The 5 Characteristics of an Ideal Client

We’ve all heard that to sell more real estate, it is important to define your niche. Who are you going to work with or who are you going to target?

The 5 Characteristics of an Ideal Client

While there are several obvious target markets (new construction, targeted subdivisions, seniors), what I’m talking about here is bit more than that. Specifically, I want you and your agent to define your team’s ideal client.

There are five characteristics that you should consider when determining who your ideal client is:

  1. Age – is your ideal client first time buyers, seniors, or somewhere in between?
  2. Location – do you have a geographic area that you know best or how far is too far to list a house or show property?
  3. Condition – do you prefer newer homes, or will you list older homes as long as they have a pre-inspection? Do you want to show homes to buyers that need a lot of work and help those buyers find vendors to do the work, or do you prefer to show move-in ready homes?
  4. Finances – does the seller have enough equity to reduce the list price if needed? Do you prefer working with buyers who have no money to put down, or conventional buyers?
  5. Motivation – do you prefer working with sellers who clearly have to move and are convinced of that? Do you prefer working with buyers who are committed to buying and not just willing to buy but only when the right house comes along?

Take out a piece of paper and determine for each characteristic the person you ideally want to work with every time you help someone buy or sell real estate. Do this for the ideal seller and ideal buyer.

As an example, for us, our ideal seller has the following characteristics:

  • between the ages of 30 and 55
  • the home they are selling was built after 1978 (this was an easy number to remember because in our state we are required to fill out a lead paint disclosure if the house was built before 1978)
  • if the home was built before 1978, they are willing to get a pre-inspection and do the necessary repairs
  • home is located in Kansas City North
  • they have enough equity in the house or cash in bank that they can move on the price
  • they are willing to do the recommended staging and repairs
  • they are willing to price it right
  • they are selling this home and buying another with us
  • they have an email address and are willing to sign electronic documents

We do try our best to stick to the criteria we have set for ourselves. Approximately 75% of our clients fit this model. The hardest one of these criteria to meet is the one that says they will sell and buy with us. We have clients who move out of state and aren’t buying in our area.

50% of our listing appointments sign a listing agreement. That’s because the other 50% either don’t meet our criteria (so we choose not to work with them) or they choose another agent because we aren’t willing to compromise on something like price or condition.

Then, your job as the assistant becomes holding the team accountable to following the guidelines for the ideal client. If someone wants to take a client that doesn’t fit the guidelines it had better be for a very good reason. If your team only takes listings within a 20 mile radius of your office and someone wants to list with you who is 30 miles out but they are buying their next house within your radius then maybe that’s someone you consider making an exception for. As you make exceptions, write those down and justify why you did it in writing. Over time, you will tighten your criteria and your team will be working with more and more ideal clients than ever before.

What about you? Post your ideal client criteria for buyers and/or sellers in the comments. Are there any other criteria we should be considering?

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