Are you in the ditch with your niche?

Services for Real Estate Pros with John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. 13013

“A year from now you may wish you had started today” -- Karen Lamb


It seems that just a few things can get me motivated: impending death and bills especially.  But motivation to do things now for an imminent future are critical to any business and tend to be put off.  A short term rush is what humans tend to settle on.  We see a few steps ahead and deal with it.


How many things do you wish you had started or completed a year ago that would have made you more visible, profitable, or leveraged in some way to handle or overcome major issues staring you down right now?

What is preventing you from changing course and setting goals to achieve a desired result?


Honestly, I hate motivational speeches.  But there is a logic in most of these adages.  


Something else I found very interesting of late. I was listening to our jazz station here in Maitland/Winter Park and a jazz player was on claiming that in order to be successful you must be original.  In trying to find the source of the quote days later, I came upon a jazz pianist from South Africa, Sy Ntuli, who said recently "..To conquer the world, you must be original and authentic."


The addition of authenticity is a very interesting notion.  We can see in the arts that those who buck the trends, in general, tend to find an audience curated by the intelligentsia.  Those who slog with the same old, same old, tend to be ignored or forgotten. 

Frank Lloyd Wright, completing nearly a half century of Prairie Style houses, was about to be shelved at the advent of Modernist architecture until he completely changed his colors and outdid the competition with his uniquely modern and original Falling Water custom home in Bear Run, Pa.

Was he authentic?  Should we stick to certain principles?  Maybe if you are stuck in a ditch with your niche, you might wish to reconsider how things are going and possibly repackage yourself.

Stay authentic but simply showcase a talent or go after a different market or (??) that will better suit your goals and business bottom line.  Do something unconventionally: marketing, web, adverts, contact process, customer services, etc.  Oh yes, perhaps you need to 'get out of your box' that you have so neatly constructed that may have been perfect a few years back but now is old curtains. 

What about thinking beyond the impending future and actually trying to stay ahead (of the competition?)  Anticipate rather than react.  Plan and don't simply slog out your day to day routine.  Easy to say, isn't it?  Rather check your Facebook feed, text your old friends, watch a few hours of YouTube, tweet a bit, and then close the day with nothing really accomplished?  Hey, four fingers are pointing back at me!

We need to reevaluate our earlier decisions constantly in fact.  The winds of change may leave our neatly created boxy boats on high ground if we don't... 

Think long term and short term success will come readily.

Comments (29)

John Henry, Florida Architect
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design

Thanks, Laura Cerrano for your comments.  All good here in Orlando, cases starting to drop.  Stick to your niche and don't be a chameleon.  People expect the same 'you' day to day.

Sep 17, 2020 10:21 AM
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Love your post - and out-of-the-box thinking. Smart words, and I always love a post featuring Frank Lloyd Wright homes.  Glad Will Hamm reblogged it. D 

Sep 19, 2020 12:04 PM
John Henry, Florida Architect

Thanks for your interest and attention!  FLW was my hero in college.  I think we have to figure if we are in the box even!!  

Sep 28, 2020 10:09 AM
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi John- I was in a student of Frank Lloyd Wright's home (at least that's what I was told) It looked like a spaceship. Unique and interesting. 

Sep 19, 2020 02:29 PM
John Henry, Florida Architect

Hi Kathy, I wonder if you might have been in a house that one of Wright's students had designed? Thank you!

Sep 19, 2020 08:39 PM
Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ

Hi John - what an awesome post! So much to ponder, especially since many of us (maybe all of us) have had to completely get out of a box that was working well and re-create something entirely different. FLW is one of my favorites of all time. I grew up in one of FLW's Praire Homes and it was so ahead of it's time. Course I didn't know that back then!! And then we discovered that our current home was designed by an architect that studied at Talieson West (love that place)!  There were several built in the 70's with different design elements ( 15 or so homes). What was odd to me at first, was from the back patio/pool area, looking back at the roof line it looked Japanese- like to me. I didn't know that he had that 'period' until I visited all the homes he built in Chicago.  Can't wait to go back out to TW.  Look who you inspired today! THKS!

Sep 25, 2020 02:16 PM
Shannon Jones
The Shannon Jones Team - Long Beach, CA
Long Beach CA Real Estate

Long term thinking is always the goal!

Sep 25, 2020 02:20 PM
Chris Ivy
Ivy Vine Investments - Memphis, TN
Sell Your House Fast For Cash In Memphis Tennessee

John this is a really good post man.  Below is very important and something we always don't do.


"Anticipate rather than react"



Sep 25, 2020 07:19 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I just try to be myself and pivot when I need to and leave the rest to the Universe kind of.

Sep 25, 2020 08:03 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Yeah! Anticipation makes it all able to be strategized and thought through probably months in advance Chris Ivy

Sep 25, 2020 08:07 PM
Eileen Burns
Trans State Commercial RE Ft. Lauderdale/Miami/Palm Beach - Fort Lauderdale, FL
FL Probate Agent, Hotel, Land, Multi Family

Good morning John Henry, Florida Architect What a thought provoking post! 

