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The Platinum rule for real estate service – simple yet usually overlooked

The simple platinum rule

Know your customer. Care about your customer. Give your customer what he/she wants. This seems so simple, but it is the single most important rule in any business, including real estate sales. It’s not just golden – its platinum. It is also one of the most forgotten or ignored tenants in business.

When agents or businesses get busy or are in “innovation mode,” many turn their focus internal. Priorities shift from the client to things like: What part of the region do I like to work in? What times do I want to go on tours? And, what technology can I implement that makes my life easier? While short-term personal benefits can be achieved by addressing these concerns, it is a very dangerous road to go down.

When confronted with a decision – big or small – I force myself to take a step back and ask how my client (or prospective client) will be affected by it. How am I helping them? The process starts well before I ask myself this question, though. Here is a little window into how I work to make sure I always put my customers first, and how I believe this helps me optimize our brokerage for success.


Who are your customers? Write down everything you know about them. Build a profile that includes age, income range, relationship status, geographic area, home type, interests and more. You always have outliers here, but try and capture information about your core customers.

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What drives your customers? What factors do they base their decisions on? What external forces to they deal with (Financing? School systems? Job commutes?) What internal likes/dislikes to they deal with (Style verses substance? Large space verses luxury details – or both? Need good parking or high walkability scores)?

Target your customers:

Where will you find the people you have detailed above? How will you connect with them on their turf? Make sure to focus specifically on the profile you have built for your core customers.

Position yourself:

How can you enhance your skills and service to meet the specific customers you have detailed above? What can you improve to enhance your service for these customers? Once again, make sure to focus specifically on the profile you have built for your core customers.


Focus your efforts on what you do best and on the people you serve best. Try and avoid the noise and distractions of trying to serve everyone. Don’t spend time on customers that lie too far outside your “sweet spot.” You may miss a deal opportunity once and a while, but if you stay disciplined and focused, you will earn several more deals in your “target zone” that more than make up for opportunities you pass on.

The bottom line is that the better you know your customer the more effectively you will serve them and the happier they will be. Happy customers mean more business.

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Written By

Hoyt David Morgan is an entrepreneur, angel investor and business strategy leader. He is an investor and/or adviser to a handful of exciting and high growth companies, and has been a part of several high-value exits. He is passionate about customer experience, smart business and helping innovative companies grow... and sailing.



  1. Greg Cook

    September 29, 2011 at 8:29 am

    Hoyt, you nailed it! or as Guy Fieri says: "it's money".
    Good news is the internet provides us with so much information
    on what clients want, where and how there looking, it's "shame
    on us" if we don't take advantage of it.

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