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Getting More Clients with Targeted Marketing

October 29, 2018

Colin Marcum


"If you market to everyone,

then you market to no one."

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You will see this statement paraphrased in multiple versions, but its root is based on the phrase, “If everything is important, then nothing is.”   The premise is that you will achieve better results, in whatever you undertake, if you focus on a select, narrow avenue of issues in which you can concentrate the lion’s share of your efforts. This applies to the real estate industry as well. This article covers the discussion of differentiation when selecting a niche audience of potential clients, as opposed to everyone in the State of Oregon, will net you more clients overall.


In speaking with other Realtors, I have asked them which particular areas of this industry that they focus on, or that they are more skilled at servicing; short sales, FHA and VA home loans, commercial real estate, investments, etc. For many a common replay goes something like, “Oh I don’t have a focus, I handle all types of real estate transactions.” The underlying feeling is that by being open to as much business as possible that you will, in turn, get more business... which couldn’t be farther from the truth.


The purpose of a business is to provide some form of value to a customer. A restaurant provides value by offering prepared meals, a gym provides value by creating and maintaining workout facilities, and a tax office provides value through tax preparation assistance. What do we provide? We provide subject matter expertise in the real estate industry. We provide agency to support clients in the processing of their particular real estate needs. We, like every other business, solve their problems; their pain points, when they need them solved. And when they need a solution, they will go to the individual or business that can best solve their problem at an expense commensurate with the value they look to receive. The more important an issue is the more they will be willing to pay for a solution that provides them the greatest value possible.


In simple terms, people will pay more for better service when it is important to them, and for many, since real estate is one of the biggest expenditures of a person’s life, then most will seek out the best Realtor for their specific needs. Would you say this is generally true? If you your answer is yes… how would they know it is you?


The reason why ‘marketing to everyone is marketing to no one’ is because people that need the services of a Realtor are looking for specialized solutions to their particular problems.

  • They are being foreclosed upon and they need help from someone experienced in both the foreclosure process, as well as financing options to save them; i.e. short sales and lease options.
  • They are looking at utilizing their VA home loans and they need help in identifying suitable leaders and ancillary benefits that can be awarded to Veterans by both the Federal and State Governments.

They are looking for someone that can help them, and not someone that can help everyone. Your competitors, who have already focused on specific niches in this industry, will have tailored their messages to your potential client, and if they are more effective in showcasing that they can solve their pain points better than you, then they will pay for your competition’s services instead.


This is not to say that being a well-rounded Realtor, one able to conduct multiple types of real estate transactions, is a bad thing. I am only saying that if you desire to increase your client-base, you need to focus your marketing efforts on a specific audience; a niche. Once you have identified that need, then sell yourself as the consummate expert, better than the rest. So what do you do first?

How To Market Effectively?

There are two actions that you need to understand in order to get the message to your target audience. One is through the construct of your message, how it is differentiated, in order to establish that niche message. Second is the way in which you deliver that message so that your target audience can read it.

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Message Development

To reference Joe Pulizzi, a content marketing expert, he provides four questions that all marketers need to ask themselves in the process of developing a message.


Who- Deciding on your target audience is the most important step. By identifying who your audience is, you will be able to tailor a response specifically to them in order to both draw their attention and provide them a solution to their specific problem. The more detailed the demographics of your message the more you message will speak to them.


  • Location: Portland, Salem, Coos Bay, Corvallis, Bend, etc.  You can further break it down to more specific neighborhoods or school districts if you believe that the market is large enough to warrant specification


  • Status: Seniors, Veterans, college students, working class, single parents, etc.  This help develop a connection with the audience, and helps you determine their unique backgrounds.



Why- Why are you generating this particular message? For most in our business, it would be a ’call to action’; i.e. “call today for a free consultation” or “click the link below to learn more” and through this you get them on the process to eventually engaging with you. How do you believe it would be best for them to act? While the younger generations may prefer internet-based engagements if trying to generate senior action then focusing on having them “pick up that phone and dial...” may be your best bet.


Outcome- Can the audience determine whether or not your message is valuable to them? Does it solves their pain points, and makes them value your service? They already know how what they need, and now they know that you can provide it to them. Win-Win.


Replacement Factor- This is a validity check on your part. Is your message important to your audience? Do they need you, based on your message, to find a solution to their need/pain/problem?

Message Avenues

Which avenue is best to get your message to your target audience? That depends on how your target audience is most apt to digest information.


Websites- The most prolific and effective method to use is by developing your own website tailored specifically to draw your target audience. Through the use of search engine optimization (SEO) techniques such as keyword density, landing pages and inbound/outbound links, your site can be shaped as one of the top results on internet searches. When someone types, “Realtors in Corvallis, Oregon that help veterans” into Google they will find, aside from mortgage companies, ORVET government websites and paid advertisements, a handful of Realtors whose personal website, or their landing pages, have populated the first page of the search results. For many of these sites, they either identify that they are Realtors that specialized in helping Veterans, or have been Veterans themselves, operating in or around Corvallis. By focusing on a specific target audience, you can tailor your site over time so that you appear on the first page of search results and increase traffic to your site.


TV/Radio Commercials- Though becoming less prevalent, older generations still frequently use TV and Radio as one of their primary sources of news and entertainment. As a result, a tailored message during paid commercials slots will be able to reach this particular audience. You will need to assess the size of the population you wish to engage, the stations that they frequent, and the times they are most likely to be listening in order to make the most of your advertising dollars. The stations themselves are likely to assist in helping you to determine this since they require your patronage in order to keep themselves funded, and want to ensure that you have a successful advertising experience.


Meetings/Events- Certain audiences; such as investors, contractors, property managers, and other Realtors, are likely to attend various trade shows and investment group meetings. With either a member/vendor fee, or for free, you can attend these shows and meetings and begin expanding your network. Packets with flyers, business cards, and other marketing material that sell your brand should be on hand in order to pass out to these potential partners and clients. Separate packets for investors, contractors, etc. will be important because you will want to craft messages specifically for them. Remember the four questions of message development.


Direct Mail Marketing-  Old fashioned and still effective. Now that email is the ubiquitous messaging method, direct mail has become a more viable option since less businesses are using this method. Choose your market and message. The right message received at the right time is GOLDEN.

A Target Market and Target Audience Is Important

While these suggestions are limited and don’t encompass all the potential tactics you can employ to draw clients to your business, I do hope you see the benefit of narrowing your focus. Clients are looking for an expert for a specific purpose, and they will search for you, using their preferred means available, based on criteria that will satisfy that purpose. Even if you can satisfy their real estate needs, they will never know unless you are able to get that message across to them. And to do this that message needs to be developed specifically for them, and delivered to them on a medium that they use. Without doing this, your services will be lumped together with all other Realtors that haven’t tailored themselves to the needs of the client’s specific demographic and pain points.


You can still do everything, but market as if you were made specifically for the needs of certain clients...the clients you really want to work with and are well versed in. You may get better results!



Additional Sources:


Pulizzi, Joe- “If Your Content Marketing is for Everybody, It’s for Nobody”

Christman, Courtney- "Niche Marketing 101: 4 Advantages of Marketing to a Niche Audience"