Are You Afraid to Choose a Niche?

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Marte Cliff Copywriting

Are you afraid to settle on a niche? Do you worry that you won't have enough business if you focus your marketing efforts in just one direction? 

By now you've heard plenty of arguments in favor of creating a niche for your real estate business. The strongest argument being that you can become the "go-to" expert in that niche. After a while when people think of your niche, they'll think of you. Your referrals will multiply and your business will expand.

BUT… when you first begin to create that niche you might not have enough business to sustain your income. So you hesitate, not wanting to exclude any other clients.

Start thinking about the situation from a different angle.

Instead of thinking about who you would exclude, think about who you would like to include a bit more often.

Think about what you already do best and enjoy most, then set your sights on doing more of it. You can still do the other work, but start nudging your career toward the people, property, and activities that you enjoy most by focusing your marketing efforts in their direction.

You may like listings, but feel that you MUST spend more time with buyers. Or you may get a real sense of accomplishment from finding homes for buyers, but feel that you really should be pursuing more listings.

No, you should be doing what you like best, because when you enjoy your work you're more effective and you experience greater success.

Think about it this way: You have only so many hours in a day. If you spend those hours chasing listings when you're better at helping buyers find new homes – or if you're driving all over town with buyers when you're really good at getting new listings - it just might not be the most profitable use of your time.

Apply that same kind of thinking to the properties themselves. If you really enjoy selling condos and are good at gathering all the necessary information, why are you out trying to list ranchers in the suburbs?

If you really love horse properties and the people who own them, why are you going after city dwellers?

When it comes to real estate marketing, the truth is that when you try to appeal to everyone, you actually appeal to no one.

 

Just food for thought…

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Show All Comments
Rainmaker
453,442
Kelly Young
The Platinum Group Realtors - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs Real Estate ~ 719-226-0126

Marte, very well said. I heard someone earlier this year say "are you working toward something or running from something".  Your post reminds me of that in terms of why don't we spend the time to think about and evaluate what we love in the world of real estate and feel we are very good at and go toward that?

Nov 09, 2013 07:58 AM #7
Rainmaker
1,200,929
John G. Johnston
John G. Johnston & Associates, LLC - Westcliffe, CO
An Exclusive Buyer's Agent ~ Westcliffe, CO

Marte  You already know my story...you wrote it!  I love my niche and I have become the go-to guy for it.  Thanks for all you do!

Nov 09, 2013 08:11 AM #8
Rainmaker
1,630,147
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Kelly - Absolutely - always be FOR something instead of against anything. 

John - Yes I did write about your story - and I enjoyed doing it! 

Nov 09, 2013 08:36 AM #9
Rainmaker
778,638
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

Your post described my experiences to a T. Picked a niche - not enough business - started including everyone else, we'll see what happens next year.

Nov 09, 2013 09:42 AM #10
Rainer
237,538
Jay & Michelle Lieberman
Keller Williams World Class - Agoura Hills, CA
Creating Calm in the Buying and Selling Chaos

Been considering expanding my niche a bit.  I read a great article on it recently in Inman News and it may be the waive of the future for agents.  You have to be careful though that the niche is not just a tiny notch!

Nov 09, 2013 10:00 AM #11
Rainmaker
1,317,807
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

It is good to have a niche.  I was considering condos, but with most Association refusing to renew their FHA approval, I think I will rethink going this direction.

Nov 09, 2013 10:29 AM #12
Ambassador
2,608,297
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Marte, at the end of the day, its all about what we enjoy doing the most and what makes the phone ring, If we are lucky it is the same

Nov 09, 2013 11:15 AM #13
Rainmaker
1,630,147
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Jill - Maybe you need to choose a second niche - one that compliments the first but has more people. 

Jay Michelle - Right. The niche has to be large enough to support you - or else you have to expand. 

Joan - That's an interesting twist. I wonder why they're doing that? 

Ed - You have that absolutely right. When you do what you love and it brings you the income you want - you're in gravy. 

Nov 09, 2013 12:10 PM #14
Ambassador
4,308,314
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Marte, I know people are afraid and don't deny the business even when they are not expert at it.

