Why creating and marketing to a niche makes good sense

Services for Real Estate Pros with Marte Cliff Copywriting

If you’re still stuck on being a generalist, you may be tired of seeing so many of us pushing you to create a niche.

You’re worried that by focusing on one geographic area, one type of home or property, or one type of buyer or seller, you’re going to miss out sales.You're suffering from FOMO.

For one thing, that’s not true. You don’t have to exclude anyone. So if cousin George wants you to list his home and it’s not in your territory, you can go right ahead and do it. And of course, if your buyers decide that your geographic area isn’t right for them, you can take them farther afield.

What creating a niche does is give you focus – both for learning everything you can andfocus becoming known as THE expert in that niche, and for marketing.

That focus is important in adding hours to your day – if you’re not driving from one side of the town (or the County) to service your listings, and if you’re not scrambling to get answers to questions about an unfamiliar area, you’ll have more time to spend with clients, work on marketing, or attend your child's ball game.

It is also important in conserving your marketing dollars, AND in appealing to the prospects you want most.

I’ve been listening to a Bob Bly product entitled How to Create Information Products That Sell. In it, Bob and Fred Gleeck tell a story about a working mother who was writing a book about breastfeeding. Fred suggested that the focus should be on information for working mothers, and the woman resisted the idea. She said she didn’t want to limit her audience to just working mothers.

He pointed out to her that book stores offer a good selection of books on breastfeeding – but that her book, with a title geared to working mothers, would likely stand alone. If a working mother walked into a book store hunting for information and saw a dozen books on breastfeeding, and one of them said it was specifically for her, that’s the one she’d be likely to choose. He asked if she’d rather her book sold to 100% of half the market, or to just 5 or 10% of the entire market.

The same would be true for a book offered on line – only magnified, since the Internet offers more choices than any book store can.

Now apply that thinking to your own real estate marketing.

Say you live in Denver. According to Realtor.com, there are 3,283 REALTORS® in Denver, so an ad or a website promoting you as a Denver real estate agent is going to have a one in about three thousand chance of attracting a buyer or seller.

However, if your marketing focuses on a specific area, a specific type of homes, or a specific group of clients, the odds improve. In an area of that size, the narrower the focus, the better your chances of being the one agent who stands out among all the rest to the people who want to buy or sell that type of property in your location. So if your niche is a specific type of buyer or seller who has or wants a specific type of home in a specific subdivision or area of the city – and if you advertise that fact – you are much more likely to be found and chosen than is someone who just says “Denver agent.”

When you start with that base and add more and more information about your niche to your website, you become more and more likely to be found in an Internet search – and to become the agent of choice.

Remember, specific information about events, attractions, etc. is something Zillow and the other “big guys” don’t offer. Actual descriptions about neighborhood amenities is something else they don’t offer. They also won’t inform readers about things like zoning changes, planned construction projects that could affect neighborhoods, or hours of operation at the community pool.



Your inclusion of these facts will do two things:

  1. Inform buyers coming from out of area that you're the most likely person to help them find the right home in the right neighborhood.
  2. Let home sellers know that you do know their area - you're the expert.

And - as your expertise and popularity grows, so will the number of listings (or buyers) coming to you as referrals from past clients in that niche.

Creating a niche is not about exclusion. It's about inclusion - and focusing your efforts in a direction that will lead you to greater prosperity - and greater job satisfaction.

If you can't figure out how to write that focused marketing copy - get in touch. Providing words to help agents prosper is what I do. 

Remember - when you've chosen your niche, you'll probably find the prospecting letters you need to reach them at Copy by Marte. If you don't find what you need - let me know. I can always write another set.

Images courtesy of Stuart Miles |fredigitalphotos.net




Comments (25)

Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
Serving the Greater Phoenix and Scottsdale Metropolitan Area - Scottsdale, AZ
Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty

Marte Cliff "Creating a niche is not about exclusion. It's about inclusion - and focusing your efforts in a direction that will lead you to greater prosperity - and greater job satisfaction."

Right on target - and - re-blog!

Jun 21, 2017 05:50 AM
Marte Cliff

Thank you Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers - I appreciate your support!

