Understanding Your Client Base and Why It Matters

March 17, 2022
BY Rebecca Gillis

For a real estate agent, your client base is ultimately your most important asset and it’s vital that you have a very clear understanding of what your they need.

Whilst on the surface, your client base is homeowners or property investors in a given area, it also extends to other industry professionals such as builders, developers and even referral partners.

Your job is to do your very best for the person who is selling their property and it’s equally important to do justice to anyone who referred you that work. The first step of being able to do your best for a client is to understand them and their needs. In order to do so effectively, it’s important to have a broad understanding of what your typical client might look like.

Demographics

Understanding demographics is more than simply where your clients are located. It’s about understanding how the age, gender, and lifestyle of your clients and potential clients affects their real estate behaviours. Furthermore, it’s important to note that as these demographics change throughout a person’s life, their preferences will also change too.

Some locations are very well suited for new families and first home buyers, while more established suburbs typically lend themselves to an older demographic. These groups of people will be selling their property for different reasons and it’s important to understand what those reasons are. Some great examples of these reasons are up or downsizing to suit changing family needs, relocating for work, or simply upgrading.

As an expert in your field, you will have noticed that some areas lend themselves to more investor activity, rather than home ownership which is often the case in various unit markets around the country.

It’s important to make the distinction in your area as that will largely dictate how you relate to people and also how you market to them. Your messaging should be in keeping with what the demographic in that area needs.

Given that your best success is found by excelling in a niche, your database needs to reflect active buyers who are looking for the type of product that you are selling. 

Motivation

After establishing a broad understanding of your client base, it’s then necessary to move down to more client-specific motivations.

Regardless of the type of area, people will be selling for different reasons. That could be because of the natural lifestyle of the property they are in, among many other reasons.

Perhaps the client has fallen on hard times financially and needs to sell quickly. Maybe they are going through a messy divorce. Perhaps someone inherited a property, and they simply want it sold as quickly as they can because they can’t afford the costs associated with it. Or they could be an owner-occupier in no hurry to sell at all and simply want the highest dollar amount possible and will wait until they get their price.

Whatever the motivation, an agent’s role is to understand what the client needs and wants are, and then you have to formulate the best marketing plan to do that for them.

At the same time, the faster you can get a clear picture of what the problem is that the client needs to be solved, the quicker you’ll be able to address it. This will help build rapport with the client and it could be the difference between winning the listing in the first place or missing out.

Level of Understanding

A sales agent’s role can be complex at times and is often far more involved than just sales and marketing.

Both buyers and sellers often need their hands held throughout the entire process and it’s that level of understanding that will separate the good agents from the rest.

The vast majority of business in real estate is done through referrals. While some come through business partnerships and referral partners, a lot still comes by word of mouth from other people you’ve either worked with or come into contact with over the years.

The more thoughtfulness you can put into each property sale and more importantly, each encounter you have with a would-be vendor, the better your results will be in the long run.

This might be something as simple as building a relationship with an underbidder who missed out at one of your auctions or helping a client who’s just sold their property to find movers or tradesmen for their new property.

These small things are not always going to win you business in the short term, but they add up over time and reflect that you truly understand your clients and the problems they face.

The better your understanding and the more thoughtful ways you can find to both reach out and help them, the better your business will be in the long run. And best of all, it’s a win for all involved.

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