I am fortunate to have learned a BOLD (a KW training) rule - what you focus on e x p a n d s....

Focus on one niche to expand the business!

Nov 09, 2013 02:24 PM #15
Ambassador
2,011,443
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Marte - I think that you are so right that many people are afraid to limit their business.

Nov 09, 2013 03:10 PM #16
Ambassador
1,705,560
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

Marte, I am with you 100% but here's an interesting story about niche markets.

An agent called me earlier this week. She lives in a very popular Franklin TN neighborhood and she has branded herself for that neighborhood. About 98% of her business comes from that neighborhood. She uses the name of that neighborhood for her website name and URL.

She received a cease and desist letter from the developer. The name is trademarked. They have allowed her to use it for the last 4 years, however, more agents are coming on the scene and doing the same thing. They have decided they want exclusive use of that name. She has been given 30 days to bring down the site. She appears on page one of Google. It's hard to say what will happen once she changes the domain name.

Moral of the story, make sure if you've decided to make a neighborhood your niche market that the name isn't trademarked.

Nov 09, 2013 10:29 PM #17
Rainmaker
2,576,292
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

We are looking for prompt that comes from within. Where many fail is they think the prompt into existence instead of letting the prompt contact them...Choosing a niche...U bet! Finding one is where the work must begin..Words wont take you there but an honest seek and search will...good post here

Nov 09, 2013 11:07 PM #18
Rainmaker
1,630,147
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Praful - Exactly. 

Christine - in small communities it can't be helped, but if you have enough population then it's best to focus.

Tammie - How awful for that agent. I wonder if there's any kind of a grandfather thing that could come into play since she's been using it for 4 years? I really never considered that a community name could be trademarked, but I suppose if it is a subdivision with a specific name then it makes sense. 

Richie - Looking within for the truth is the answer to many of life's puzzles, but we humans seem to think we can manipulate things. Why? Life is so much nicer when we do what we love. 

Nov 10, 2013 12:04 AM #19
Ambassador
1,705,560
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

Marte, apparently the neighborhood trademarked the name back in 2003. She purchased this domain 2009. They actually approved it back then but so many agents are doing the same thing. They claim it's confusing for consumers. Buyers think these agemts work for the developer, even though, they have it plastered all over their site that they aren't associated with the developer. It is really unfortunate for this agent. She obviously concerned what's going to happen to her internet presence. Not to mention, the cost of replacing a lot of signs and getting a new logo.

Nov 10, 2013 03:15 AM #20
Rainmaker
1,630,147
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Tammie - Does she have any proof that they approved it? I'd think they wouldn't be able to reverse the decision if she had it in writing. I wish her well... 

Nov 10, 2013 03:42 AM #21
Rainmaker
509,660
Drick Ward Property Management / Broker Assoc
NEPTUNE REALTY - Virginia Beach, VA
"RealtorDrick" - Experienced Representation

Good post - thanks!

Nov 10, 2013 11:01 PM #22
Rainer
128,648
John Fauth
Coldwell Banker King Thompson - Grove City, OH
Turning your dreams into an address!

Marte this helps allot. Been thinking about my niche and my broker discourages it. The old adage "List to last" comes up allot. However I do love working for buyers. There are two sides to every transaction. Not just Sellers.

Nov 10, 2013 11:25 PM #23
Rainmaker
1,630,147
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Thanks Drick. 

John - You're right - and it's YOUR life, not your broker's. You need to do what you love most - the success and money will follow. 

Nov 10, 2013 11:36 PM #24
Rainmaker
531,363
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

I would have to agree with you.  I had so many agents tell me that I was making a mistake in specializing in relocation.  I even started to doubt my decision as past clients told me that they assumed that was all I did anymore, so they referred their friends and family to someone else.  That just taught me that I still needed to reach out to my past clients and my sphere to let them know that I was always available for their referrals. 

Nov 12, 2013 12:25 PM #25
Rainmaker
1,630,147
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Karen - Absolutely - don't let go of those past clients no matter what! 

Nov 12, 2013 12:29 PM #26
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