Jun 21, 2017 09:21 AM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Either do or dont do but try is not an option. Why? People deserve better

Jun 21, 2017 05:53 AM
Marte Cliff

Yes Richie Alan Naggar, they do!

Jun 21, 2017 09:21 AM
Jim Cheney
Saint Francis Property Santa Rosa, CA - Santa Rosa, CA
Rincon Valley Realtor 707.494.1055

Great post Marte Cliff .  I remembe when I made the change.  I was driving to Cloverdale from Santa Rosa (45 min ea way) to sell a condo, when I said "I wish all my listings were in Rincon Valley".  I've been focusing on that ever since.  I still get listings in other towns, but I don't advertise as being the best in every city in Sonoma County although I am...

Jun 21, 2017 06:14 AM
Marte Cliff

Good move, Jim Cheney - there's just no sense in spending half of your life on the road.

Jun 21, 2017 09:22 AM
Luke Acree
ReminderMedia - King of Prussia, PA
Making Agents Memorable

Be the best at one thing, while never turning away opportunities outside your realm of expertise. When you have a single specialty, you dominate that field.

Jun 21, 2017 06:38 AM
Marte Cliff

That's exactly what I'm trying to tell these new agents, Luke Acree. You can learn enough to become the expert and dominate the field - but only one area at a time. 

Jun 21, 2017 09:23 AM
Jon Kolsky
Kolsky Realty & Management - Long Beach, CA
Licensed California Real Estate Broker

Marte Cliff ~ this topic is huge and oh so very important, too! AWESOME post, you really spell it out in a way that's easy to understand

Jun 21, 2017 09:06 AM
Marte Cliff

Thanks Jon Kolsky - Sometimes I feel like I harp on it too much, but I do think it's important.

Jun 21, 2017 09:24 AM
Edward Drennan
Century 21 Miller Real Estate Ltd. - Oakville, ON
Serving the Oakville, Ontario Area

This approach reaches across most industries & professions.

Being a specialist in a given area and/or market attracts the most favorable attention & trust!

Thanks for the post!

Jun 21, 2017 06:08 PM
Marte Cliff

Yes, Edward Drennan - and it also attracts more money!

Jun 21, 2017 09:21 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Marte, I have been living off my niche market of "land expert" for over 20 years which morphed into "international buyers and seller" about 15 years ago and  about 6 years ago Luxury buyers and seller have also been added....and now I am at the point where most savvy Realtors in my market refer land buyers and sellers to me as well, so I am very grateful for having a few niches.

Jun 21, 2017 11:05 PM
Marte Cliff

Endre Barath, Jr. - It only makes sense to keep expanding your niches as you expand your expertise.

Jun 22, 2017 08:52 AM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager

You have outlined the value in niche marketing perfectly. The story about the writer is a perfect and powerful example!

Jun 22, 2017 03:58 AM
Marte Cliff

Thanks Sharon Tara - I thought so. I learn a lot listening to Bob Bly and Fred Gleeck.

Jun 22, 2017 08:54 AM
Eileen Burns 954.483.3912
Trans State Commercial Realty Inc. - Fort Lauderdale, FL
FLorida Real Estate Connector

Every year I add a new tool to the box and I look for trends or what's next.  I became a Certified Probate Real Estate Specialist and am building out my website now.  After 28 years in the business, I have closed many transactions.  I totally agree with you Marte Cliff and have purchased some of your products.

Jun 22, 2017 05:10 AM
Marte Cliff

Thank you Eileen Burns - I hope my letters are helpful to you.

Jun 22, 2017 08:54 AM
Steve Loynd
Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., - Lincoln, NH
800-926-5653, White Mountains NH

Marte...sometime we have to focus by default, I work at a ski resort and my buyers and sellers are all second home driven...and that works for me.

Jun 22, 2017 07:03 AM
Marte Cliff

Yes Steve Loynd - you do have a built-in niche!

Jun 22, 2017 08:55 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Marte

Your example of the woman writing the bookis a useful analogy for our business. And just because one has a niche, or two, does not mean you can't make a decision to be flexible when other business comes along and it makes sense to include it, too.


