Preparing For Different Kinds of Buyers: The Conversations You Need To Have

homebuyer conversations

Real estate is a people business.

And just as multifaceted and unique as the people are down your block, within your neighborhood, throughout your city – no two individuals and their housing needs are the exact same.


Everyone needs something different, wants something different, and can afford something different.

And if there’s one resounding truth to how you approach your day-to-day as a realtor, it’s this: there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to getting all of your clients exactly what they’re looking for at the end of the day.

However, every realtor needs that fundamental starting point. That knowledge base that helps to kick off the process and allows buyers to understand what may be perfect fits to their lifestyles and needs.

New parents may need room to grow into and high-ranking school districts.

Empty nesters may want a quiet neighborhood with high walkability.

It’s all about an invaluable dual approach: balancing our own community expertise, knowledge, and recommendations with the unique preferences and customization our clients require at their core.

And with this dual approach, we see the person behind the purchase.

We aren’t buying for a caricature or a dollar sign.

We’re buying for the relocators who are new to the neighborhood and seeking community and friendship before the start of the next school year. We’re buying for the long-time renters, the military families, the young professionals, and the best friends. We’re buying for the expectant downsizers, the first-time flippers, and the on-a-budget newlyweds.

We’re buying for those moving on up, moving on out, and those finally ready to settle down and call these four walls and plots of land their very own.

So let’s bring both to the table: our knowledge and preparedness as to their potential needs and an unwavering ability to listen and prioritize those things that are of the utmost importance to them.

And that all begins with how we communicate: the questions we ask and the personalization we offer.

So let’s break down just how to do that: how to prepare for different segments of buyers you’re likely to encounter and how you can blend your individual expertise with their unique wants and needs.

In this quick guide, we’ll cover:

The Power of Personalized Messaging

Remember when we said real estate was a people business? Yeah, we meant it.

And the fundamental aspect of people business? That’d be relationships for 300, Alex.

Building relationships – both professionally and personally – takes work. And it all starts with communication and the overall importance of message.

As a realtor, you’re a community expert. Not just in the properties and opportunities across your neighborhood but also in the people, lifestyles, and businesses that make your vibrant region the unique destination that it is.

Therefore, your communication should always be relevant and neighborly. Gone are the days of invasive, sales-driven, generic messaging. You don’t approach personal relationships this way, so why should this type of communication be the backbone of professional relationships?

It shouldn’t.

Looking for a map to guide you on community-driven communication fundamentals?

You got it with T.O.R.N.

T.O.R.N. Hyperlocal Messaging + Outreach

T.O.R.N. stands for Targeted, Outbound, Relevant, Neighborly, and regardless of what kinds of buyers you’re supporting, this approach could be the unlock to your next sale.

Not only is this strategy applicable to initial cold outreach and building your roster of leads, it retains necessity throughout each and every conversation you’ll have with your customers.

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Let’s break it down. 

T – Targeted. Be specific in who you’re reaching out to. In your initial outreach, leverage public record data and cutting-edge real estate tools to create lists of prospects that share core similarities, which will allow your approach to feel customized and non-generic. As you continue ongoing conversations with interested parties, make sure you’re narrowed in on the right houses and opportunities for them and their unique needs specifically.

O – Outbound. We promote outbound methods as they are not only cost-effective but can be highly targeted if done correctly. This can allow your messaging to feel personalized and greatly increase its chances of success. For initial cold outreach, remember to utilize an omnichannel approach for high visibility within your community. Phone, email, direct mail, and digital advertising are all terrific avenues to meet prospective customers where it’s most convenient for them. Conversation already started? Don’t sit on your hands. Have new listings to show? Be the first to reach out. Checking in? Pick up the phone. Haven’t heard back? Be the initiator of conversations in order to showcase your willingness to get the job done and get it done right.

R - Relevant. Perhaps the most important aspect of our acronym, relevancy equates to personalization. Meaning your questions, your suggestions, your recommendations will be thoughtfully considered with that individual buyer in mind. You want to strive for messaging perfectly suited to a specific recipient. You’re supporting them and their unique circumstances. Know your audience, find out what’s important for them, and use your background and the insights at your disposal to find the perfect solution.

N – Neighborly. This is the humanistic approach to relationships we need to continue to prioritize in the real estate industry. Always lean into kindness and empathy wherever possible. House hunting is hard! Moving – regardless of circumstance – is an emotional process (while we also know certain situations can make it downright heartbreaking). Separate yourself from those who only see the bottom line. Don’t be aggressive, and do take no for an answer. Be a team player in how you outreach and in how you nurture conversations through each step of the process. Consider how you can go above and beyond, how you can be a good neighbor, and remember to extend the kind of support you’d want back to your client.