A well-deserved feature and worth re-blogging

My mind was drifting through all your words you are sharing with us....

As Harvey McKay has written "Dig Your Well Before Its Dry". 

Constantly planting seeds for continued success....   

Be pro-active versus reactive

Markets change constantly - what is the trend and where are we in the cycle..

Focus on what is ahead or are you living in the rear view mirror..

Interested or committed...

Most people settle for medocrity...others manifest, create and achieve by adapting to change and seeking to conquer more mountains before we meet our maker.

Sep 26, 2020 04:14 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning John Henry, Florida Architect ,

As usual you gave us a lot to think about in your well deserved featured post! Loved the graphics and my head is now spinning! I remember going through Frank Llloyd Wright's Falling Water custom home with my brother and it was so intriguing! Anticipate rather than react to change is always good advice. Finding a niche, working it by being authentic and you will reap many rewards.

Sep 26, 2020 05:53 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Food for thought - thank you.

I know I go againt the trend, but I still don't see the appeal in FLW's houses. People say "Isn't that wonderful?" and I think "No, it's kinda ugly."

Sep 26, 2020 09:32 AM
John Henry, Florida Architect

Hi Marte Cliff   Most people do not like Wright houses.  It is an afflicted taste... ha.  Thx


Nov 11, 2020 10:04 AM
Matthew Klinowski, PA
Downing-Frye - Naples, FL
Golf Community Real Estate Specialist

Hi John, a great post about carving out a niche! If you can step outside the box and create your own unique and authentic space in the market, you'll thrive in the good times and still do well during the slower times. Matthew Klinowski, Naples Golf Guy  Enjoy your weekend!

Sep 26, 2020 09:44 AM
Kris Collis, Associate Broker
Smart Way America Realty - East Stroudsburg, PA
Professional Results you Expect 570-801-5525

John, great point about reevaluating periodically.  I did this in the Rain recently.  When I started blogging earnestly in June and everything went poof, re-evaluation of priorities and site use was in order.  Being an optimist I remained cautiously optimistic that the promise to restore would be kept but only reblogged while waiting for the miracle of restoration. Yesterday that happened, the optimism paid off, blogs were restored. It looks like the points will follow.  Time to shift again and restart the blog engine.

Sep 26, 2020 09:48 AM
Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®
Carmel by the Sea, CA
Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea

I used to keep changing strategy throughout the year until about 3 years ago. Now I have a steady message that I keep tightening. In essence, I've created my own box.  I do not follow the lead/box of others.  What I mean is that there is so much out there that is being "sold" to agents, the must haves especially on the internet that they should do.  Me? I just don't have the time or the inclination to watch these endless webinars usually needing me to buy something.  And I've never enjoyed being a real estate broker more even in these challenging times. 

Sep 26, 2020 02:03 PM
Greg Mona
West USA Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Professional Real Estate Representation for YOU!

Thank you for the well-written and thought-provoking post John Henry, Florida Architect. With the overabundance of agents out there, it IS difficult to separate oneself from the pack, but it can be done! Heck, it's done every day with certain individuals. That said, your post was just what I needed today!

Sep 26, 2020 02:30 PM
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Realty Center 262-567-2455 - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

Congrats on  your feature this week from Carol!  Well deserved!

Sep 27, 2020 07:08 AM
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

Having a "niche" is something I've contemplated and pursued a few times, John Henry, Florida Architect ... but the niche I chose to follow never seem to fully develop.  Instead, a niche was kind of chosen for me ... by my clients and certainly my repeat referral partners.  Over my 40+ years in business, they've come to see me as a "problem solver" and the lender they choose for close friends/family members, etc.  It's earned me their loyalty.  Perhaps not the niche I envisioned years ago, but certainly a good fit and very rewarding.  The niche chose me, but I think I stand out all the same ...


Sep 28, 2020 11:28 AM
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Interesting post.  Thinking about my niche I'd say there's a certain piece of it that could be refreshed and coincidentally I was thinking about that yesterday.  My niche in energy efficiency is never going to die and neither will the message.  But I'm thinking of switching the message a bit.  Perfect timing when reading your post! 

Oct 12, 2020 06:36 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

WOW, where do I start, John! First, I'm so sorry that I missed this post earlier - it's well thought out, offers a great deal of thought-provoking content and features my favorite, Frank Lloyd Wright - it doesn't get any better than this!

And, yes, anticipating is preferable to adaptation but, I also believe that being able to turn-on-a-dime is huge in our professions. 

Nov 11, 2020 07:11 AM
John Henry, Florida Architect
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design

Hi Debe Maxwell, CRS   Turning on a dime is definitely an advantage.  Glad to hear from you and hope all is well.


Nov 11, 2020 10:03 AM