"There are riches in niches".
If you've been in real estate more than a month, you've probably heard someone say something along that line. But is it just cliche, or is there some truth to it?
And while I personally believe niche posting is WAY more powerful than writing general real estate blog posts, I believe the answer can still be "it depends!".
It depends on the niche.
It depends on how well the niche meshes with your personality and skill set.
It depends on if the niche has staying power through ups and downs of the market.
A niche needs to have certain characteristics to be successful:
1. Adequate volume & price to support a living
2. A reason every other agent in your market can't go after the same niche
3. Consumers seeking information about the niche housing
Back to item 1: some niches can be cyclical: e.g. short sale and foreclosure specialists boomed during the last recession, but agents that specialized in new construction found a pretty barren market as some builders entirely abandoned our market. And as your target market moves down the price point, you've got to make up in volume what you're not getting in dollar amount.
Item 2: Locally we have a handful of agents that seem to have cornered the majority of the luxury market. While technically there are no information and physical barriers to that market, there are some increased costs (e.g. some communities have branded signs specific to their neighborhoods, you're not going to use Joe Average Real Estate Photographer either, etc.). Higher risk, higher reward and not being known around the social clubs is probably enough to keep the majority of agents out of the niche.
Item 3: Is anyone even looking for the niche? Niches can be TOO obscure. Anyone searching for Frank Lloyd Wright designed homes on at least 6 acres with a bowling alley? Probably not.
But we know people search for low maintenance living options. They search for new construction. They search for homes priced over a million dollars (here that's something significant, California peeps...I don't want to hear it!). They search for homes with barns, homes with pools, homes with a water view, homes on golf courses, homes in certain school districts and homes in certain subdivisions, horse farms, ponds, RV garages, near a state park, homes facing east. The list could go on and on.
If there's a searchable criteria in your MLS, there's a possibility of a niche.
There are pros and cons to niches, so before doing a double gainer into the niche pool, think about the niche and potential drawbacks that may impact you even if the niche fits the criteria to be successful.
People may think you ONLY work in your niche and not give you opportunities outside of your niche.
A niche may not lend itself to repeat business. Fact is most of our patio home buyers are buying their LAST home and if their kids are local, they probably already have their own preferred agent.
But the pro side? There is upside, and a much quicker path to being found if you niche market.
How many agents have written "5 Tips To Help Your Home Sell Faster?" posts?
Now how many agents have written posts about your niche? A LOT fewer, right? Maybe not even anyone else.
Until next Tuesday, just Ask An Ambassador if you need help,
Bill & Liz aka BLiz