• Focus groups are highly underused in real estate.
  • Gather a group of people with a stake in the housing game and have an honest talk about the listing.
  • Use the notes from the focus groups to help sellers understand the specifics.

Marketing professionals are very familiar with focus groups. I have never seen a real estate agent incorporate one into a marketing plan, so I think this will be valuable to you as an agent — especially when developing a strategy for a hard-to-sell or luxury listing.

We are going to answer two specific questions with our focus group.

Remember customers are buyers, and my product is my new listing.

  1. What do my customers think about my product?
  2. How do my customers feel about my product?

It might seem a little strange to ask what customers think and feel about a house, but buying a home is an emotional purchase. Having shelter is a basic need. So we need to focus our marketing on fulfilling that need.

So, who is in my focus group? Let’s say I have an $800,000 listing, and I am wanting to sell this home. My focus group may consist of:

  • A jumbo lender
  • A title person
  • A community member who can afford this home
  • A person who lives in the area
  • The HOA president
  • My broker or another agent who I trust

So, I make a list and invite them all to lunch. If you cannot afford lunch, then invite them to your office for coffee or tea. It’s the cost of business.

Look at the value. Not only are you building relationships, but you are also learning specific needs for your marketing to sell that house.

Let’s go back to the first question. What does my customer think about my product?

There are a few sub-questions to keep in mind.

Does the product fit their needs? We are talking features here. Number of bedrooms, bathrooms, acres, garage space, community, amenities, etc.

Is it a good value? This is the No. 1 challenge for sellers when convincing the homeowner to be realistic. After your focus group meeting, relay the information you’ve collected to the sellers, and now you have third-party suggestions for price.

Is the buying process manageable? We are talking about a jumbo loan here. Ask the lender to create some marketing materials showing how easy it would be to qualify for this loan. Ensure there’s a preliminary search to make sure title clears quick and easily.

Now let’s look at the second question. How does the customer feel about my product?

How does owning this home make me feel? Who does buyer become upon purchasing this property? Is it a status thing? Maybe the buyer has worked so hard and now can finally afford to buy this home.

Maybe the buyer already owns three homes and wants a quick destination getaway.

Maybe it’s an investor who is looking to make money from the purchase.

Do they trust me? This is No. 1. Does my seller trust me? Does the buyer trust me? I am telling you, if you have a focus group, and all of you work together to get that listing information out there, your marketing is going to be unreal. You will become your community’s most trusted agent.

Four or five heads are better than one when it comes to marketing that listing.

You can see more of my videos on YouTube.

Melinda Goodwin is Luxury Home Division Director with Engel & Volkers St. George, Utah. Follow her on Twitter or Facebook.

Email Melinda Goodwin.

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