Who is your ideal client? Everyone, right? Wrong. Here’s why honing in on your target audience is crucial to killing it in your market and how to make sure you’re doing it right.
Whether you’re a rookie agent, a rising team leader or an established veteran broker, we can all benefit from sharpening our skills. Follow our “Back to Basics” series to learn fundamental strategies, tactics, philosophies and more from real estate pros across the industry.
Ask yourself, who do you want to sell to? Well that’s easy to answer: Everyone! Why wouldn’t I want to sell a home to each and every single person out there?
Although it might be your goal to become the top salesperson in the world reaching every potential buyer out there, no entrepreneur or company has broken into the marketplace without starting out focusing on a very specific niche audience.
Being a jack of all trades but a master of none will prevent a salesperson from “making it.” Some of the most successful companies started off by focusing on a very targeted audience and grew from there.
Facebook, a platform basically designed to attract every human in the world to join and connect with others, was first started by Mark Zuckerberg as a platform for just his classmates at Harvard.
By building notoriety and success within a highly targeted audience, Zuckerberg was able to build his business through the lessons learned from his users on a micro scale before expanding.
That’s why honing on your real estate target audience is crucial to killing it and having long-term success in this industry.
1. Know your audience
To execute any plan to success, you’ll need to clearly identify who that target audience really is. Get very specific. The more specific you get, the easier it becomes to execute that plan, as each strategy will be tailored to that audience.
In an Inman article titled, “How to identify your target market,” contributor Than Merrill suggests that identifying your target market is more about focusing your efforts than excluding those who don’t fit your criteria.
He suggests the following steps to figure out who’s in your target market:
- Evaluate what you currently offer
- Look to your current customer base to identify common threads
- Figure out what value you can offer your clients
- Identify who (from the entire area you serve) would benefit from the services and value you provide
- Adjust your existing marketing plans to cater to the needs of those people
- Identify the audience your competition is targeting (because knowing what’s out there can help you identify an underserved niche)
A well-tailored marketing plan fitted for your audience will show much higher success rates. Take the time to research who your clients are, what their interests are and how those consumers are reacting to present market trends.
As hard as you try, you’ll never sell salt to a snail, so know what your client needs. By keeping up on market trends, you’ll be able to predict the behavior of your audience.
All the research in the world won’t be worth a cent if we don’t talk to our clients and get their input on the products, services and marketplace. So take every opportunity you get to ask clients about your service, whether it be via survey, email or face-to-face conversation.
By gauging the feedback we receive from our clients, we can further improve the effectiveness of our marketing and services. Talking to people is free. It’s the execution that costs. Communicate with your audience as much as you can — and pay attention to their praise and criticism.
3. Know their pain points
Your whole approach needs to be built around what you are doing to solve your clients’ problems. Your service needs to scream to your consumer how they can’t go on without what you’re providing. If your target audience sees that, then your job is done.
A simple, yet effective, method of showcasing your prowess over your target audience’s problems is through content marketing.
For example, if you realize that your niche is first-time millennial homebuyers, you might write blog posts on tips for first-time homebuyers, the top apps for house hunting and the best home loans for young buyers who might not be able to put down a 20 percent.
Creating video content on the same topics takes your efforts a bit further because video allows our audience to know, like and trust us before we meet in person. Whichever route you go, be sure to address your audience’s pain points, do it consistently, and promote your efforts across your online marketing channels.
4. Social media
Ah, it’s getting old. Social media is basically the answer to everything these days. But we’re in real estate, and our clients usually first message us because of a home’s photos or our positive reviews online, or even a referral, so when clients search your name on Facebook, Instagram or Google, their first impression better be a positive one.
Clients will want to see well-polished, professional, engaging content while at the same time seeing that you’re active. Sure that’s work, but that’s how modern-day advertising works.
Years ago, agents would have to buy physical print ads, billboards and signs to try to reach their consumers. Today, you don’t have to physically venture out to the consumer; they come to you by looking you up on any social media platform. Make it worth their search.
Your target audience will never consist of everyone. By trying to reach everyone, you’ll miss the chance to effectively capture smaller segmented markets. Study and research who your market is, and learn the intricacies of their needs and wants.
Pay close attention to the feedback you receive because that’s the most efficient learning tool us salespeople have. Use social media to your advantage. It’s free, and you can control what your consumers see. You’ve chosen the audience you’re focusing on, now make sure they’re focused on you.