automatically taps you into your community? Your business doesn’t have to hinge on what makes you different, but arguably, why wouldn’t you want yourself to stand out in the crowd?
Building Leads Through Difference
If you have something you can link into and utilize, eventually, you will have an army of clients and customers that are spreading your good word into the community at large. With that, it’s imperative to get a Yelp, Google Business, and/or YouTube testimonial from each and every one of them, if you can. At very least, an email testimonial you can post on your website.
Then, when clients unrelated to your current customer base research you, you’ll have an established and exhaustive list of satisfied clients resounding your praises. Not everyone has this bragging right, so if you can build up a following within your respective community, by all means, you should. Especially if you live in a competitive market, any advantage you can gain to be more well known and create a referral base should be explored.
The #1 source any investor wants for their business is referrals, followed by a strong web presence. It saves so much time, money, and effort to get referrals then it takes to constantly have to market for new leads (although you should be doing both!) So whether you are tapped into the Lesbian/Gay community, Hispanic community, or some other traditionally “minority” background, especially as the palette of Americans views change, I applaud the idea of coming full circle to embrace those differences and create marketing/advertising/word of mouth campaigns to cultivate a following.
In any business, people want to work with people that they like, and are like them. Create a foundation of customers that like and are like you, post their testimonials online, ask for referrals, take great care of them, and you will already have created what the majority of real estate investors fail to do.
With all that being said, here’s to being in the minority!
What do you think? Do you think it’s passé to tap into a minority community you may relate to, or do you find it refreshing to try to cultivate leads from these types of sources? Who do you see in your market that excels at this?
Photo: Glyn Lowe Photoworks