Creating a real estate niche is a scary thing for some agents. So is settling on a geographic area to work. These agents suffer from FOMO – fear of missing out. They are afraid that by focusing on a niche or a geographic area, they’re going to miss out on sales that are outside of that niche.
I cringe when writing a bio for someone and they tell me that they serve an entire state and handle every kind of real estate. Grated, some states are small, but I doubt that any are small enough for any one agent to be a reliable expert on every community within the state.
I live in a large county (1,919 square miles), and even though many of those miles are lakes and forest land, I’m quite sure that no one agent is an expert on every community within it.
The same is true for handling every kind of real estate. If you live in a very small town, then you almost must handle everything. There simply aren’t enough transactions in any one niche to become a specialist. But if the population and the number of transactions per year allows, then it is in your best interest to choose and develop a real estate niche.
I am not the only one who believes in niche marketing. If you log in to Active Rain and search for “niches” you’ll find dozens of articles. For instance, this one from luxury marketing specialists Ron and Alexandra Seigel.
Specializing in a real estate niche does not mean excluding other transactions.
I do believe you should avoid working in unfamiliar geographic areas or handling transactions for which you have no knowledge. A residential agent is NOT the best choice for someone buying or selling a commercial property – or farm and ranch acreage. Conversely, agents who specialize in those areas likely don’t have the right skills to handle the purchase or sale of a single-family home or condominium.
You do owe it to your clients to possess the knowledge and expertise they expect you to have.
However, focusing on a real estate niche doesn’t mean you can’t help buyers and sellers outside of that niche. If you specialize in probate, divorce listings, or military relocation, you can certainly handle the sale of a home for a seller who is selling for some other reason. If you specialize in helping first time buyers, you can still help someone who is moving up or downsizing.
That’s why you should develop a real estate niche. How about how?
Developing a real estate niche simply means learning/knowing more than the average agent about the people or properties you’ve chosen as your specialty – and then promoting yourself.
As your expertise grows, so will your reputation, and before too long, you will be THE agent to call when your specialized services are needed.
You’ll gain referrals and gather even more clients than you would have if your energies and your marketing were scattered.
Developing a geographic niche…
If your niche is a geographic area, that’s simple. Prospect that area heavily. Walk around and talk to people. Have lunch in the neighborhood cafes. Attend their yard sales, holiday bazaars, celebrations, and/or school sporting events.
And meanwhile, learn everything there is to know about the area. Know all about the services available, the cost of utilities, the zoning, the school district boundaries, the property taxes, the mass transit routes, the shopping, etc. etc. Of course, you must also know all about the real estate market.
Become the expert so can become known as the expert.
What about specialized niches?
First, learn what you need to know. People who are selling in probate or because of a divorce need specific information in order to avoid making costly mistakes – so you need to have that information. The same goes for people facing a military relocation or short sale.
Seniors who are relocating, owners of vacation home properties, and owners of vacant properties and tenant-occupied properties have different reasons for selling and may require different services from you. Be sure you’re willing to provide those services.
So read, learn, and take any classes available to further your knowledge.
Let your personal website and blog reflect your chosen real estate niche.
In addition to general advice posts for buyers and sellers, fill your website with information pages related to your niche. In other words, let your web visitors see that YOU are the expert.
If you’ve chosen a geographic niche, include a community page – or more than one if your territory includes subdivisions or suburbs. Blog about area amenities and services. Let your readers know when a new business is opening. Report on City Council meetings you’ve attended.
If yours is a “specialty” niche, blog about the details. Write fictional case studies to illustrate situations that can arise with buyers or sellers in your real estate niche. Explain the why behind some of the rules that affect buyers and sellers in your niche.
For instance, if you handle new construction buyers, blog about why they need to take their agent along when visiting open houses. If you handle probate listings, blog about the necessity to adhere to the court’s timelines. Give examples of what happens if you don’t.
Let your stories reflect your added services. For instance, if you handle probate, blog about organizing the workforce to conduct estate sales and/or do clean-up and fix-up for out of area sellers. If you handle divorce sales, blog about your willingness to meet the parties separately.
While you’re at it, do blog about how much you enjoy your work and the people you meet each day.
Then, do your research and begin prospecting.
Cole Realty Research is a good source to learn all about the people in a given neighborhood. You can learn their ages, what they paid for their houses, how long they’ve lived there, and a whole lot more. I expect there are other similar services.
For probate, divorce, and distressed home sellers, you can look to the local newspapers and the County recorder’s files.
When you don’t know what to say to those in your real estate niche, use my pre-written letters.
Following is a sampling of the letters available on my prospecting letters page.
You’ll find letters for most purposes – and if what you need isn’t there, let me know!
- NEW!! Prospecting to homeowners who need to move immediately.
- NEW! Why Homeowners Should Consider Selling in 2022
- Geographic Territory Farming Letters REVISED FOR 2022
- Prospecting Letters for a Hot Market
- Prospecting to Vacation-home & Second-home Owners Letters REVISED FOR 2022
- High-end Prospecting Letters
- Absentee Owner Letters – to list vacant houses REVISED FOR 2022
- Absentee Owner Letters – to list tenant-occupied single-family houses.
- Letters to List Vacant Rental Properties
- Prospecting for fixer-uppers letters
- Senior Relocation Prospecting Letters
- Prospecting to Empty Nesters
- Prospecting for Vacant Land Listings
- Short Sale Letter Set
- I Have a Buyer Letters for homeowners in distress
- Short Sale Postcards
- Short Sale Letters for agents who hire a negotiator
- Notice of Default 6-Letter Set
- Notice of Default Letters –Postcard sized
- Notice of Default With Equity 8-letter Set
- Notice of Trustee’s Sale letter set
- Divorce prospecting letters
- Divorce Attorney prospecting letters
- The Probate Prospecting Letters This is the original set, with letters to executors and both letters and postcards to probate attorneys
- The Probate Prospecting Postcards Six postcards to executors, presented in a variety of formats.
- The 16-letter Probate Prospecting set
Niche image courtesy of Stuart Miles @ freedigitalphotos.net