Until mid-May, the real estate market was still described as vibrant, bustling, and highly competitive before it hit the mid-May housing market meltdown. Mortgage rates spiked to the highest level since 2009, which led to real estate market activities coming to a halt.
- Step 1: Don’t cast the wide net; find your real estate niche
- Step 2: Reach out to your ideal clients. Strategically.
With homebuyers becoming increasingly cautious in a real estate market that’s cooling down, listings that have been on the market for way too long can end up being on the market for even longer. If this is your concern, then this read is for you.
A good marketing strategy is crucial to get in front of the right buyers as soon as possible. Your job is to help YOUR target audience achieve what they set out to do. In times of uncertainty, it is also your job to help them strategize and navigate a shifting real estate market.
In this article, we’ll discuss four tips you can use to find your ideal customers in a real estate market that is no longer as hot as before.
Step 1: Don’t cast the wide net; find your real estate niche
Buying and selling a home is a personal choice highly dependent on one’s economic context. A market slowdown doesn’t mean a halt on all transactions. What it means is that there are still clients for you. But you need to know how to reach them. Before reaching them, you first need to know who they are — your ideal clients.
Identifying your ideal clients early on is the cornerstone of an effective marketing strategy and the key to success. Not everyone in your audience will resonate with your services or offering, and that’s okay. It’s more important to find the ones who find your services valuable and are ready to engage with you.
That’s right. Instead of casting a wide net and hoping for the best to happen, you only need to focus on a handful of the right ones.
Here are some of the real estate niches to help you find your ideal (and favorite) clients:
Types of buyers
There are different types of buyers in the real estate market. Understanding the needs of each segment will help you determine the best approach to reach them. The most common segments include:
- First-time homebuyers who are looking to buy their first home. This segment made up 31% of homebuyers in 2021. The first question for many homebuyers in this segment, usually based on affordability, is: will this property be a starter home or a forever home?
- Luxury homebuyers who typically already own at least one property and are looking to purchase multiple properties — whether as a holiday home or as an investment.
- Property investors who are buying properties and selling them at a profit once a property gains value.
- Commercial buyers who are often business owners seeking to purchase commercial properties to run their business operations.
Types of sellers
On the opposite side of buyers are the sellers supplying the market with their properties. This segment also exists in various types, including:
- For sale by owners (FSBO) who are selling their properties on their own without engaging any agents. Many owners engage with help upon realizing the time or resources needed to sell a house.
- Home flippers who are purchasing run-down homes to renovate and sell at a profit.
- Multi or single-family investors who own homes to use as rental properties are seeking a representative to represent their rental portfolio.
- Sidelined sellers who are waiting out the current market situation before listing their properties for sale.
It’s all about location, location, location when it comes to buying a property. The quality of the neighborhood, job convenience, and the overall affordability of properties are among the top factors influencing neighborhood choice.
It often makes sense to be an expert in one local area or neighborhood when searching for your ideal clients. As you gain more listings within your niche location, establish yourself as the expert for potential online and offline clients.
Depending on where you’re based, you may be able to narrow your niche to attract a specific type of clientele based on their lifestyle.
Before establishing yourself as an expert in these niche areas, ensure you deeply understand the information and factors related to the amenity you’re focusing on. Help your potential clients by providing them with the critical information they need about the property. For example:
- Farmhouses for buyers who seeking properties to focus on growing their agriculture.
- Lakefront properties that are located along the shore of a lake and have a view of it.
- Ocean front properties for homebuyers who are seeking to settle in along the coastline or purchase a property with access to the beach.
- Mountain homes for buyers seeking to purchase homes built within or around a mountainous area.
There are many different property types available on the market. Listing or marketing all of them is equivalent to casting a wide net and hoping for the best.
Your best bet in finding your ideal clients is choosing a category with enough inventory to complement your focus. Some of the property types include:
- New properties in which buyers favor purchasing to avoid renovations or plumbing/electricity issues.
- Previously owned properties that have better value and overall price as well as more charm or character over new properties. Previously owned homes also made up 85% of home purchases in 2021.
- Single-family homes that sit on their own land. This property type makes up 80% of all homes bought in 2021.
- Multi-family homes with multiple units in a single building. Bear in mind that some markets have more multi-family properties than others, and are easier to attract the right clients you’re looking for.
- Vacation homes, usually with the aforementioned exterior amenities, are in areas that see a lot of visitors or travelers throughout the year.
- Condominiums and apartments that are individually owned residential units in a building.
- Commercial properties with buildings or units that are solely for commercial use, such as offices, warehouses, and retail units.
Each property type has its own pros and cons. Understanding what’s desirable for your audience puts you ahead of the game.
Step 2: Reach out to your ideal clients. Strategically.
So you’ve figured out your niche. Now what?
Figuring out your niche and finding your focus in the real estate market is only step one in reaching your ideal clients. Knowing who your ideal clients help determine the next steps — How.
Present your listings in the best possible light
Not all sellers have cash dedicated to renovations and repairs before selling their property. But even a tiny effort in decluttering, organizing, and cleaning can go a long way. A clean space gives buyers a better chance to envision the new home’s potential.
When searching for properties for sale, approximately 97% of buyers use an online website for information regarding their home search. The visual elements you use are integral in attracting potential clients online. Always use a professional photographer to take pictures of the property.
On top of that, buyers also view an average of nine houses during the home search process. It’s no wonder it’s stressful and can easily lead to decision fatigue. Therefore, the more information you can provide without adding a mental load, the better. Simple floor plans like the one below are great for providing as much information at a glance.
Monitor seasonal trends and data
Data is just a bunch of numbers and words that go into a report if you don’t know what to do with it. But nothing speaks louder than data with a good analysis. Here’s what we mean:
In 2021, April 18-24 was the best week of the year to list a property as it sits in a season of a fast-paced market and high buyer demand. This date range selection resulted from analyzing listing metrics from 2018-2019.
While it’s tempting to think that this trend will continue for years, the real estate market has just hit the brakes in May 2022 — things change fast!
The best way to strategize and navigate continuous changes is to put on your analytic cap and keep a firm eye on the market trends and data. Then, execute your plans when the time is right.
Build relationships with your target audience, both online and offline
Focus on building long-term relationships with your clients. They are more than just another dollar sign. A potential but ideal client that may not be ready to buy now is still an opportunity — either for the future or as a referral to the people around them.
Grow your reputation by adding value to the target audience you want to serve. Understand their desires and help make their real estate dreams become a reality. Personal references build trust faster than that paid advertising campaign you’re thinking about.
Good knowledge of the housing area and the niche you’re specializing in is crucial in setting a solid foundation for your reputation and your listings.
Take courses or pursue a certification in your niche market once you’ve identified the area to specialize in. One of the best ways to stand out from the competition is to be knowledgeable about your niche and establish yourself as an expert in the area.
The most successful real estate professionals aren’t jacks of all trades. A niche area helps you stand out from your competition and puts you in front of the right audience—your ideal clients—early on.
As a reminder, your ideal clients make up one of the cornerstones of your marketing strategy. To succeed, you first need to identify who they are and where you can find them. Then comes the second step, reaching out. For that, it’s crucial to:
- Present your listings in the best possible light
- Monitor seasonal trends and data
- Build relationships with your target audience, both online and offline
- Get necessary credentials
With thousands of real estate opportunities, identifying your ideal customers will allow you to strengthen your brand, focus your marketing efforts for maximum return, and add value to your clients.
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Using different apps for floor plans
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