Why Targeting Matters
Successful agents in an unstoppable digital age realize that they can’t go after every homebuyer and every seller. But an agent who is able to identify and articulate the different niches they are expert in, has an increased opportunity for closing because audiences understand exactly what they offer.
The case for targeting
Because one particular property can be marketed so differently depending on its location (price, rules, quality of residents etc), agents need to be able to establish a target market that goes beyond just location. Not having a specified target market will result in an unmanageable CRM and pipeline, not to mention incur additional costs to sort out the fiasco of data. However, if the target market is too specific, an agent might struggle to find enough prospects who fit that criteria, therefore risking not meeting overall business goals.
Here are just a few different ways agents can start a targeted approach in their marketing.
- Location - Perhaps the easiest ‘niche’ to identify, and many agents want to be considered the go-to agent in their hometown or beyond. There are also those who would rather their expertise lie in certain neighborhoods that they themselves have grouped together - whatever the case may be, these agents take into consideration a number of factors, including what the local population or average homebuyer here looks like, whether the area is rural, urban or suburban etc.
- Developments or new projects -Some agents prefer to work specifically with new and upcoming developments, and their expertise lies in being able to provide prospective clients with value propositions for properties such as these, as well as past client testimonials who’ve crossed the finish line with that particular agent when it comes to new-builds or new apartments etc.
- Larger vicinity - An agent who works with properties across towns or even entire regions are those able to exhibit their tremendous knowledge of the area and its history, including historical market and property data. They’re able to pinpoint recreational, educational and business facilities in the region that are relevant to different home buyer persona profiles, depending on what they’re looking for.
- By Home Type - A lot of agents identify their target market according to the types of home they usually close, whether it be single-family homes, condos, apartments blocks, cottage or luxury residences. As can be imagined, the customer profile for each of these would have varying needs with varying budgets, and the digital agent is able to target their market accordingly. Depending on the type of home, the agent knows that their content, delivery, and marketing approach all have to be unique to that customer profile. The agent knows that an email drip campaign featuring a PDF map of the nearest elementary schools and parks would be better off sent to someone looking at single-family properties than a recent graduate who is looking at properties.
- By Age Group - And speaking of graduates, more and more agents are choosing to target according to age groups. Homebuyers have typically ranged from the millennials just above age 30 to Baby Boomers, but Generation Y and even Gen Z have now catapulted many agents to get in touch via social media campaigns. From websites to Youtube to TikTok, agents who deal in these areas are able to communicate not only on these platforms never considered before in the industry, but speak on topics that matter to the newer generations too, (such as eco-friendly lifestyles, home-office or ‘work from home’ capabilities, etc).
Targeting takes another form too, particularly in the wake of a pandemic that has compelled homebuyers, sellers and agents alike to move their activities almost completely online. For example, it was already reported a few years ago that people spend an average 35 minutes on Facebook every day, agents seized the opportunity to reach audiences there through Facebook Ads, and Facebook is also partly the reason why so many agents have ramped up quality video marketing and content copy in their ad and marketing campaigns, seeing incredible results. These endeavours only multiplied with the onset of COVID-19 in early 2020.
That said, in August 2019 Facebook launched Special Ad Categories, which restricted agents from those targeting options (‘age, gender, ZIP code etc), and they must now run real estate ads under the simple and inflexible category of ‘housing’. Although this hindered targeting efforts, many agents also saw some leeway as they still selected options under the ‘Interests’ category, which reveals different interests Facebook users have and may search for, including ‘starter homes’ ‘vacation rentals’ ‘Zillow’ etc.
Although it’s clear from this handful of examples that there’s no one way of target marketing, an agent who is able to demonstrate this area of their profession well will have an easier time convincing clients what they bring to the table, while agents themselves are confident that each listing has been analyzed to suit particular buyer personas as is necessary.