When you get braces, do you go to an orthodontist or a general dentist? When you need a hip replacement, do you go to an orthopedic surgeon or a general surgeon? You want someone who specializes in the service you need, right?

  • Specialize and focus on defining your ideal client. Once you have every detail about your avatar, consider his or her wants, needs, pain points, challenges, etc., in everything you do, and include that in your business planning.

When you get braces, do you go to an orthodontist or a general dentist? When you need a hip replacement, do you go to an orthopedic surgeon or a general surgeon? You want someone who specializes in the service you need, right?

Then why, I ask, would you be the general real estate practitioner in your area? Admittedly, I did this for years. It’s my fault, and my income was mediocre at best.

When I decided to specialize, get focused, define my ideal client and connect with her on a deeper level, my business changed and became more fulfilling.

So stop being afraid to choose a specialty. Every minute you wait to do this you are losing money.

Why you need to define your ideal client

You’re building a business based on helping people buy and sell real estate. What kind of people do you want to help? Who is your dream client? If I asked you right now to define your dream client, could you do it in detail?

You need to know exactly — down to the minor specific details — who this person is and personalize with this individual (your avatar) in your mind so that you connect like a best friend and know him or her inside and out.

When you define your dream client, you match your marketing and business to that person. Your perfect client, or avatar, should be represented by one person. You should even google an image that reflects this person and give him or her a name.

Three amazing things happen in your business when you nail down the specifics of your ideal client.

  1. You become a person of value, not a person of success.
  2. You become an expert in your field, and your niche market chooses you to do business with.
  3. You stop trying to look perfect, and you start being a real person who connects with others.

Here’s how I define my ideal client:

My dream client’s name is Mary. She’s 36 years old and married or with a partner. Together with her partner, she has a $250,000 income.

Her kids are under the age of 14, which makes her mornings tough. Getting the kids up and off to school while getting ready for work and taking care of breakfast and the dog — if only she lived a little closer to her work so she could take the public transportation.

She’s an attorney, and her clients are always calling day and night. When she gets to work, she has a limited lunch break, so looking for a new home would have to fit into her schedule; when was the last time she even ate lunch away from her desk?

She needs to exercise more. She’s torn on whether to get a condo or purchase the single-family home she’s dreamed of, but the ability to workout without having to drive far would really make a difference in her life.

Having a yard for the dog or a nearby dog park would really take some of the stress off of her caring for everyone.

Afternoons are the toughest: the kids are home, her husband or partner works a lot and she has to think about dinner. She’s thought about getting groceries delivered, but right now, she doesn’t even live in a place where those services are available.

She and her partner or spouse want to live close to the city, close to entertainment, where they can feel the energy of the area in the air when they walk down the streets.

Decorating — good luck. Mary doesn’t have time for that, but she often entertains friends, so a new home would need some quick decorating ideas for a low cost.

Mary really wants to get her kids into private school for their high school years but hasn’t done the research to find out what is available.

She’s at a loss as to how this entire homebuying or selling process is going to go with her life challenges, and she needs big time help.

When I am putting information out or marketing, I ask myself, “What would Mary like?” and “Would this serve her best with regards to her challenges in homeownership?”

Every post, social marketing piece, call to action, mailing, newsletter, phrase, blog, website and verbiage caters to Mary. It should address her needs, pain points, challenges and successes so that all the Marys of the world call me to list or buy her home.

With this method, there is no mystery as to who you are attracting because your content reflects this person and speaks to their heart.

As a real estate professional, my niche market chooses to work with me based on my content and my business projects’ value to my potential clients. And my posts resonate with them because they are personal and connect with their individual challenges in life, work and home.

To help you begin clarifying your perfect client, download this “Find My Ideal Client” Worksheet. You should also reflect this in your business plan.


  • Exactly where you received business from last year
  • Where you want to receive business from this year
  • How many people you need to speak to daily, weekly and monthly
  • Where you will market

Knowing who you are targeting specifically will save you time, money and frustration and make you more money if you put in the work now to find clarity.

Also check out “How to create a complete business plan in 60 seconds” by Parkbench.

Cheryl Spangler is the principal broker and co-owner of FORBZ Real Estate Group located in Alexandria, Virginia (serving Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Maryland). You can follow her on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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