The Second Most Asked Question Of Real Estate Professionals

Real Estate Agent with (512) 786-8300

In my daily travels and interaction with consumers, friends and family, I'm constantly asked about the state of the real estate market. I've come to the conclusion, that this is a question about the greater economy, and people generally tend to gauge economic healthiness, by what is going on with homes. 

The next question that seemingly comes up is "What area do you work?" My answer in the past, was usually that I work all over, in an effort to appeal to everyone and anyone. In recent years, I've made an attempt to narrow that focus. That focus has grown, and frankly, it's probably in the best interest of the real estate professional and the consuming public.


Seller And Buyer Benefits

Narrowing the focus of ones area, allows an agent to have a firm grasp of that market. We can work in any area. With technology as advances as it is, we can pull comps and area information within a few minutes. When we specialize in an area, those comps are off the top of our head. Furthermore there is a decent chance, we have been in the properties (or ones similar) to the home a buyer or seller might inquire about. This contributes to a more precise knowledge, which benefits the consumer.

A distinct understanding of the area may also help a consumer avoid problems, only an agent familiar with the community would know. For instance, perhaps the agent has sold several homes in the neighborhood that has foundation issues. Often, a builder might have a design flaw, or questionable reputation. Sometimes that knowledge can only be acquired by an agent who works the subdivision. 


In The Agents Best Interest

There are several reasons an agent may want to specialize in a particular area. Perhaps you live in a large city, and choose not to drive all over town showing property. Or want to join the ranks with *normal* jobs, that get to work near home. 

Furthermore, agents who work in a specific area get the reputation for being the expert, and can get referrals. Another agent may feel comfortable referring to an agent, who thoroughly knows the area, in a way they never could. 


It Can Be Done

The topic of focusing on an area came up in an education class I had last year. The instructor reported, that one of the most successful agencies in the country specializes in condominiums and lofts in downtown Philadelphia. Their website, marketing, and business focus is geared towards that city's burgeoning downtown.

Not every city sees the growth in building as downtown Philadelphia. But certainly, an agent can use demographic data, and mls information, to spotlight an area.



We like to talk about localism here in the Rain. If we combine narrowing our focus, with hyper-local blogging, we can truly become thought of, as the area expert. The public will see that we aren't just the real estate person, but a trusted adviser of life decisions. 


I get referrals that choose to look or list in different areas of my city. Unless the target property is far outside my scope, I work with the client, as we do in this business. But my marketing and focus, particularly my blogging, is becoming more targeted towards areas in which I choose to specialize.



Posted by

Scott Hayes

Austin Real Estate Agency

Extraordinary Service, For Extraordinary People

Direct: 512-786-8300

Comments (13)

John Cunningham
eXp Realty - Phoenix, AZ
Helping Phoenix Sellers and Buyers find each other

Scott, I am in firm agreement with that thinking. In fact I have recently bought some domains that I will develop for some high rise buildings and subdivisions that I am targeting.

Thanks for the report

Sep 21, 2010 01:15 PM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

In small town rural American markets forget specialty. You are like the general practitioner doctor. You have a 50+ mile radius, work an area of 11 folks per square mile, not 1000 per same mile in New Jersey. You list homes, sell apartment rental houses, local mom and pop groceries, develop waterfront land, coordinate building projects and peddle farm land, wood lots. Land is a big component, not just homes, houses.

Sep 21, 2010 01:19 PM
Marilyn Boudreaux
Marilyn Boudreaux, Century 21 Bono Realty - Lake Charles, LA
Lake Charles LA Century 21 Realtor

niche marketing is where its at and helps you stand out I heard a trainer in a seminar once say you should not try to do everything.

Sep 21, 2010 01:24 PM
Tish Lloyd
BlueCoast Realty Corporation - Wilmington, NC
Broker - Wilmington NC and Surrounding Beaches

Scott:  I find consumers are looking more and more at finding "an expert" to help them locate just that perfect property.  They expect their agent to know the area and all of its nuances better than anyone else.  I, too, believe niche marketing is where we are.

Sep 21, 2010 01:36 PM
Christine Pappas - REALTORĀ®
eXp Realty - Willoughby, OH
eXp Realty - Because Experience Matters

Good points Scott.  I saw a recent post, I think it might have been Loreena who was featuring local companies in her area with really good content.  I thought that was a good idea and plan to put that into action next week for localisms.  

Sep 21, 2010 03:09 PM
Jane Peters
Home Jane Realty - Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles real estate concierge services

Excellent points, Scott.  In a large city like Los Angeles, it is tougher to concentrate on one area.   There are many areas I like and have worked in.  But, I am definitely moving closer to marketing a couple of niches. 

Sep 21, 2010 05:16 PM
Bob & Leilani Souza
Souza Realty 916.408.5500 - Roseville, CA
Greater Sacramento Area Homes, Land & Investments

Scott, I agree...targeting a specific local market area (or specialty) is a great way for agents to be recognized for their expertise. Localism posts are just one tool we can use to accomplish that. :)


Sep 21, 2010 06:46 PM
Dr. Paula McDonald
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

I really find that my localism posts do generate calls.  I even wrote a blog about a local builder and I have received several calls from tradesmen asking me where to find a house that builder is building?  They think because I wrote the blog that I am associated with them.  Funny.

Sep 22, 2010 01:19 AM
Julissa Jumper
Select Properties of Fayetteville, LLC - Fayetteville, NC
Fayetteville, NC Real Estate

Scott: Exactly. Finding the niche can be a trick, though. Still it doesn't have to be an area, per se, it could be a type of property or a school district, or whatever.

ENjoy your posts! Thanks.

Sep 22, 2010 04:24 AM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager

Well said!  Establishing yourself as an expert in one area is a great business move.

Sep 22, 2010 07:08 AM
Mike Miguelez
Keller Williams Realty - DTC - Superior, CO

Scott, I totally agree. Plus it's good for our clients, since we're most familiar with our local areast.

For us it's good too, look at all the time we get back not driving all over the place. That time can be directly reinvested back into our business.

Sep 22, 2010 04:16 PM
Karen Bernetti
Southington, CT

Absolutley right Scott!  Niche marketing is where its at - the more we specialize the more difficult it is for others to compete with us.  Clients want specialists - but naturally its scary to narrow our focus because we fear losing business in some way.  It takes discipline to specialize!   

Sep 23, 2010 04:30 PM
StapletonHomeTeam KnopHomeTeam Distinctive Properties
Distinctive Properties - Denver, CO
For an UnReal Estate Experience call the Knop Home

Scott great call, I agree. We have a couple ways of this playing out. We live in our community and emphasis in it, but there are also a lot of agents who work here and "work" the area hard. So as a team we can split it up. I emphasize in affordable housing and she can spread herself out a bit more. It has proven to diversify us.

Sep 25, 2010 02:13 AM