I’m a big fan of business planning. Over the years, many of my plans have begun on the back of a napkin and eventually grown into robust plans with goals, strategies and tactics.
As we look ahead to 2016, here are some strategic and tactical places I see opportunity.
First, think about specialization. This is particularly true when it comes to target markets. Understanding your clients, knowing what makes them tick and what their needs are will help you provide the type of personalized service today’s consumer is expecting. Here are a few target markets to consider:
Millennials. For instance, millennials are used to pushing a button and getting what they want. To that point, when searching for a home, Millennials were the most likely to use a real estate agent, mobile or tablet applications, and mobile or tablet search engines during their search.
And although the Internet was the top source of where millennials found the home they purchased (51 percent), they also used an agent to purchase their home at a higher share (90 percent) than all other generations. That means real estate agents need to be able to seamlessly integrate online service with offline, in person service.
Diverse Clients.Many of America’s diverse segments are hugely underserved when it comes to housing. Home ownership rates among Hispanics, African-Americans and Asian-Americans lag behind their Caucasian counterparts. Understanding the financial challenges facing clients with non-traditional income streams can help you counsel diverse clients to new loan programs designed to open the door to homeownership for this segment. Check out Fannie Mae’s HomeReady program.
Single Women. From young professionals to divorced to widowed, single women make up 16 percent of homebuyers, significantly outpacing single men. What are single women looking for when it comes to homeownership? Homes that are close to work, maintenance free, and in a safe neighborhood top the list. But they also benefit from your advice.
Baby Boomers. According to NAR, Baby Boomers represent 30 percent of buyers. What are they looking for? Baby Boomers are more likely to buy new homes to avoid spending time, effort and money on renovations.
In terms of demographics, over the next two decades, the number of adults 70 and over will increase by 91 percent. When they do move and/or downsize, many will move markets. Having a strong referral network will help you to tap into this market segment.
In all of these examples, the key is execution. Understand what makes your clients tick and then execute better than your competition.
When it comes to planning for success in 2016 and beyond, devise a path to get from point A to point B, then put a system in place to hold yourself accountable.
Whether you write than plan on a napkin or spill it into a spreadsheet, a it’s all pretty simple. Be deliberate. Make a plan. Work the plan, Stick to the plan.
Here’s to your success in 2016!
This post was originally published on ERA’s blog, Owning the Fence.