As a business, an estate agent’s revenue stream could be categorized as a penalizing model, in other words, this means that as one property is sold, the estate agent keeps moving on to the next one to sell – always starting from zero.
However, this penalizing model could easily turn into a residual model over time. By following the flow below, an estate agent has a wealth of opportunities to keep selling property to his or her original customer.
It has been said that on average a person moves their home every 7 years which is reasonably supported by the changes taking place during their life cycle.
Probably, the first time someone leaves home is in their late teens when they go off to study at a college or university. Here, they’ll either live on-site or share digs’ or, if they are very lucky, have their first apartment paid for by their doting parents.
Once they’re through with their studies, hopefully, they’ll start working and naturally need accommodation. Some people will carry on living at home, but many more will want to have their independence. So once again, they may share an apartment with family, friends or colleagues or rent their own space or buy their first apartment. Being their first step away from home, they make their first ‘home’ purchase, this is usually a small space.
The next phase in their life is living with a partner which requires more space to house the growing hoard of things that are being collected as more disposable income becomes available. A condo or duplex apartment is likely at this stage.
And then… a baby arrives… and another one! Definitely, more space is needed to house the nursery and visiting family members offering their baby-sitting services for the children. Now, the family has moved into a house with at least 3 bedrooms, all the amenities and a garden. During this phase, as the family grows in size and age, space becomes a priority once again. Besides, the interior continually needs updating. So, what to do? Building additions and alterations are always an option, but maybe, moving to another house without the hassle of building is better.
As the career paths broaden, the family may move away from their original environment, even abroad.
With or without economic downturns, it is becoming increasingly common to find a property with a ‘granny flat’ to accommodate the aging parents. Here, the parents sell the original family home and contribute to the cost of buying the larger property with the ‘granny flat’ to still keep their independence.
But, the life cycle continues… suddenly, all too soon, the kids have flown and left the nest where the parents rattle around in too much space. If the parents don’t move in with their children, it’s time to down size! By this time in life, the person no longer wants the hassle of mowing a lawn, maintaining a garden, cleaning a pool and all that goes into maintaining a free-standing home. So, off they go to a gated compound or estate where everything is taken care of for them, including their security. Here, they still keep their independence with a ‘lock up and go’ lifestyle.
Finally, into a retirement home… where we’ll leave this life cycle there!
With so many Customer Relationship Management (CRM) packages available today, it’s easy to keep track of customers with the changes taking place in their lives. Fields can be created to cater for all the changes in a customer’s life cycle with filters to produce the required information.
The most powerful tool in marketing is a database filled with opportunities to make sales. Social media has made it even easier to connect with customers on a daily basis… naturally, you have ‘friended’ all your customers on Facebook… haven’t you?
By an estate agent ‘keeping in the face’ of a customer, during the changes taking place in their lives, shows the customer that the estate agent is interested in them. This generates trust and the first person the customer will think of when it comes to investing in property again is their caring estate agent who has been diligently staying in touch with them.
Opportunities arising for the estate agent…
- Study phase: rent or sell an apartment.
- Single working phase: rent or sell an apartment.
- Partner phase: sell a condo or duplex apartment.
- Family phase: sell a variety of homes.
- Ex-pat phase: JV with an international estate agent group.
- Down size phase: sell a property in an estate or sell a larger property with a ‘granny flat’.
- Retirement phase: find them a place in a retirement village.
Contact Fran to learn how to set up a simple matrix as your Action Plan.
Fran Piggott is an entrepreneur, a marketing strategist, a keynote speaker and author of ‘Turning Hot Ideas Into Money’. She has mentored over 200 business owners and marketing managers to apply best practice, proven techniques and strategies that will help them to grow their sales – making their businesses sustainable; and hopefully recession proof. Fran now puts back as much of her knowledge and experience to those who want to learn from her success… and also her mistakes!
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