Are you a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or a chocolate covered strawberry??

Services for Real Estate Pros with John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc.

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!


Posted by

JOHN HENRY ARCHITECT  Orlando Florida Custom Home Designs

Beautiful European and American classical period luxury homes and plans created by premier residential Architect John Henry has been a passion now for over 30 years.  Inspired by old world archaeology and medieval to Renaissance architecture -- and having lived in Europe and the Middle East-- John Henry is widely known for the romantic and period details that make his work breathe a certain soul and drama. Striving for world-class results, his award-winning work reflects the details and proportions of luxury real estate plans in historical European and American traditional styles. Attention to detail and continuity mean that the architectural interiors should also be integrated properly.

Portfolio of Luxury Homes:

Office on 7491 Conroy Road Orlando, Florida  32835

Tel: 407.421.6647


YouTube Videos:

Free Home Planning Questionnaire, inquire here.



Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Peter Mohylsky, SoWal Is HOME. 02/10/2019 04:31 AM
  2. Joyce Marsh 02/10/2019 05:24 AM
Real Estate Sales and Marketing
push your strengths
cover your weaknesses
dont be average
develop a niche that portrays how outstanding you are

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Peter Mohylsky, SoWal Is HOME.
Gulf Place @ 30A - Santa Rosa Beach, FL
Let me help you find your path to the beach.

Nice post.  I like strawberries.  I agree to your comments.

Feb 10, 2019 04:31 AM #1
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

Your analogy passes the test! I agree; being the "specialist" that can offer something unique/special is the way to go! Everyone can be a PB&J sandwich.

Feb 10, 2019 05:06 AM #2
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Good morning,  John - just the mention of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is an attraction for me. So versatile.  Toasted.   With or without crust. And then then the pairings- - -so many possibilities.  Ok, the strawberry option is good too but nothing compared to a classic PB&J.

Feb 10, 2019 05:12 AM #3
Joyce Marsh
Regal | Christie's International Real Estate - Orlando, FL
Regional Manager Regal Christie's Int'l Realty

I have to say I’m definitely more of a chocolate covered strawberry type than a PB&J. Great post, I really enjoyed reading this. 

Feb 10, 2019 05:26 AM #4
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning John. Having worked several markets in different states, sometimes a PB&J and sometimes into strawberries! Always knew where to get those chocolate covered strawberries but sometimes the inventory was too low to eat regularly! Enjoy your day!

Feb 10, 2019 05:39 AM #5
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


You have done some innovative thinking...and I would say, sometimes it is fine to be  the peanut butter and jelly sandwich and Michael Jacobs gave you the version, luxury version, and the possibilty of finding the niche within it are endless...and the same for the strawberry, dark chocolate , milk chocolate and what has no resemblance to chocolate (the white stuff with cocoa butter).   Then there are long stem strawberries, winter strawberries, and so many varieties of these.

Branding is much more precise than that. It has to fit you, it is like a custom shirt or suit.  When you put it on it fits perfectly, it is you.  When we work with someone on their brand, real estate or otherwise, they have an emotional aha release, and they will often say, "wow that is me!"  It is not a surface thing, it is visceral...thanks for the mention.  A

Feb 10, 2019 07:33 AM #6
Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

pJohn Henry 

What a great post! I saw on a reblog by Peter Mohylsky, Luxury Focused 

Love chocolate, love strawberries but not together. I might put out the dark rich chocolate next to the berries...allow them to dip or not.

And the PB & J could be a selection of breads, butters, and jellies. You would still be known as the PB specialist. Marketing is such fun. Love your creativity.

Feb 10, 2019 08:19 AM #7
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi John- placed in front of me, I'd rather have a PB&J over a chocolate covered strawberry. In the world of chocolate covered fruit I prefer chocolate covered pineapple. I just had a chocolate covered strawberry Friday night. Here's something for another post for you...the idea of a chocolate covered strawberry sounds so exotic and luxurious but often it suffers in reality. Often the strawberry is not perfect or the chocolate is so-so. 

Feb 10, 2019 07:30 PM #8
James Dray
Fathom Realty AR LLC - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Morning John,

As Michael Jacobs would say, you have pondered on this one for a while.  Not much on mixing chocolate with strawberries, while I like them both, I like them separated

Feb 11, 2019 01:56 AM #9
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce say it another way....:Do What you Love and the Money will Come"...niches can be too narrow...and need to be complimented by other areas that work well in each market.

Feb 11, 2019 12:12 PM #10
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

That was an awesome post and the picture of the strawberry is pretty irresistible.  As for your picture dilemma, just make some photo galleries in case people want to see lots of pics.

Feb 11, 2019 02:51 PM #11
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

Gold Dipped Champagne Strawberries.

Shiny but so edible! Hahahahahahahah!

Feb 11, 2019 04:01 PM #12
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and your advice.

Have a most productive month. 

Feb 13, 2019 12:30 PM #13
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning John Henry - you are one smart architect!  I love the examples and I am sure all the brand experts would agree.  I find that the biggest problem is for a business owner to realize his or her real niche.

Feb 14, 2019 04:51 AM #14
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Hi John.  My wife made some chocolate covered strawberries for me on Valentine's Day.  Along with the flowers I gave her, she wanted a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Feb 16, 2019 07:38 AM #15
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I can see maybe both sides of myself existing on different days. Do you know what I mean?

Feb 18, 2019 11:45 PM #16
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Gabe Sanders I do like making things and experimenting or like in an artistic way. It’s always so fun to do stuff like that!

Feb 18, 2019 11:46 PM #17
Dörte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear John,

I can see your dilemma. You have a lot of eye candy to choose from, so hard to whittle down your photographs. Even with the few you posted here, your style is quite evident and 35 years in the business proves that people have found you over the years.

Mar 14, 2019 08:49 PM #18
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