ASK AN AMBASSADOR: How Do You Find Your Blogging Niche?

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Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com SAL.2002007747

find your nicheASK AN AMBASSADOR: How Do You Find Your Blogging Niche?

If you haven't read Bob Stewart's post on blogging niches yet, stop and go read it!  Bob does a great job of explaining WHY niche blogging can do great things for your business.

Niche blogging is the way to gain an edge in your local market by providing information the big sites can't and don't, and instead of being one of 6000 agents in your local market in the generic category of buying and selling homes you can make yourself THE ONE they have to call because you're offering something special and they can only get it from YOU!  And a solid niche post built to be evergreen can significantly outperform "generic" blog posts. 

While patio home aren't the ONLY type homes we work with (we do "regular" homes as the biggest part of our business), the niche has been a significant addition to our business, in 2015 accounting for 8 of 19 closings and two new construction homes on the books for 2016.  It took a bit to reach critical mass, but we've got more active and semi-active buyers looking for patio homes and other low maintenance housing than we've ever had.  If there were more homes on the market for sale that actually matched our buyers' needs, our sales numbers would have been significantly higher for 2015.

So how do you find your blogging niche?  For us our choice came straight from buyer needs.  An out of state buyer couple that wanted to buy a patio home and we quickly found they were NOT easy to find.  Little to no information on the web, our MLS has no special designation for them (so they might be under Condo OR Single Family Home), basically it was a bit of a scramble to find patio homes for sale.  We DID find one for our buyers and they're pretty happy with their home.  But that transaction was our light bulb moment.  Our niche had been identified and key factors for us were:

  • Demographics & Demand (baby boomers want low maintenance housing)
  • Type of Buyer (not first time buyers, but experienced buyers with no issues with financing)
  • Lack of agent competition  (While there are agents that live in patio home communities and do well in their own community, there doesn't seem to be anyone that has taken it outside of their community)
  • Barrier to entry  (the lack of an MLS category means other agents have to WORK to find patio homes.  Most won't, so that means the years of digging and exploring we've done (and continue to do) gives us an information advantage unlikely to be matched)
  • Price point (patio homes aren't starter homes, so they typically sell ABOVE the median price for our area, so selling patio homes is a productive use of time when working with buyers). 
  • Opportunity (there are enough patio homes bought and sold in our market to make it worthwhile to pursue the niche)
  • Geography (are your target homes within an area you can adequately cover?)

While we can't say these are the exact and only criteria to use for selecting your blogging niche, we think taking these factors into account can help you select your niche. 

Bonus tips to help your niche blogging work:

  • Concentrate your material (for us that means we have an ActiveRain Outside Blog dedicated ONLY to our patio home posts, our other posts are on our main AR blog and another AR Outside Blog).  And we have repurposed our blog posts into pages on our Wordpress site complete with custom IDX search pages. 
  • Decide where you want your traffic to go and push it there!  For us, that means our WP site with the custom searches.  Buyers LOVE easy to use home search!!
  • We do withhold SOME information from our sites, otherwise every non-specialist agent could go to our sites and find out all we know.  We keep some information in reserve for clients and make that known on our sites.
  • Leverage other social media.  Cross post to Facebook, use Pinterest to pin your posts, etc.  Again, drive traffic where you want it to go.
  • Learn enough about SEO to be dangerous!  You don't have to be a guru, but understand the basics so your niche posts can be found.
  • Write enough to make the odds of you being found improve!  This isn't a write 5 posts and expect to be done type of activity.
  • And don't forget a call to action!  Give the consumers a reason to contact you!

So identify your niche and get to work!  With dedication, a niche can REALLY change your business!

Until next Tuesday, just Ask An Ambassador if you need help!

Liz and Bill aka BLiz  

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Serving Warren County Ohio & Adjacent Areas


The Liz Spear Team of RE/MAX Elite
Elizabeth Spear, ABR, CRS Ohio License SAL.2002007747

William (Bill) Spear, CRS Ohio License SAL.2004011109  Kentucky 77938
Ask for us by name if you visit the office!

