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Evaluate Century 21 West side’s Approach to identifying their market. Is this approach appropriate in the real estate sector?
The approach used by the company in identifying the market is that they first define the areas that they have to focus on. They also consider the other factors that influence the decisions of homeowners about where to settle and when to purchase new homes or move to different locations. They therefore keep in mind factors such as government policy, financial assistance, income, as well as interest rates. In light of this, they consider the price of homes to determine affordability in different neighborhoods in order to identify the suitable market for different areas.
The company focuses on two aspects of the market by locating sellers of houses in the various areas and people who want to buy houses. Century 21 West side focuses mainly on the people that are looking to sell their houses and spends more effort in marketing to this group than to the potential homebuyers. This part of the marketing strategy is beneficial in ensuring that the business does not lack the sale or rental property required by the market. Identification of the market also works by defining the different demographic composition of the areas the company focuses on. This relies on how well they define the characteristics of the population in terms of their work, income, education levels, and average age (Haire 2009).
The company also focuses on describing the characteristics and profiles of the different sellers in Australia. This is based on the amount of time that people have lived in a house and the likelihood of selling the house to move out. The people living in a location are divided in terms of the amount of time and the company focuses on collecting this information in order to determine the people that they have to concentrate on as potential sellers (Madden-Hallett).
Another major aspect of the market that is used in identifying the market is the reason for their movement in the different areas. The distinction between those moving due to lifestyle reasons and those moving for reasons of profit becomes very important in the real estate market. This is because it determines the price that they are willing to pay for the house or what they will accept for the house they are moving out from. The company has realized that most of the home sellers in their market are those moving for lifestyle as compared to those moving for profit. This makes it possible for the company to find people who have the ability and are willing to pay high prices for houses in their preferred neighborhoods. Issues of savings and retirement benefits also come up in the market analysis (Madden-Hallett). The accumulation of assets for this demographic coupled with the fact that they do not have sufficient retirement savings. This makes it important to focus on this market because of the difficulty in convincing them to sell their houses if it is not their idea to sell in the first place.
The company uses this information and traits about the different segments of the market in order to determine the most effective marketing strategies for that market. This also informs the decision of the promotion strategies that should be used such as the sports teams or magazines. This company is mostly a service-oriented business as opposed to commodity oriented. It is involved in the provision of consultation for people willing to sell, as well as acting as agents for the sale of the property. Identification of the market involves definition of the people’s profile in the area and promoting the services to the population in order to get feedback from the interested customers. The approach used in this case is a personal one. This allows the agent to communicate to the potential seller directly and focus their efforts based on the customer’s specific needs. The personal approach is highly appropriate in the real estate sector, because it enables the agents to determine the needs of the customer and raise the bar to their needs. This also differentiates the market by breaking it down into profiles in order to prospect the customers and increase the chances of getting new clients. Marketing in the real estate sector also requires a community focus in terms of the community’s family profile.
Community profiling in terms of whether they have children and the number of children is important for the company in determining the potential of the real estate market in a community (Pryce and Oates 2008). Family profile is a very important aspect in the real estate market because it determines how well the market fits into the available housing units. It is also essential in enabling the agents determine how they can renovate or refurbish the houses in order to fit the market needs. Market awareness is also an important part in identifying the market. The agents stay aware of the changes in the market in terms of the need for quality, movement in prices, as well as perceptions of homeowners about the real estate agents.
The actions that the company should take in addressing the issues of customer perception of untrustworthiness in the real estate agents
Customers view real estate agents as being some of the most dishonest people in the business world. This is because of their tendency to hide information about the value of certain properties while escalating the value of others in order to increase their commission or profits in sales. This perception can be dealt with by providing a platform for transparency in the company. This is facilitated by availing important documents used in the valuation of property to serious clients of the company in order to gain their confidence. This will aid the clients in verifying the accuracy of information conveyed to them by the agents (Walkley 2005). This will have a big impact in changing the perception of clients about the honesty of the agents because of their ability to verify the information.
The company can also focus on arranging meetings for exhibitions and viewings between the potential buyers and sellers. This strategy will enable the buyers and sellers to exchange information about the properties on sale to determine the accuracy of information given to them by the agents. This also shows the clients that the agent has nothing to hide by allowing the buyers and sellers to interact. By using this strategy, the customers will have trust in the agents because they will also realize the goodwill among the agents. This strategy is built on allowing a culture of transparency in the company. The company can also involve a policy of availing all documents that the customers want to enable them appraise the properties (Haire 2009). Transparency among the agents will also be a proper way of improving the perception of the customers.
