- Find out if your service or product is needed
- Determine if the service is something people will pay for
- Research similar businesses and find your point of difference
- Regularly check your market research to stay relevant to your customers
The business idea
Nicole Jacobs loves buying houses and, as director of Bayside-based dux property group, she helps people find and buy their dream home. Her approach is simple – get to know the person or family first, get to know their dreams and vision and then match them to their home.
Sounds easy? Well, there's much more to it than that. Nicole shares her story.
'Almost ten years ago I worked for a large real estate agency and was placed in a role where I was responsible for looking after the buyers on auction day. I soon realised that the agency's real interests were with the vendors, the commission source, and not the buyers.'
Finding your market niche
'I initially formed dux property to support buyers at auction, but quickly established that the real value to my clients was a full service search. My market expanded again when I was referred to a Singaporean family wanting to purchase a property in Australia. From there, I uncovered an under-tapped market: the expatriates – those Australian families who've had lengthy work assignments overseas and are preparing to come back and need help locating a new home.'
Research the market size and business need
Nicole said research was the key to targeting the right customers. 'What I found, by speaking to families overseas and also to those who had already returned home that they really valued a customised one to one approach,' she said. 'The tyranny of distance made searching for a home difficult, even with the advent of online real estate services. My research included establishing what other providers were offering – which was minimal, and tapping into my professional network – to evaluate their observations and experiences.'
'I established my point of difference quickly (finding properties worth over a million dollars and providing a fully personalised service) over the first twelve months by researching the expatriate market (speaking to individuals), noting their specific requirements, including location and their demographics including previous living locations and job type.'
Nicole established what her target market and point of difference would be quickly. She made sure she knew as much as possible about the demographic and their requirements. She has now run a successful business for nearly 10 years.