How much time have you spent identifying your ideal real estate customer? When it comes to real estate websites, the vast majority use a kind of shotgun approach to customer acquisition. The typical residential real estate agent wants to list homes and work with buyers too. When you can do both in one deal, it’s a party.
If things are going well, why worry about the “perfect” or ideal customer? You may be just fine with your deal volume, maybe even overworked a bit. However, if you’re not, or if you could make some of your deals easier, why not do it? Consider what one vacation area broker/agent realized about himself that changed his business dramatically.
This broker found that he really didn’t like working with sellers, as in his area they didn’t have to sell, as it was a vacation home market. They frequently wanted to overprice their homes to see if a sucker would show up and pay the full price. When this didn’t happen, they complained a lot and took a lot of hand-holding to get them to reduce their prices to market level to get the sale.
He also found that he really liked working with focused buyers from out of the area. The more analytical they were, the better. He found that this group, often business owners or professionals, didn’t want to be hauled around to see a lot of houses. They wanted to do a lot of online research from their homes, only wanting their questions answered promptly via email.
On average, he showed three or fewer homes when they actually made a purchase visit. What was the result of this research? He quit listing and redesigned his website with content focused on information for out-of-area analytical buyers. He did fewer deals at higher prices, a nice improvement in lifestyle.
The purpose of the story is to point out that coming to a realization about which customers work best in your market and for your business can change your approach, and it doesn’t have to be that dramatic. It can be just focusing more on website content and calls-to-action that will appeal to this ideal customer.
Do the Research
Get out the files for as many of your past deals as you can and do an analysis of your client/customer in each deal. If you’re a big lister, then it will be sellers, but maybe you’ll find a pattern in the area, price range, or some other characteristic that is common to many of them. It can even be a personality type that you seem to work well with to get the deal done.
If buyers have been your biggest income-generators, are there other common characteristics that are common to your successful deals? Perhaps you’re a great hand-holder and first-time buyers flock to you because you are helpful and patiently work with them through as many showings as it takes.
It's Not Just About Money
In your analysis, think about your attitudes toward each customer/client. Who was fun to work with, versus which were difficult or caused you to dread meetings or showings? Though price ranges and commission amounts are a piece in this puzzle, if you find that a specific customer type has been more desirable and easy to work with, you may find that you’ll do more deals anyway because you’ll be more enthusiastic about your client interactions.
Adapt Your Content
You may not find any “magic” ideal customer, but often you’ll find patterns that seem to make some more desirable than others. If so, take a look at your website content to see how you can add to it, change some of it, and even change calls-to-action and lead generation strategies to appeal to your ideal customer group.
It’s a business decision, but it’s also about quality of life. If you can enjoy your business more by focusing on certain customer types or deal types, you’ll probably increase your income along the way.