Should You Choose a Niche for Your Real Estate Business?

Services for Real Estate Pros with Marte Cliff Copywriting

I think so. I do it in my copywriting business and I think its beneficial to you in your real estate business. Here's why...

Choosing a niche may sound at first like limiting your real estate practice, but it's not. Unless you live in a very small community, it is actually a way to expand your business while spending less money on marketing.

Once you’ve chosen a niche you can not only market exclusively to that niche, but you can become the expert that others naturally choose when buying or selling in that niche.

So how do you choose a niche?photo of house

First by examining the kind of real estate and the kind of buyers and/or sellers you most enjoy working with. No one should ever choose a niche based on the price of the real estate.

If you choose to deal in high-end waterfront homes but all you feel is jealousy or contempt toward the people who live in them, that is not the right place for you. By the same token, if you have no sympathy for those who are now having to do short sales, you shouldn’t get into that niche.

Part of your success will come from actually liking the people you see every day. You need to be able to throw your efforts whole-heartedly into helping them reach their goals, and its difficult to do that unless you like the people.

It’s also good for your business if you share a connection on other levels – such as family make-up, hobbies, pets, charitable activities, etc. People like doing business with people who are “like them” so your agent bio should always reflect a little of your personal side.

Choose the kind of homes you appreciate and admire and the kind of people you can connect with - then become the expert in that niche.

If you choose a neighborhood – your own or a different one – become knowledgeable about everything that concerns the neighborhood. When someone asks you a question about shopping or public transportation or recreational opportunities, be able to answer it.

Attend your local city council or planning and zoning meetings and know what’s going on – and what’s planned. When someone breaks ground for a new building down on the corner, find out what they’re doing and how it will affect the neighborhood.

If you choose a set of people – such as first time buyers or seniors who are downsizing, learn all about what matters most to them so you can answer any question that arises.

If you choose high-end, make it a point to visit as many homes for sale in your niche as possible so you can make valid comparisons when you complete a market analysis and so you can tell buyers what special amenities are included in each home.

Whatever niche you choose, become the expert who knows more about it than anyone else. The referrals you’ll get will give you instant credibility with new buyers and sellers, and you’ll soon find that you need to spend fewer dollars on marketing.

Comments (38)

Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce

know what works for you and the market you serve and go for it !

Dec 08, 2010 02:19 PM
Dawn Maloney
RE/MAX Trinity Northeast Ohio Real Estate Specialist - Hudson, OH
330-990-4236 Hudson & Northeastern Ohio

Marte, this concept struck me as just beautiful. We aren't just picking niches for the returns, that doesn't work. We to care, belong, give back!

Dec 08, 2010 02:30 PM
Lane Bailey
Century 21 Results Realty - Suwanee, GA
Realtor & Car Guy

The biggest benefit of a lifestyle niche is enjoying working with the people that seek you out...  And as a client, it is better to work with an expert, whether it is geographic or lifestyle.  Why work with someone that isn't an expert?

Dec 08, 2010 02:47 PM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Tom - that's right. If you happen to stumble and drop that basket, you're out of luck!

Brian - the turning down business part is what is most difficult for most agents. That's when it's time to develop a good network and earn a little referral income.

Kathy - You're right that it depends upon the area. If there aren't enough homes in one niche - or even 3 or 4 - then you just about have to do it all.

Laura - Loving what you do is so important - you not only enjoy your days, but you do your work so much better!

Thanks Charita - nice to see you here.

Andrew - coming from a small rural community I do understand what you're talking about. But... when the community is really small you can become "the" expert for the entire community - and that's your niche!

Christian - My bet is yes - all that hard work will pay off.

Dustin - Yes, as others have mentioned here, sometimes it's good to have 2 or 3 niches so you have a fall back position if one goes sour.

Sally & David - That's true - go for it!

Dawn - Thank you. I think it really does matter to choose a niche you love and serve people you appreciate. It just makes everything about work and life go more happily and smoothly.


Dec 08, 2010 02:50 PM
Tammy Emineth
Personal SEO - Website SEO and Real Estate Marketing - Frenchtown, MT
Content Marketer, SEO Teacher, Website Fixer

Marte, IT's great that this was featured. I wrote a similar one about my own experiences of finding my niche. It's a really good way to be focused and when those around you that are in your niche find you, then it makes them all the more comfortable to use you. Great post :)

Dec 08, 2010 03:00 PM

Hello Marte,

Thanks for the advice.  I've been thinking about niche market for sometimes and still have not come to any good or great decisions.  Maybe I need to figure out which people I really do love to work with.  Thanks again for the push to move forward.