Jun 22, 2017 07:09 AM
Marte Cliff

I think so too, Jeff Dowler. Unfortunately, many new agents look at niche building from the standpoint of exclusion, rather than inclusion and focus. 

Jun 22, 2017 08:56 AM
Robert Hicks
United Country River City Realty - Savannah, TN

Thanks for sharing Marte- I always enjoy reading the information you share. It's always helpful..

Jun 22, 2017 08:08 AM
Marte Cliff

Thanks Robert Hicks - I appreciate your kind words.

Jun 22, 2017 09:05 AM
Greg Mona
West USA Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Professional Real Estate Representation for YOU!

Spot on, Marte Cliff! We can't be everything to everybody, and with the thousands upon thousands of agents we compete with every day, it is good to be known as a "local expert" or someone who caters to a specific demographic, community(ies), etc.

Jun 22, 2017 08:25 AM
Marte Cliff

No, Greg Mona, we can't be everything to everybody. But many new agents don't seem to understand that. As they gain experience and learn that different kinds of real estate take different kinds of knowledge, perhaps they'll get it. 

Jun 22, 2017 09:06 AM
Dorte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Marte,

Very good idea. Now, I just need to come up with a good niche to work. Several folks on this forum have had very creative ideas for their areas.

Jun 22, 2017 09:16 AM
Marte Cliff

Dörte Engel - Start by thinking about the people and the kinds of real estate you enjoy most.

By the way, I finally figured out how to reply to you even though my computer won't let me write your first name correctly. I just do the @ symbol and start with your last name. It works!

Jun 22, 2017 09:28 AM
Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices

Very true. I sometimes joke that if I could get half of all listings in my condo building, I would be only working in my buidling (it is my dream). The funny thing is the more you specialize, the better expert you become. You win, your clients win. And it allows you to have the highest level of self confidence, when you know nearly everything there is about what you offer.

Jun 22, 2017 07:24 PM
Marte Cliff

Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL - Exactly. Keep marketing to your neighbors, and be sure to let them know of your successes. One of these days you'll have 90% of the lisings.

(You have to lose a few to relatives, friends, etc.)

Jun 22, 2017 07:41 PM
Kimo Jarrett
Cyber Properties - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Target the market, target the client, target the opportunities and have fun. Great post. 

Jun 22, 2017 07:43 PM
Marte Cliff

Kimo Jarrett - Oh yes, and if you target the right niche, you WILL be having fun.

Jun 22, 2017 08:05 PM
John Wiley
Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Well done and easy to understand.

I like your term FOCUS! There is a saying that "Less can be More". That is what I see in a niche approach.

Jun 23, 2017 03:54 AM
Marte Cliff

Thanks John Wiley -  I agree with you - less can be more.

Jun 23, 2017 07:19 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Prop. Mgr, Wenatchee, WA

Hi Marte,
I wish I had known about drill down niche marketing when I first started in real estate.  Oh how different things would have been.

Jun 24, 2017 09:22 AM
Marte Cliff

Carol Williams If you live in an area with enough real estate for sale, I think it's the only way to go.

Jun 24, 2017 10:03 AM
Lynnea Miller
Bend Premier Real Estate - Bend, OR
Premier Real Estate Service in Central Oregon

Great points, Marte Cliff , and it makes sense in a large urban setting such as Denver. For those of us in a smaller market per the population, it is harder to do.

Jun 29, 2017 01:52 PM
Marte Cliff

That's right Lynnea Miller - while I believe in niche marketing, it would have been impossible to do when I was an agent in this small town with 1,500 population. Of course, the bulk of our sales were out in the County, but still not enough in any one niche to make a living.

Jun 29, 2017 03:07 PM
Stavrula "Sam" Crafa, RNC,GRI, CDPE, PSA
Future Home Realty - Seminole, FL
Providing the integrity and service you deserve.

Great points and recommendations. Going to flag your post for future reference.

Jun 30, 2017 08:38 AM
Marte Cliff

Thank you Stavrula "Sam" Crafa, RNC,GRI, CDPE, PSA!

Jun 30, 2017 03:45 PM