Who Are Your Customers?

Craig Proctor

Actually, the real question you should be asking yourself is who SHOULD your customers be? In other words, what target market will enable you to do the most profitable business?

Many agents never think of asking themselves this question. If you asked them what their target market was and how they determined it, they’d probably answer something like: “My target market is buyers looking for a home and sellers looking to sell their home”, but as you’ll see, this isn’t nearly specific enough.

The fact is, if you run the kind of direct response marketing I teach, you will generate prospects, but not all prospects are of equal value to you. Some are qualified and some are not. Some are motivated and others aren’t. Some, quite frankly, will be a complete waste of your time and will end up costing you (not making you) money.

So who should you be targeting? How can you determine ahead of time which prospects will be worth your while and which others will consume you?

Simple. You do some simple research that every single one of you has access to: the MLS.

You see, determining who you should target with your ads is not a subjective matter. Before you waste your money on ads, use the MLS to find out which prospects are both qualified and motivated, and select ads that specifically speak to the things that you know are important to them.

The great thing about our industry is that the statistics available to us are very organized and objectively documented. Each transaction that goes through your board is documented, so if you do a quick search on your MLS over the past 30 days, you’ll be able to determine exactly what is selling (i.e. price range) and where (i.e. neighborhood).

Think of yourself as a store owner. A store owner needs his/her inventory to turn quickly and profitably if they want to stay in business. It’s no different for you. By finding out which neighborhoods and what price ranges are moving, you can choose to fill your pipeline with buyers and sellers that match these criteria by placing ads that attract them.

When I first started out in the business, I didn’t know the first thing about target marketing. The ads I ran (besides being ineffective) were haphazard at best and certainly weren’t crafted with a specific target in mind. Here’s how arbitrary my marketing was at that point. I remember that my very first listing was on a street called Erin Road on the other side of town. While it didn’t make any objective sense, that’s where I chose next to drop flyers and postcards, thinking maybe I’d get lucky twice. I also decided (arbitrarily) to plaster my own neighborhood. Not surprisingly, these efforts didn’t work well for me because they were highly subjective.

Some agents I talk with tell me that they’ve decided (arbitrarily) to target upscale, million dollar homes. While there are fewer of them, selling one would be a real coup as you could imagine. But if these homes aren’t turning over – if they’re not selling in the current market – does this selected target really make any sense?

Before you select your target market, you must do your homework – not simply throw a dart at the wall. Find out which neighborhood(s) and which price range(s) are doing the most business and zero in to get the right buyers and sellers to contact you. Use both the name of the neighborhood and the specific price range in your ad to call out specifically to these prospects and you’ll be on your way to building an inventory of buyers and sellers that will profitably build your business.

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