Don't Be Afraid to Niche - It Won't Limit Your Real Estate Business!
There comes a time in many agents' careers when they get tired, burned out, and know they can't continue in the business the way they have.
Maybe they are selling across too large of an area that has awful traffic and they are spending more and more time on the road and less time in the houses they are trying to show.
Maybe they are working with clients who don't take advice and are too much work (such as buyers who won't be realistic in their offers and you wind up writing offer after offer, driving further and further away from where they started their search months ago).
Maybe they have had an awful transaction with a client. You know, one of those transactions that make you question whether or not you are cut out for this business and causes you to spend days planning your next vacation, cruising social media, watching Hallmark movies, and eating cheese.
Although these moments are painful, they are necessary to get agents to take a good hard look at their business and wonder if there is a better way. Sometimes you have to hit bottom to make a change.
There is a better way! But it requires you to make some choices and do some research. I am talking about focusing on a niche market. Why? Focusing on a niche market helps you:
- Generally, work with more sellers which allows you to leverage more of your time.
- Become a go-to expert and resource on a specific type of property which again, helps you to leverage more of your time.
- Concentrate on a type of real estate that you enjoy. For example, if you love historic homes, then why not focus on a niche market that allows you to spend more time in them?
- Engage more with people who are more likely to share your interests. For example, if you love horses and have knowledge of equestrian properties, if you make that your niche you are more likely to work with others who have the same love of horses you do!
A niche market can be:
- An area
- A type of property
- A type of client
- A situation
|AREA||TYPE OF PROPERTY||TYPE OF CLIENT||SITUATION|
|HOA||Condos||First-Time Homebuyers||Tax Arrears|
|Golf Community||Equestrian||Luxury Owners||Divorce|
|Historic Area||Historic Home||Professionals in a specific field or company||Expired Listing|
The sky is the limit when you think about the different niche markets that are available in your market. You can even combine a few of the above if your market is large enough. For example, you may decide to focus on single-story homes in a golf-course community.
"Denise, this sounds great, but if I focus on one type of property, won't I lose business? What if a potential client assumes that I only work with the type of product or people in my niche and they don't reach out?"
Agents do assume that if they name and claim a niche, they will lose all the other potential business that may have previously come their way. But this is where real estate agent branding and balance come in. Let's take a look at two agents who have strong niche markets and look at how they market to that niche:
Karmin Pincus specializes in a specific type of client and I bet you can tell what it is just by looking at the images. That's right! Karmin's niche market is military relocation. Her brand elements include her insignia house logo and navy blue. There is no question with a brand like this that she understands the complexities of a military relocation, can probably answer questions about VA loans and has VA lender resources, may even have a military background herself (she does!), and is well-equipped to help folks relocating to the area feel welcome and appreciated. This is what I call an all-in niche market.
Her processes are geared toward helping this specific type of client. But does this mean she can't help other buyers and sellers? Of course not! In fact, her military clients are so impressed, she gets referrals for other types of real estate too.
Does Karmin's niche limit her business? No! In fact, because she is a specialist and not a generalist, she attracts more of the type of client that is rewarding for her to work with.
Now let's take a look at Lin Shih. Lin sells real estate in Seattle and around Lake Washington, but her specialty is Downtown Seattle condos.
Lin's brand elements include her red that indicates good fortune along with some dramatic contrasting black, a luxurious font, her eye-catching signature, and emblematic silver fortune cookie complete with fortune cookie (modeled after her client gifts – a large silver decorative fortune cookie). Notice there is no naming-and-claiming of her niche on her general brand that she uses.
Lin's niche comes to life when she creates content for that specific market. The materials above are samples of what she sends to her niche market with content including stats, market information, sold properties, results, and more. Her general brand is the car body, but the content is the engine that drives this niche market.
If you are considering a niche and wondering how to brand your real estate business, we can help. Our real estate branding services have helped many agents develop a niche in a way that works for their custom needs. We approach real estate agent branding in a very custom way – by looking at your whole business. Who you are, your past clients, and who you want to focus on in the future is critical for determining the right visuals to bring it all together. If you need help with the campaign side of things, we can help with that too!
To schedule an appointment, call us at (360) 527-8904, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join me for Search for Sellers, coming up this November 10th in Lynnwood.
By Denise Lones CSP, M.I.R.M., CDEI - The founding partner of The Lones Group, Denise Lones, brings nearly three decades of experience in the real estate industry. With agent/broker coaching, expertise in branding, lead generation, strategic marketing, business analysis, new home project planning, product development, Denise is nationally recognized as the source for all things real estate. With a passion for improvement, Denise has helped thousands of real estate agents, brokers, and managers build their business to unprecedented levels of success, while helping them maintain balance and quality of life.