EHO Two locations: Lebanon & Mason, OH
Bill Direct:  513-520-5305
Liz Direct: 513-265-3004     
Fax: 866-302-8418

MailTo:  LizSpear@Go-Concepts.com

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Rainmaker
347,389
Bruce Brockmeier
Internet Marketing Consultant to REALTORS® - Huntington Beach, CA
Coached By Crouch

Good evening Liz and Bill Spear,

This is very powerful, and timely, information.  Thank you!

Jan 12, 2016 02:56 PM #23
Rainer
162,673
Chris Lima
Atlantic Shores Realty Expertise - Port St Lucie, FL
Local or Global-Allow me to open doors for you.

Good Morning Liz and Bill Spear, thanks for the information. 

Jan 12, 2016 08:18 PM #24
Rainmaker
2,128,568
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ

A truly excellent post regarding niche blogging Liz and Bill Spear "Niche blogging is the way to gain an edge in your local market by providing information the big sites can't and don’t…And a solid niche post built to be evergreen can significantly outperform "generic" blog posts. "  Reblog!

Jan 12, 2016 09:43 PM #25
Ambassador
2,173,960
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Jackie, And making those posts evergreen really helps.  We have posts that have been working for us for years and can continue to work for us for years more.

Debbie, Amazing how that can happen!

Claude, I suspect as crowded as it is within the DC beltway that there'd be much room for a patio home type community.  Probably well out in the burbs perhaps.

Debbie, And those 8 include peripheral business with regular homes (e.g. selling their existing home to buy a patio home).  And thanks for the reblog, I'd totally missed it!

John, It's a learning curve.  First we knew we should blog, so we started that.  Then we realized we needed a niche, so we did that.  Then we realized that even within the niche there's room for emphasis on particular communities or new construction.  It's an evolution.

Tammie, You found the gap in coverage and we've found new construction posts are very likely to at least generate some calls and additional business.

Rose, They're a type of home we expect to see more demand for in the upcoming years.

Bruce, You're welcome!  We thought it made sense to tie into Bob's challenge post.

Chris, You're welcome!

Tony & Suzanne, We've found the blog posts that provide information other sites don't is what will get us found.  Thanks for the reblog!

Jan 12, 2016 09:55 PM #26
Rainmaker
284,654
Kelly Cummings and Ryan Cummings
The Cummings Company - Mobile, AL
Your Real Estate Consultants For Life!!!

Thanks for posting this. Will put these into action and Bookmark for future refresher.

Jan 12, 2016 10:03 PM #27
Rainmaker
718,763
Susan Laxson CRS
Palm Properties International - Naples, FL
Local Knowledge & Global Network

Liz and Bill, what a great post and has given me ideas on areas I would like to focus on and things to write that others in my area aren't doing.  Thank you!

Jan 12, 2016 10:11 PM #28
Rainmaker
679,112
Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert
Zion Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Broker/Owner of Zion Realty ZionRealtyAZ.com

Land and horse properties are once again becoming a popluar choice for buyers in my area and I want to be on the forefront of that trend so that's my niche for 2016. I've closed more land transactions than almost every agent I know because it's a completely different type of real estate that luckily I got thrust in to years ago so I'm very familiar with that type of transaction. 

Jan 12, 2016 10:48 PM #29
Rainmaker
2,069,508
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

When one discovers what makes them tick, then the tocking begins. Tick-tock

Jan 12, 2016 11:29 PM #30
Rainmaker
1,445,209
Lottie Kendall
Today | Sotheby's International Realty - San Carlos, CA
Serving San Mateo County and San Francisco

I think many niches come from an "ah-ha" moment like you had. Mine was when I moved to the heart of San Francisco and kept hearing over and over again, "we want to do what you did."

