The truth is I don’t actually refuse clients. I just don’t actively go looking for them at times.
Some time ago I read “The Four Hour Workweek” by Tim Ferriss. It introduced me to the Pareto Principle which I have written about here before. The premise of the Pareto principle is known as the 80/20 rule. The majority of your profit in a business comes from 20% of the clients therefore you need to find more of that type of client and fewer of the remaining 80%. So how do I choose them?
1) I am not interested in clients who are looking for high mortgages. The banks in Spain are not giving mortgages except on their own properties. It’s a fact. Get used to it. Therefore there is really no point in chasing a sale when there is no way of getting the finance. If a client comes over with the finance already in place in their own country then that is OK but I want proof first.
2) What’s the price? My business is divided into different areas. I have four core markets. The first are those people who want to buy a house outside Valencia. The average price is around the 200,000 Euro mark usually without any form of mortgage. Therefore the houses on the site reflect that demand. And because the houses reflect that demand then we get more clients coming onto the site because they find what they are looking for.
The next are those who want to buy an apartment in Valencia. We concentrate on attics because most clients want outside space. Therefore there are lots of attics on the site and guess what? That means we get more people coming to the site who are looking for attics because they find what they want. The average price of these is around the 200-250,000 Euros mark.
I work in the national market too in a tie in with a large portal in the UK. If you want anything anywhere in Spain then we can find it. The idea is to develop www.spanish-property.net to make this much more active.
Lastly I have certain contracts in place with companies in different countries who send me their clients. These clients are cash buyers looking to get repossessed properties and bargains for investment purposes. Therefore we have arrangements in place with banks to scan their listings for decent properties that come up.
If the client is not in any of those groups then it is unlikely that they will find what they are looking for on the site so there is self selection going on right from the start.
3) Is the client ready to buy? Some people come on reconnaissance missions while endeavouring to sell their property in their home country. I give them a different experience to those looking to buy now. It is more of a tour, get to know the area and drill down into the possibilities rather than taking them to individual houses. The reason is that I wouldn’t want them to fall in love with a place that they cannot subsequently buy because their sale hasn’t gone through yet.
4) Has the client watched my videos on the Valencia Property YouTube channel, read the blogs on here and signed up for the mailing list? If they have then they are much more prepared for what awaits them when they get here. This means we don’t need to waste time going through the minutiae of the sales process because they are already familiar with it. They already know about the area, the amenities, the problems, the issues and what to watch out for. This pre-preparation is a huge time saver. When a client first gets in touch they are directed towards those resources.
There is also a huge benefit post sale by doing all of this prep work. The clients after buying are not dependent on me. They are much more ready to live their life here because they know much more about the area.
So how do you get more of your ideal client coming in through your door, real or virtual? And can any of these techniques be applied in your business?