Since joining AR a little over a year ago, I have been ...pondering... the great ideas posted by -- experts on this subject -- Ron and Alexandra Seigel, about branding and niches.
I couldn't get to sleep after I imagined two items that are delightful for all to enjoy... food sweets, of course... and how they are the perfect analogy for what I am embarking upon, and perhaps something for you to consider as well.
Being at the forefront of remaking my web and looking at over 1000 photos and drawings in my portfolio, I finally decided not to be the peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
As much as SO MANY people like PB&J, it also means that nearly everyone can put one together. But creating a chocolate covered strawberry is a different matter.
I know analogies break up under hard scrutiny but I also pondered the doctoring business for a moment and came to a couple of conclusions.
1. While a GP is great for an overall examination and general snapshot of your physical or even mental condition, these folks nearly always recommend a specialist for you to visit afterward.
2. We go to specialists (a physician's niche) in order to get EXACTLY and PRECISELY what we need fixed.
3. The income of specialists is vastly superior to the GPs'.
Likewise, we don't go to the jack of all trades auto repair company if you have a problem with a Tesla.
Do you want a great source of organic foods? Don't go to Albertsons.
Are you looking for a special suit or dress that will kill? Don't go to Marshall's.
The point being that, in terms of real estate niches at least, if you are looking for a hyper contemporary house, maybe you should find someone that deals in such. Or patio homes. Or high-end properties in the hills of LA. Or boutique commercial buildings in Phoenix. Or someone who deals in recent divorce situations and knows a bit more about the legal angles than your average agent.
Back to MY problem: I also need to put together a concise brochure to offer to potential clients. I have weeded down to about 112 photos. I have about 50 quotes and recommendations. What to do, what to do? Even 100 photos and 20 quotes are too much...
I think that we should all push our strengths and create a profile that is attractive, irresistible even. It should make people's mouth water at the prospect of finding exactly what they are searching for.
Think about this: you take two pieces of bread and hide it with a slather of peanut butter. Then in guilt, you top it with jelly. What in the world are you saying to your prospective buyer: I can offer you bread and I want to show you I have more than one piece - in fact, this bread represents every house in the MLS! I can 'cover' it all. And oh: here is some jelly on the top to sweeten the deal. It ain't great jelly, it ain't preserves even! But I can cover EVERYTHING. As an architect, I can design nearly anything. But what do you do BEST? What is your strength? What can you do better than your competition?
Only a few stores offer chocolate covered strawberries. I bet you probably don't know where to get that treat even! If you are looking for choco-strawb in particular, where will you go? Where will you shop? Do you blindly go into Dunkin' Donuts and ask for that perfectly melted and cooled hard shell of dark chocolate covering a plump fresh strawberry??
So my question to you is: Are you going to be the peanut butter and jelly sandwich or the chocolate covered strawberry??
Develop a niche that exemplifies your outstanding merits -- qualities that will have people salivating to meet you and contract with you, realizing that you alone are most capable of furthering their specific interests. Make yourself irresistible!
This morning I am going to my favorite Winter Park confectioner offering up French delights. I am going to ask for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich -- and get laughed out of the door!