When I first started in real estate, I had no idea what I was getting into!
It Started in Barrington
As the months went buy I decided to focus on Barrington where I live. Barrington is not a big area, medium I would say, but tons of competing agents and I was warned off it so many times. You'll never make it. I wanted to be the online queen and I think I managed that. I made it but did I make it enough? Looking back, not quite but not bad.
Along Comes a Horse Property Niche
During my journey I dabbled at the horse property niche but I failed to do what one internet expert advised and he was probably right. I would have been wise to have followed his lead. The horse property was not a big enough niche to feed the barn, so to speak. So after putting a website together for it, I found my own website ranking higher so I killed the new one, twice I might add, before just letting my niche sit. My webpage still ranks number one for Barrington horse property. I think I get about 1 sale every other year now. It was never more than 1 a year.
Switching it Up After Several Years Drifting
Now as I start planning a new house build for hubby and I to retire to in Wyoming; my focus is zooming into new construction. Before I got into real estate my husband and I built a house in Barrington. It was fun but we sold the property because I realized I wanted more land not less and was not prepared to give it up. We actually moved into the property for a month, then moved back to the one we live in now.
I have 2+ acres, my new Wyoming property is 35.78 acres, so I should be happy!
The experience of building a new home created a lot of blog content and over the years has fed me a steady supply of buyers, not huge but more than the horse property niche. And I have learned more. Barrington is pretty much a sewn up community as are many others here. Not much land left. However it does surprise me at times how much new construction is available and how much land for individual builds.
With a buyer I am working with now, I was introduced to a builder who may build this buyers home, yet to be decided as we negotiate a lot. The builder and I hit it off. We see eye to eye. He wanted me to list 5 properties in Lake Barrington in May but that did not pan out and he has to wait until next year before he can give them to me, if at all. Investors own the land and they may not like the results he has achieved so far. Nothing.
Not to worry, I have listed two with him in nearby Palatine and we have put together some great properties and extras for buyers; something other agents have never done for him. So far those two properties have yielded 2 enquiries from agents and 4 from me, two of which are currently reviewing their build contracts to move forward!
My builder is impressed that I can leverage his homes and my website to create real leads. This in a market that is not really hopping, never has been.
I am into New Construction as My New Niche
I am now focusing on new construction on my website. I am working through a plan to outline all the new content I am going to add and create the right balance in the site structure. My home page is being edited to reflect my new passion.
Of course I still serve horse property buyers and other buyers and sellers in Barrington but the passion for new construction has risen to the top.
After carefully reviewing all aspects of this niche, for me it should fulfill the need for my prefered yearly activity. It will allow me to start some focused writing and make sure I have enough time for everything else I have on my plate including, dogs, new house, SEO clients, wordpress themes and whatever else comes to mind!
Don't Be Afrid to Change Your Niche
I'll admit it's hard to let go of the idea of general real estate but following or changing a niche does not mean you exclude others, it simply means you have a focus.
When it comes to marketing online, the job is so much easier with a niche. My friend Kathleen Daniels serves the probate niche in San Jose and Santa Clara County, California. Kathy Sperl-Bell in Delaware has an awesome company the specializes in Active Adult Homes and because it's more prevalent in Oregon, Catherine Ulrey specializes in Equestrian and her horsey site is at HomeswithHorseSense.
Niche marketing is not as hard as general, especially online; but it is sometimes hard to let go of the old and switch to the new. We can have a feeling of desperation in case it fails. I say, just go for it.