Dec 08, 2010 03:09 PM
Keith Vermilyea
Boise Homes Realty brokered by Found It LLC - Boise, ID

Marte, I have been thinking about niche marketing this past year until I realized that I had already fallen into a niche, working with buyers.  I enjoy working with buyers and I have systems in place to generate the leads.  I have not given up listings altogether, but for now the buyer business has been very good to me.

Dec 08, 2010 03:32 PM
Ryan Case
SCA Real Estate - Anaheim, CA

I know a lot of local agents that have niches, from luxury homes, to military buyers!

Dec 08, 2010 03:32 PM
John Marshall - FORE!
LoKation Real Estate - Cherry Hills Village, CO
Specializing in Golf Course Properties

Marte. I agree, you must find your "hedgehog" or your unique animal. otherwise you are just one of 2.5 million people with a real estate license

Dec 08, 2010 03:38 PM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Tammy - Thanks. I didn't know this was featured! I'm going to go and read what you had to say about it...

Charles - That's the key. Just take some time to think about your best days in real estate - what you were doing and who you were with. Then take it from there.

Keith - Funny how that happens. When I first started copywriting full time I didn't intend to concentrate on real estate. After all, I'd been doing that for nearly 20 years and needed a change. But, as it turns out, real estate people are the ones I relate to best - and I understand the challenges you face.

However, like you, I do branch out now and then. I find that I really do enjoy getting to know about other businesses and the people who run them - but writing for real estate is still my primary business.

Tom - So what's yours?

John - Yes, always make yourself stand out from the crowd!

Dec 08, 2010 03:46 PM
Brian Dunshie
Russ Lyon | Sotheby's International Realty - Paradise Valley, AZ
Realtor - Arizona Biltmore,Arcadia,Paradise Valley
I agree, the riches are in the niches. Find your area of interest and have fun. If you love what you do, what you do will in turn love you.
Dec 08, 2010 05:20 PM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Brian - I like that: "The Riches are in the niches." And I definitely agree about the love.

Dec 08, 2010 06:17 PM
Robin Risley
Kamali Sotheby's International Realty - Cannon Beach, OR
CRS, GRI, Principal Broker

In this tough market, I see agents are tempted to try to chase buyers all over the place. They lose their  compass.

We have built a business over the last 20 years of specializing in resort oceanfront properties with in a 30 mile radius. It has served us well. 

Dec 08, 2010 06:34 PM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Robin - I like the way you put that - losing their compass.

Dec 08, 2010 07:34 PM
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
Serving the Greater Phoenix and Scottsdale Metropolitan Area - Scottsdale, AZ
Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty

Lead generation is the fuel for the engine and Prospecting is a key ingredient in Lead Generation!

Dec 09, 2010 04:32 AM
Claudette Millette
The Buyers' Counsel - Ashland, MA
Buyer, Broker - Metrowest Mass


Realtors used to always to be all things but I think in more recent years specializing has been the the way to go. 

Dec 09, 2010 08:00 AM
Anna Tolstoy
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Natick, MA

Marte, excellent advice! Also, would be interesting to know how different agents decide to specialize in certain area. Was it natural development, or thorough analyses or both...

Dec 09, 2010 10:57 AM
Brad Snyder
Sierra Vista Realty - Sierra Vista, AZ

Great post... 2011 is around the corner is now is the time to create your new business plan and maybe choosing a specialty is a good option.

Dec 09, 2010 12:50 PM
Michelle Francis
Tim Francis Realty LLC - Atlanta, GA
Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease


A niche is critical for surviving.  If you can't figure out who you are helping or who your niche is, you might not still be in business in the future. 

All the best, Michelle

Dec 09, 2010 02:01 PM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Anna - Let's hope agents choose the niche they love working in - I've seen bad results when they choose the one they think will make the most money.

Claudette - I expect that in very small communities it still has to be all things to all people, but those who work in major cities do have choices.

Brad - I think so. Have you chosen yours?

Michelle - In trying to serve everyone, you might serve no one. Each niche has SO much to learn!

Dec 09, 2010 04:09 PM