The real estate business also requires focus in terms of the marketing and promotional strategies utilized. The agents have to be specific about the market traits as well as their ability to handle the market and client needs. This way, the agents are specific about the focus of their strategies and provide information that is essential to the clients. This means that the agents have to foster a culture of telling the truth about their customer base, their margins, and their ability to deliver positive results. The real estate agents should focus on providing services to clients in a way that is satisfactory to them. Ensuring that they deliver the promised results will be very beneficial in improving the perception of customers about their trustworthiness. This also leads to a business approach that is customer oriented. It will be important in proving to the customers that they are interested in more than their profits or commission, but the customers’ satisfaction and happiness is important to them. The customer approach is one of the successful key aspects in any service business. Showing the customers that their needs are important to the agents enables the customers to trust them easily. This will reduce instances of agents persuading clients to sign deals that are detrimental to the clients for the agents’ sake. They will be looking into the needs and benefit of the client in the deal as opposed to their commission, which will make the customer needs paramount to them, thus improving the customer trust in them (Bailey 2012).
Professionalism is another strategy that can be used for dealing with the public perception about the real estate agents. This can be achieved by reducing the cases of publicizing their honesty or accuracy. They should market their skills in the market and let the clients determine their trust level based on their experience with them. This presents a scenario where the agent does not market himself as being honest or trustworthy instead the company should market its excellent negotiating skills, large number of buyer, and high sales margins (Haire 2009). This puts the company above the rest in the industry in terms of performance. Good results for the clients will result in word of mouth marketing for the company as the satisfied clients will refer their friends and close relations to the company due to the quality they received.
Professionalism also dictates that the clients should get the truth, even if it is not attractive to them. In this case, the company should insist on its agents being professional about the news they deliver to the clients, even when it might drive the client away. Therefore, honesty and integrity have to be core pillars of the company in order to promote the culture of trust in the clients towards the real estate agents. The agents also have to be presentable and approachable to the clients in order to enable the clients present any queries they may have about what they want to buy or sell (Walkley 2005). Professional maturity is also required in order to ensure sincerity in their work, especially when clients present queries that may harm their prospects. If the company wants to deal with the issue of public perception about the honesty of real estate agents, it has to ensure that its focus is on customer satisfaction before profits. This is the main strategy that will result in alignment of other aspects of the agents’ work such as their professional maturity and honesty in the provision of information.
How else could a real estate agent use e-media to promote the use of their services to buyers and sellers of residential property?
A real estate agent can use e-media by providing information that the clients require about the real estate market in their area and country. This will be essential in showing the ability of the agent in profiling the market and understanding it adequately. Buyers and sellers will be more confident to use the services of the agent, since he has shown a high level of understanding towards the needs of the market. Provision of such information will also be beneficial for the agent because the potential customers will be able to view the list of services provided by the agent (Walkley 2005). Therefore, buyers and sellers of residential property will be more likely to use the services provided by the agent after gathering valuable industry information from their web site.
Real estate agents can also utilize other forms of communication such as social media and blogging to promote their services in the market. This provides a platform where the public and potential clients communicate with the agents on a real time basis. This platform enables the agent to provide the potential clients with valuable information upon their request. This can be segmented by having different places for potential sellers and buyers. By responding to specific questions from the public, the agent will be allowing the potential clients to gauge his ability to meet their needs. This also enables the agents to determine the needs of the market in order to develop products that respond to these needs.
Another way of using e-media for the promotion of real estate agent services is the use of popular web sites to post advertisements about their real estate business and their services available from them. This will attract a large pool of people that use the web site for other activities. Although this approach may not be specific on the people it attracts, the web traffic in the popular web sites acts as a large pool of potential clients that the agent can harness. By advertising their services and providing links to their web site in the advertisement, the company will attract people to their web site at no cost or obligation. They can also be allowed to download forms, service lists, and other important documents from the web site to help answer their questions.
Real estate agents can also involve aspects of online shopping in their e-media for their services. This will involve enabling the potential buyers and sellers to post their properties and personal contacts in order to make their offers public. This platform would require verification from the real estate agent before the posts could be made public for sellers. Buyers, however, will be allowed to post their advertisements on the web site in order to attract potential sellers, thus increasing the number of people using the services of the real estate agent for purchase and sale of residential property. It would also be beneficial to provide a tour of the available units for sale on the agent’s web site. Providing a virtual tour of the residential property will be essential in providing the required information to the buyers about the suitability of the property for their specific needs. Information on similar properties, changes that can be made, and other essential reports can be provided during the virtual tour. Providing this information to potential buyers permits them to make informed decisions. E-media can also be used as an avenue for spreading the word about the services provided by a real estate agent. The agent can gather the email addresses of clients and potential clients that visit the office. Then the email addresses are used as recipients of monthly or weekly newsletters containing what the agent has on offer. The emails can also be used as an appeal for the recipients to refer their friends and other relations to the agent if they were satisfied with the service. It can also act as a platform for collecting feedback on the quality and satisfaction of their services to the clients through forms attached to the newsletter.