How To Prepare for First-Time Homebuyers

Want to know how to support first-time homebuyers? We’re here to help.


First, let’s chat common traits and characteristics according to the National Association of Realtors:

  • Average age: 35 years old.
  • Average income: $95,900.
  • Average down payment: 8%.
  • In 2023, there were fewer married couples purchasing, with only 59% of total buyers landing in this category (the lowest % since 2010). Demographics on the rise? Single females at 19%.

Remember, the above reflects averages, not the whole picture. There are first-time homebuyers who will absolutely fall outside of these traits. This is simply meant to aid you in beginning intentional, targeted searches toward prospective buyers who may need your support.

Other defining factors to keep in mind?

  • First-time homebuyers will often be moving away from long-term rental situations and will have questions about financing, mortgage fundamentals, and the buying process in general. Our recommendation? Be ready with mortgage recommendations and step-by-step buying guides that your clients can refer back to. Not sure where to start? Check out our comprehensive mortgage guide and review our first-time homebuyer playbook. You can also review the N.A.R.’s list of first-time homebuyer loans and grants.  
  • First-time homebuyers may not have full understanding as to the importance of location, equity, and overall property appreciation. Step up with your expertise to provide education around features vs financials, and narrow down their wish list to better understand what they most want to prioritize for themselves and their family.

Looking for more information to help you succeed with first-time buyers? Check out our advice on winning big with inaugural purchases.

How To Prepare for Downsizers

There’s a lot more to supporting downsizers than simply looking for a smaller home. Many are looking for certain features and residences that can support them as they age. 

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  • Baby boomers and potential downsizers are often looking for comfort vs a project. Low maintenance is definitely in.
  • Extra storage, wide doorways, and walk-in showers also make the wish list.
  • One-story properties are a bonus, as are those that are near hospitals and doctors, as well as short distances from family.

Something vital to consider? The fact that many hopeful downsizers are actually stuck in larger homes due to tight inventory, high list prices, and skyrocketing mortgage rates. Make sure you’re not moving your clients at an inopportune time that will put them in a place of financial strain later.

If they are in a waiting pattern, consider tackling the following to-dos in the meantime:

  • Pinpoint the perfect property. Take your time to understand what your clients value most, compare against the trends above, and incorporate them into your search for reduced square footage. Looking for an outdoor garden? Check. Walking distance to the grandkids? You got it. And forget going door-to-door in desired communities. Use a data-driven lead generation platform, such as PropertyRadar, to create lists of preferred criteria and locations and get alerted when new homes that match become available.
  • Discuss their equity. Those looking to downsize may have ample equity within their current properties, which will allow them to more easily navigate the ever-changing market, regardless of current or future mortgage rates.
  • Be prepared to act fast. Inventory is still forecast to be tight in 2024, which means high competition from hungry buyers. With over 25% of houses still selling above list price in December 2023, you need to beat the crowds and move in swiftly with an offer when your client finds something they love. A tip? Make sure you’re expertly attuned to everything they’re looking for so you can jump at the right opportunities when they become available.

How To Prepare for Expanding Families

Expanding families are looking for a whole lot more than just more space. They’re looking to build memories and invest in functional surroundings.


Other factors of importance?

  • School districts. Be sure to note school ratings in their desired locations (elementary, middle, and high schools). If ratings aren’t the best, make sure to pull ratings for neighboring districts, as well as for private institutions and charter options nearby. While your buyers will ultimately determine the precise location that matters most to them, equipping them with this extra knowledge helps you go the extra mile.
  • Distance to family. It takes a village, right? Inquire about family addresses that are important to your buyers. Grandparents closeby? Want to be able to walk to your cousin’s house? Get all that information early so you can send personalized listings that fit the specific search radius they’re hoping for.
  • Bed/bath count. Whether your buyers already have little ones in tow or not, it’s best to ask for ideal home size early – and not make assumptions. Many families prefer siblings to share (or very distinctly, not share) bedrooms, so customize your search once you hear it from them.
  • Surrounding neighborhood. Check safety ratings for your search locations, as well as family businesses your buyers will leverage (pediatricians, dentists, grocers, etc.) Don’t forget to search distances to parks, sports fields, and weekend institutions, such as museums, zoos, and shopping centers.

How To Prepare for Relocators

Supporting relocating buyers means you are now the portal into their new community. Yelp can only take them so far, and they’ll be itching to know the best schools, top-rated businesses, and all of your recommendations.


How do you stay on track?

