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Success requires continual evaluation and improvement of every aspect of a business, including marketing. Let’s go over the following 4 steps and think about your business practices related to marketing, including:
• Step 1: Identifying your clients;
• Step 2: Developing your niche service;
• Step 3: Understanding what your clients want; and
• Step 4: Communicating using your website.

Disclaimer: This information is based upon personal experience and advice of the author, and does not represent other viewpoints. Some of it will be wrong for you. Most, we hope, will make sense and will trigger great ideas to apply to your business.

Let’s go to Step 1.


Step 1: Identifying Your Clients

We know you have clients. But who exactly are they? Identifying the type of clients that your business serves will provide great benefits to your business including:
• Focusing your marketing;
• Saving time, money and resources (particularly when all three are in short supply); and
• Attracting ideal clients.

In order to focus efforts, a business must identify its target market. Maybe you’ve never thought about who your clients are. Think about it now. If you don’t know whom to target, you’ll be wasting time, money and resources in your efforts to gain new clients.

Look at the illustration. Your target market is a large group of people your business desires to serve. Your clients are a subset of your target market. Your clients are located within your target market. They are the ones who use your services.

Do you know who your clients are?

Let’s assume your target market is made of homebuyers and their real estate agents. Let’s go over some statistics about your target market and see if we can identify whom your clients are.

Statistical Data

According to statistics provided by the National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyer and Sellers:
• Homebuyers took 12 weeks to find a home;
• Homebuyers saw 12 homes before finding their new home;
• 30% of all homebuyers are 25 to 34 years of age;
• The median age for a first-time homebuyer is 30;
• The median age for all homebuyers is 39;
• Median age for repeat buyers is 48;
• 47% of all homebuyers are first-timers;
• 53% are repeat buyers;
• 1 in 5 homes purchased were of new construction;
• 90% of homebuyers used the Internet to find their home;
• 84% of REALTORS® use social media to some extent;
• 87% used a real estate agent to find their home;
• 81% of all homebuyers would use the same agent again;
• 77% of all homebuyers drove by and found their new house;
• 61% did a walk-through online;
• 59% used a yard sign to find their home;
• 46% used an open house to find their home;
• 40% used a newspaper ad;
• 26% used a home book or magazine;
• 84% of buyers reported the photos to be the most useful information;
• The number one action taken after viewing a home online was to drive by or visit the home; and
• 62% of first time buyers reported that the primary reason for buying a home was the desire to be a homeowner.

Let’s use some of that data to identify who your clients are, then we’ll be able to adjust how your business can effectively market to your clients.

Your Target Market

Based upon the statistics, we can make a general description of the typical homebuyer. The typical homebuyer is:
• Young; and
• Either a first-timer (47% of homebuyers have never purchased a home before) or a repeat homebuyer (53%).

Where Are They?

Almost all homebuyers (90%) are using the Internet to find their home. And 87% of homebuyers are with a real estate agent.

Therefore, a home inspection business should be directing a significant amount of marketing (including time, energy and money) to:
• Their WEBSITE that appeals to young, internet savvy, first-timer and repeat buyers; and
• Real estate AGENTS, who have loyal home buying clients.

Look at the statistics (above). If you’re running a print ad in a book, magazine or newspaper to grab the attention of a prospective homebuyer, you’re wasting money.

Ask Yourself:
• Is your business directing its marketing towards that target market?
• Why would a real estate agent refer their loyal clients to you?
• Is your website appealing to young, internet-savvy homebuyers and real estate agents?
• What are you offering to young first-time homebuyers that will compel them to invest in your services? What needs and desires of young homebuyers are you clearly demonstrating via your website that you can fulfill?

So the critical point is to think of your website and how effective your marketing efforts are, and we’ll talk more about websites in Step 4.

By identifying your target market, you reduce wasting time and money marketing to those outside your market, people not interested in the services you have to offer. Identifying your target market allows you to more easily attract potential clients who are looking for what you have to offer.