When I first saw the ActiveRain July contest titled, “Your Riches Are in the Niches,” I knew I would need to contribute my thoughts on the topic. So, here goes:
When I was first licensed in 1981, I planned to focus on my neighborhood as a “farm”. We didn’t use the term, “niche,” back then. However, I quickly learned folks in the many organizations I belonged to (PTA, my kid’s swim team, community council, etc.), were all approaching me to buy and sell real estate. Sometimes our niches, if other than a place to bury our ashes, escape to dwell in other realms! During early years of my career, I often wrote newsletters, which I printed, and sent out to those among my contacts. It easily helped made my first decade as a Realtor, a successful one.
In the early 1990s, Sacramento was hard hit by a recession. Three military bases which had contributed greatly to our economy, were shut down. The recession was not a short one, and recovery did not quickly follow. As a result of recovery delay, and the fact that I like eating and living indoors, I found a temporary job with a software development company. Out of that decision, birth was given to a whole new niche. While many were struggling financially because of recession, the software developers and engineers at my “temporary job” were employed, thriving, and able to buy and sell homes. They were my new generation of clientele – My new niche!
The “temporary” job originally forecast to last a mere 4 months, instead lasted over 8 years. I was exceptionally busy burning the candle at both ends and in the middle, while keeping two full time careers alive, but I managed.
It was 2005 when the company experienced a sizable lay-off. I was among those who were given a generous departure package. I began contemplating retirement. I soon found myself at the local senior center crocheting doilies with delightful older folk. While I enjoyed my time there, something inside me kept calling me back to some sibilance of the former life I had been living. After a few months of full retirement, I authored a real estate newsletter, and sent it out to past clients. I have learned I don’t have it in me to ever fully retire. In retirement, I felt I was dying on the vine.
In today’s world, I no longer beat bushes like I once did. However, my niche today is comprised of past clients, and folks I know. It’s a way for me to occasionally reconnect with folks I’ve known for years, and love interacting with.
If I were to advise new agents about selecting a niche, I’d say keep an open mind to possibilities other than the niche they have originally chose for themselves. Sometimes we don’t choose our niches . . . Sometimes niches choose us! And, if it is a realm we are comfortable and happy with, that’s not a bad thing!