I hope Active Rain keeps our outside blogs alive and well.

Jan 13, 2016 12:19 AM #31
Rainmaker
279,594
Diana Dahlberg
1 MONTH REALTY - Kenosha, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

Good information about niche blogging.  I am bookmarking and going to read Bob Stewart's blog again and work on this.  It's getting "started" that I find I get too much information and then I get stuck in the decision of what to do.  Any advise on that?

Jan 13, 2016 02:28 AM #32
Rainmaker
1,191,191
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Northwest Suburbs of Chicago - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Area Real Estate

Still can't decide what it is for my area.

Jan 13, 2016 03:26 AM #33
Rainmaker
193,162
Christi Farrington
William Raveis Real Estate - Wilton, CT - Westport, CT
~ Your representative in Fairfield County, CT

Nice read, BLiz!! Love the aka, also!  I have bookmarked this because as Diana Dahlberg mentioned, I get 'started' and become overwhelmed!  I'm going to take a deep breath and refocus! Thanks for the nudge.

Jan 13, 2016 03:45 AM #34
Rainmaker
163,714
Kim Johnson
Keller Williams Realty of Coral Springs - Coral Springs, FL
Selling South Florida

Liz and Bill thank you for giving some great tips here. We have a niche with 55+, but it always needs tweeking!!

Jan 13, 2016 03:48 AM #35
Ambassador
2,173,960
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Ryan, Glad to help!

Susan, Glad to provide some fuel for working your area!

Nicole, Land is a different kind of animal, so good that you've got a niche and the experience to work it well!

Richie, Then we're in tock overdrive :)

Lottie, Sometimes it's right in front of us, we've just got to see if for what it is.

Diana, The "how do you eat an elephant?" question applies.  One bite at a time.  I need to make tons of FAQ style pages for our WP site.  Collectively it's overwhelming, so I just have to do a page or two here, another couple there as time allows.  Do that enough and we get there.  The same thing applied for our patio home niche.  Lots of picture excursions, some special, some in the area for a showing so would swing by before or after to take the pictures that would fuel future posts and pages.  It takes time, but build up a step at a time until you've reached critical mass and the bots and consumers know WHO you are and WHAT you do that is special.

Lyn, And if your business is at a level that makes you happy, maybe a niche is extraneous.

Christi, the aka is a present from one of our Rain friends years ago, it stuck so we kept using it!

Kim, Always, always tweaking to do! 

Jan 13, 2016 04:24 AM #36
Rainmaker
1,427,136
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

Niche is always a combination of demand and what you know.  It also needs to be unique enough that not many others are specializing in it.

Jan 13, 2016 08:09 AM #37
Rainmaker
231,532
MaryBeth Mills Muldowney
TradeWinds Realty Group LLC - Braintree, MA
Massachusetts Broker Owner

great list to go by, thank you for your input - greatly appreciated!

Jan 13, 2016 10:50 AM #38
Ambassador
2,173,960
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Gene, True, you don't want to be horse farm specialist #300!!

MaryBeth, You're welcome, happy to help!

Jan 13, 2016 10:29 PM #39
Rainmaker
1,219,679
Lise Howe
Long and Foster - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA,

I love Bob's challenge- I am really digging into the condo market in Bethesda - I would never have done it without Bob Stewart 's challenge! 

Jan 14, 2016 11:38 AM #40
Ambassador
529,759
Kate Elim
Dockside Realty - Spotsylvania, VA
Realtor 540-226-1964, Selling Homes & Land a

Hi BLiz...I definitely concentrate on my niche. It is where I concentrate my efforts and all of my transactions year after year are here.

Kate 

Jan 14, 2016 12:33 PM #41
Ambassador
2,173,960
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Lise, There's got to be demand in Bethesda so sounds like a great segment to explore!

Kate, Once we've found the right niche, it keeps paying off year after year!

Jan 18, 2016 11:06 PM #42
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