  • Narrow your search to neighborhoods close to H.Q. Many relocators move due to job change, so find out both where their new work location is and how close/far they want to be from it. Some crave walkability, while others prefer to retreat to the suburbs at the end of their 9-5.
  • Have neighborhood information handy. Just like with our expanding families, you want to know neighborhood safety ratings and school district ratings, as these may be a swaying factor for families unfamiliar with the area.
  • Make sure you know their unique interests. This way, you can make more tailored recommendations based on their lifestyles. Outdoor enthusiasts? Find the nearest hiking trails and natural parks. Sports fans? Find the closest stadiums.
  • Understand the environment they want. Remember – you’re a hyperlocal expert. You know the heartbeat of your surrounding communities. You know which are busy, commerce-central with plenty of dining options, and you know which are quieter and slower with more natural beauty. Find out your buyers’ interests and preferences here. And make sure to put your personal preferences aside in the process.
  • Key them into neighborhood groups and destinations. Make sure they know the Nextdoor pages and social media groups for their new neighborhoods, and point them to community destinations they may love (libraries, public swimming pools, parks, etc.) They’re doing more than just moving into a property here. This is their new community – and for many relocators – it can be a drastic change from what they know. Lean into empathy and help them feel in-the-know. Provide food recommendations and consider providing gift cards to local hot spots so they can begin to carve out new favorites.
  • Don’t forget new community rules. From street sweeping schedules to weekly tornado warnings, let us reiterate that not all cities operate the same way. Help your buyers feel less like outsiders and key them into the unique rules and regulations of their surrounding areas.  
  • Be their boots on the ground. From video walk-throughs at potential listings to helping your buyers navigate local movers and storage, you are most likely in their new community before they are. Take every opportunity to go above and beyond. Small acts of kindness such as letting in the property cleaners, arranging dinner on their first night in, to supervising movers so they can arrive in a furnished home – all this plays a part in future referral business and simply being neighborly.

How To Prepare for Flippers

Flippers can range from those seeking secondary property for the very first time to those thoroughly experienced fix-and-flip investors. The first step to personalizing your approach? Know which your buyer is.

Why? Experienced flippers may be open to bigger projects. This opens your search to include vacant homes, distressed properties, short sales, and foreclosures.


However, regardless of whether this is your buyer’s first or fiftieth flip, come prepared with the following:

  • Comps across desired neighborhoods. What have average homes sold for across the last six months? What’s the potential profit margin? How long have properties sat on the market? How much inventory is available nearby? What does demand look like?
  • Popular trends and in-demand features. While certain feature fads cascade nationwide (hello modern and farmhouse styles), some may be more optimal and appealing based on region. Outdoor showers in a beach town? Absolutely. Screened-in porches for Midwest summers? Oh yeah. Floor-to-ceiling windows to catch views of the sunset over nearby mountain ranges? Count us in. Understand what can be changed within a property and how that may positively impact value.
  • Questions on their desired outcome. Are they looking to turn this property into a vacation home? An Airbnb? A long-term rental? Sell for profit? Knowing this can equip you to give specific recommendations. For example, certain properties with high city walkability may offer better chances for short-term renters than homes deep within the suburbs.

You’ve Nailed The Conversation. Now Win With More Property Options

With the answers you need from your buyers, you can dive into finding them the perfect property.

How do you increase your chances? Be targeted and find inventory before anyone else.

An easy way to make that happen?

With data-driven lead generation solutions, like PropertyRadar, which offers expansive information on over 150 million properties nationwide. Better yet? Get neighborhood comparables, in-depth community information, and more to set up yourself and your buyers for success.

Another perk of this revolutionary platform? You can seek out targeted segments of individuals that fit into the above categories, kicking off personalized conversations to see if they need your services (which many definitely will). This helps you sneak by the competition in an already competitive market, winning opportunities before certain buyers have even considered looking.


If you already have a PropertyRadar account, you can follow the guidelines below to add the necessary criteria to your searches:

First-Time Homebuyers: "Search > Quick Lists > Realtor > First Time Buyers"

Downsizers: "Search > Quick Lists > Realtor > Downsizers"

Expanding Families: "Search > Quick Lists > Realtor > Move Up Sellers & Buyers"

Flippers: "Search > Quick Lists > Realtor > Flippers"

  • Looking for properties for your existing client flippers? Try any of the following:

    • "Search > Quick Lists > Realtor > All Foreclosures"

    • "Search > Quick Lists > Realtor > Preforeclosures"

    • "Search > Quick Lists > Realtor > Vacant Homes"

    • "Search > Quick Lists > Realtor > Potential short sale listings"

Relocators will primarily find you, so the best step you can take to attract this type of buyer is to cement yourself as the community expert within your region. How?

Excited to get started? We don’t blame you.

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