Are you working with just anyone, or do you have an ideal client or niche out there that you want to focus on? Simply put, what if you could make MORE money by focusing on a smaller number of potential clients?
As a REALTOR, you can work with anyone who walks in the door or sends you a lead. But If you’re working with any and all leads from the Internet, cold-calling and door-knocking randomly, you probably aren’t satisfied with the type of clients you’re attracting. And the client doesn’t like that process either!
INSTEAD, you could think about the type of client you’d like to work with every day – your ideal partner in the real estate process, and focus on them. For years, some of the most active and profitable agents have found that narrowing your focus and being a specialist (either in a niche, or to a certain type of client) can keep you busier and more successful than if you tried to be “everyone’s agent.”
So where do I start?
Start with an area
First, start with a geographic area. If you live in a large city with suburbs, don’t try to focus on the entire 1 million people. Narrow it down to a zip code, or a town. One agent can’t serve the whole city, so you shouldn’t try! It may be where you live or work, or it might be an area you want to attract clients in.
To do more research on the best neighborhoods to focus on, there are some great tools out there that you can use – even on your phone. In the USA, we recommend the Realtors Property Resource (RPR) neighborhood reports tool. This is a free tool for NAR members, and can give you some great insights into your market. Plus, you can pull reports and analytics that will help you be the expert in your area… the one with the answers when your clients ask about local schools, lifestyle, and demographics.
We’ve also had a few agents recommend Neighborhood Scout as another solid neighborhood reporting tool. What do you use to research your neighborhoods?
Once you’ve done some neighborhood research, it’s time to start drilling down to understand who your perfect client is.
We’ve found that asking yourself a series of questions about your ideal client is hugely helpful. Just saying “I want someone with a good credit score who wants to move” is not going to narrow an area down enough to give you a group of potential clients.
Think about who you enjoy working with, who you’d like to work with more, and who you relate to and connect with. Think about who will be a steady source of business to help you build your practice. The goal to keep in mind is a business built on referrals and repeats- not having to spend your time prospecting instead of focusing on what you love to do- real estate.
- What makes them happy? If you’re working in a small town, you might be focusing on families with children who want to be near good schools. They’re probably happiest spending time with their family, taking vacations together, having a fun and active life. If you work in a senior community, maybe having family come visit THEM makes them happy. Notice what types of businesses your ideal clients visit in the area you’re targeting. See what kind of search terms people use to arrive at your website. These will give you more clues. And your marketing should focus on ways to help your clients be happy.
- What are they worried about? With the small-town family, they may worry about job changes that would require a move before their kids are grown, or not having the finances to help them attend college. Seniors may worry about not having saved enough in retirement, or having to move when they aren’t ready. Think about articles or blog posts in your marketing that addresses their worries.
- What are their top 3 daily frustrations or challenges? Do they have long commutes, or are grocery stores too far from home? Maybe you can add information about how close important businesses/schools/parks/recreation is to listings on your website. Maybe even run an ad with advertising directly addressing those frustrations- like “Tired of commuting 2 hours from X to Y?! We’ve helped dozens of families live affordably, closer to work and with more time to spend at home.”
- What goals do they have? Would they like a vacation home, or a larger home? Are they trying to move to the city, or into the country? Address those needs.
- Is there a built-in bias to the way they make decisions? (Example: engineers =exceptionally analytical) Read more about this here: https://agentinnercircle.com/schools-of-thought-negotiation/
- Do they have their own language? Clients like doctors or lawyers do, and so do military personnel around bases. When you talk to them or send them mail, can you use the lingo they do? If you know your target client, communication in their lingo helps you relate to them.
- Who else is selling something similar to them, and how? How are other agents working, who are focused on similar types of clients? How can you both mimic and differentiate your services and marketing from those agents? A great way to do this is to look at how non-real estate related companies are selling products to these same people you’ve targeted and model your messaging in a similar way.
Once you paint the picture of who your client is, it becomes easier to speak to them directly through your advertising, marketing, mailers, and on your website. Keep in mind what they’re looking for, talk to them, and watch your number of clients start to grow.
How are YOU marketing to a niche or ideal client? We’d love to hear your ideas- please leave a comment below to start the discussion.
Want more information on marketing to a niche or client?
Read these three previous articles on Agent Inner Circle.
How NOT to try to be all things to all people, and make money in the process!
Becoming the go-to expert in an area:
Thinking about becoming a luxury home specialist?