Understanding your marketplace

It is essential for any business to understand the market that it is operating in.  As a real estate franchise, having a comprehensive knowledge of both the needs of clients as well as the activities of your competition could place you in much better stead to provide a superior service and improve the success of your agency. 

The first place to start in understanding your market is to conduct research.  This purpose of this research will largely be to determine how best the needs of your clients can be met.  You should be looking to answer questions such as whether or not potential clients exist, how such clients could be reached effectively, and what types of service touches they are looking for.    

The research should also consider the competitors that exist in your marketplace.  By understanding who these real estate agencies are and how they operate, you could be able to determine what changes can be made internally to set your agency apart. 

There are a number of ways to conduct research.  The best place for a real estate franchise to start will often be to actually get out into the community and talk directly to your target market.  This can be done by hosting a focus group where open discussion about real estate agencies is encouraged, and also by sending out a survey to people in the community, perhaps with some kind of incentive to respond. 

By asking questions such as, “What services do you expect from your real estate agency?” and “If you were to decide to sell your house right now, how would you go about choosing an agent?” in both an open forum and survey context, you could discover some quality insights about how to better satisfy your clients. 

There are also a number of methods to analyse your competitors.  Have a look around different agency websites and try to get an understanding about their specialties and points of difference.    It can also be helpful to look at the different types of advertising that other agencies use, and the varying promotions that are undertaken. 

There are a number of market research companies that exist who can be employed to conduct the necessary research for you.    However, given that conducting interviews and talking to your community could actually lead to new business for you, this option may not be the best one to go with.     

Once you have all of your research, you are then ready to analyse the market and your position within it.  You may find that speaking to people in your target market can open your eyes to new ways of doing business that you had not previously considered.  You could also see that you have some distinct advantages over competitors that your market needs to be made aware of.  Either way, the information gained from doing some market research can definitely allow your real estate franchise to prosper. 

 

Posted by George Tarbey on 22/07/2010 at 9:26 AM | Categories:

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