Whenever you update your website, create a blog post, tweet something, or even write an email response, keep your target market in mind. While it’s tempting to think that everybody in your service area is your target, that’s simply not true. In fact when you market to “everyone” you really marketing to no one at all.
What’s a ‘target market’?
Think about how you decide to look at a webpage or site. Most of the time you’re looking for something specific.
If you’re like me and you want information about cats, you’re not likely to show up on a site dedicated to dogs or other critter.
If you have a kitten in your life, for example, you’re going to be much interested in a website that gives you information to make your life with your kitten more enjoyable. Cats kittens, dogs and other critters are all target markets – but only one or two or target you’re interested in.
Real estate target markets
People buying and selling real estate are exactly the same. They want to deal with someone whose interests match theirs.
That’s why agents get special credentials and/or specialize. The types of target market is in real estate include:
- Families with kids
- Couples without kids
- People who work at home
- Those who want or need to take public transportation
- Luxury home buyers and sellers
- Mobile home buyers and sellers
- Acreage buyers and sellers
- Those who want condos
- Those who want single-family residences
The list can grow and grow.
If you work in a large metropolitan area most of these market segments and many others will be available to you. There’s no way you could work them all well. There’s just too much to know so you begin to specialize.
On the other hand, if the area you service less densely populated you probably won’t have as many market segments to choose from. That may mean you can tackle one or two more than you might in the city.
If you’re in a truly rural area the kinds distinctions between segments is likely to be more about how the acreage is used then by resident type.
Choosing your target market
If you’ve been in real estate any length of time you already have a target market, although you may not recognize it. If you’re new to the industry will find yourself naturally gravitating toward one kind of client or property or another.
While it makes a lot of sense to choose consciously your target market, it may be more true that you’re likely to recognize it once you’re in it instead.
Exploring your target market
Once you choose to recognize your target market, which may be one or two or three segments depending on any number of factors, you want to dig in a bit. Do some research, starting with the Internet.
For example you might want to search Google for your target market adding your town or neighborhoods name like this: condos in City Heights, San Diego, CA
Or: single-family residences in East Portland, OR
Experiment with search terms until you feel you’re getting the information you want. You’re looking for general information and specific information and everything in between. There might be, for instance, some estimate of how many duplexes there are a particular neighborhood. That can tell you if that niche is large enough to be profitable. Ask for average prices – you may be able to get truly up-to-date information. Or there might be some geographic differences you need to be familiar with. Schools will be different in various neighborhoods serving various populations living in all types of housing. The same is true for restaurants, coffee shops and, it never hurts to know your competition, real estate agents.
Next, you might want to pull comps (a list of sales) for the niche you’re considering. You should be able to find out roughly how many mobile home sold in your area for instance in the last 12 months and their average price. That will tell you if the market is hot or slow or average.
Once I knew what kinds of property I was targeting I liked to draw up a character sketch on what I considered my ideal client or two or three. This is wholly made up, based only on my intuition, but I found it helped me be clear on my niche.
If you’re going to specialize in seniors your ideal clients are obviously going to be older than those were just starting families. If you speak a second language is could be you can make a business out of clients who also speak that language.
Once you have your target market or target client or target property in mind just make sure that whatever you do advertising wise or writing wise includes them – even focuses on them.
Knowing who your customer is and what they want is what target marketing is all about. It’s effective and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t take advantage of that starting now.
If you’ve got questions about target marketing ask them in comments and I’ll get an answer for you.