Know Thy Target Market

Jan 11, 2017


Beautiful micro-homes for sale! Nobody really needs a full-sized dining table anymore. Never mind that you have four kids and a huge extended family. And that oversized tub you love soaking in is a water-wasting monstrosity compared to our efficient stand-up shower. Walk-in closets? Pah! Minimal is the way of the future…

Sound ridiculous? If you’re not in the market for a micro-home, it absolutely is.

Segmenting your target market for your real estate development is crucial. To help people make real estate purchase decisions is to assist with one of the most significant spends of their lives, whether it’s a first home, an upgrade, an office space or a ski condo. It would be nearly impossible to sell someone on a product that doesn’t make sense for their specific needs and wants. The most spectacular marketing campaign will turn heads, but during the sales process, those curious people will drop off if they aren’t qualified. With an investment as significant as real estate, campaign messaging needs to speak directly to those who are right for the product.


Targeting Your Target Market

How do you nail down your target market? Who are these so-called “right” buyers?

A development is a significant investment, and it is critical that you spend the time (and yes, money) to properly collect and analyze relevant data to maximize your success. Here are a few key strategies.

  1. Hit the streets: Do not underestimate the importance of primary research. Hit the streets and talk to locals for research direction. There might be local nuances you aren’t privy to, or unexpected insights into different groups to target or avoid.
  2. Conduct a focus group: While slightly more costly than merely chatting with people, a focus group can be an excellent, low-cost method of collecting qualitative information.
  3. Survey locals: A more formal survey of people in your project’s neighbourhood may be a bit more costly, but it is an accurate, quantifiable, and extremely valuable tool to help you zero in on your precise target market.
  4. Use existing brainpower: Take advantage of the time and money others have already spent on research to understand market segments. Ensure the research is current (real estate changes quickly!) and from a highly credible source. For example, Verv surveyed over 1,000 North American Baby Boomers regarding their real estate needs and wants, and wrote a book about it. You can and should take advantage of these valuable insights – email us at to get your copy.


Reaching Out

After you’ve analyzed all the data at your disposal and identified your target market(s), how do you reach those specific individuals?

  1. Fulfill a demand: Product is the number-one consideration. Build what there is demand for – plain and simple. Is your location pedestrian-friendly but limited on square footage? Maybe your target market doesn’t own cars, and you don’t need a parking lot. Are the buyers environmentally conscious? Maybe every parking stall needs an EV charger, or maybe sustainable energy sources are the way to go. Does your target market currently own large single-family homes with full-sized furniture? They’ll need more square footage in key areas.
  2. Focus your marketing: Your marketing and sales efforts must be highly focused. What media does your market respond to? Where and when will they see it in their daily lives? First-time buyers might want to follow the project on Instagram, or read a free daily commuter paper. Targeting snowbirds? Your ad could be effectively displayed in airports during key travel months. Perhaps a well-executed guerrilla campaign will start a conversation among the right audience. Don’t be afraid to get creative with ad placements; real estate marketing can surprise and delight, too.
  3. Motivate your market: Your target market may need a little extra motivation to convert, through value adds or price discounts. If you’re trying to reach buyers who don’t own cars, try offering a car share membership and some free driving time as an incentive, or throw in a bicycle. Just make sure that your efforts are relevant to your market segment.

Real estate is a significant investment for all involved. Don’t let your project fall flat by assuming everyone will love your product. Successful segmentation gives rise to a successful project.

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