Real estate folklore would have you believe that it’s a property’s location that matters most to would-be purchasers.
But the reality is that owners and developers of strata residences looking to sell their property are likely to find more success by investing their time in identifying precisely who their target market is, rather than promoting their property based on its proximity to the nearest restaurant strip or beach.
Nick Martin, creative director at Perth-based architectural visualisation studio Screen Age, has spent considerable time researching property buyers and he believes there are five different target market personas, all of which have very different needs when it comes to the fundamentals of the property.
The first is the first home buyer. Typically aged between 25 and 34, they have an average loan size of $345K. One in three of them are single and 90% of them and two in ten of them are looking to purchase medium density housing.
In terms of general traits, Martin says first home buyers are tech savvy, have a strong sense of community, are environmentally and health conscious and work from home regularly. In terms of what they are looking for in a home, an outdoor entertaining space is important as is an affordable location and a home office space.
He says the best way to market to first home buyers is to use “refreshingly honest” copy and focus on word of mouth as generally speaking they like to seek advice from family and friends.
“They digest large amounts of info at a time. It’s important to make sure your content captures their attention and keeps it.”
The next category of home buyer is young professionals. Typically aged between 25 and 45, 42% of them are in a domestic relationship. While 80% of them have a tertiary qualification, six in ten of them will move home every five years, Martin says.
The general traits of this group include the fact they like to be able to access the newest technology, are masters of multi-tasking and typically seek out low maintenance homes. They enjoy the finer things in life but pay for it with long hours at work.
This category of home buyer likes apartments and townhouses that are stylish and are on trend but which require little maintenance. They prefer having access to a rooftop garden and shared health and gym facilities.
Martin says the best way to market to young professionals is to be authentic and promote the low maintenance issues of the property. “They like convenience and are willing to pay for it,” he says.
Upgraders is how Martin describes the third type of home buyer. Typically aged between 40 and 59, they are predominantly family groups and are the largest property buyer demographic.
They have busy daily lifestyles involving work/school, drop offs and sports. A clean environment is important to them as is a reasonable level of security.
Typical items on their checklist include a requirement for lots of space – families need space to grow into and for all the family members to have their own space to live in; outdoor space for kids to play; a bath for those with younger children and a parents retreat to escape to when it all gets too much, Martin says.
Upgraders are busy people so the best way to market your property to them is by ensuring you’re using their time efficiently, he says.
Martin says the next group of buyers, which he categorises as “high end buyers” are generally aged between 40 and 60 and have high incomes with little or no mortgage. They are well educated and a high proportion are business owners or entrepreneurs.
Martin says the traits they share is that they usually own multiple properties, travel regularly and research their purchases thoroughly before committing to buy.
He says high end buyers usually look for quality, integrity and value for money when seeking properties to buy. They enjoy luxury design and finishes and enjoy originality when it comes to the type of home they seek.
The fifth and final type of homebuyer Martin refers to as downsizers, empty nesters and retirees. Aged between 50 and 75, they typically have a budget of between $1.5 million and $2 million to spend. Eight in ten of them will have paid off their mortgage entirely.
Martin says this group of homebuyers are time-rich and motivated by positions of prestige, are self-assured and independent, and often have young grandchildren or adult children who enjoy visiting. They are highly competitive and have a strong work ethic.
When looking for a home they are typically drawn to properties that are single storey or have elevators, are convenient to shops, cafes, public transport and medical facilities and have a spare room for family and friends to stay in.
When looking to sell your strata residence to this type of home buyer, Martin says the worst thing you can do is remind them of their age.
“Older generations prefer traditional media such as newspapers, television, radio and print to be marketed to. [Whatever you do] don’t tell them that they’re old – they will not appreciate this.”
All these groups have very different needs when it comes to the fundamentals of the property. Martin says understanding the desires of your target market will go a long way to ensuring you find the right buyer for your property.