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You already know how competitive the real estate industry is. You may feel tempted to chase every lead and commission – but the most successful agents have grown their business by targeting a sub-section of the market.
Identifying and developing a niche is choosing to focus on a specific property or client type, or location. A narrowed focus simplifies networking and marketing, and may even reduce the competition.
Very broadly, anyone looking to buy or sell a property will expect their agent to have high integrity, communicate well, and understand the market. Assuming you have those basic skills, what are the other things you do really well?
If you are highly empathetic, you may shine when working with a recently widowed or divorced seller. If you have a very direct communication style and an exceptional knowledge of a town’s history, you might connect well with an investor. Are you an excellent negotiator? You may have a lot of success helping buyers reach an agreement when purchasing a fixer-upper.
In addition to considering your strengths to identify a niche, consider your professional history, personal interests, and where you are in your life – literally and figuratively!
If you have a young family and are actively involved in community or school events, you may be in the perfect position to meet other young families and help them buy their first homes.
Do you have an eye for design? You could be the agent who helps buyers turn an average house into their dream home.
Different types of buyers or sellers will value different skills.
You probably can work with anyone, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t focus on what you do best.
To help you figure out a niche market, answer these questions:
- Do you have particular knowledge about a specific area of real estate?
- Do you have a particular interest in a specific area of real estate?
- What do your past clients have in common?
- What do the clients you enjoyed the most have in common?
- If you receive referrals, what do those leads have in common?
- If you receive referrals, what do the lead sources have in common?
Be honest in your self-analysis. You might be surprised at how your personality, strengths, and interests can uniquely equip you to work with a specific group. First-time buyers, retirees looking to downsize, and investors looking to expand their portfolio will not be looking for the same kind of agent.
There are many opportunities – smaller markets within the market. Consider opportunities by property type, client type, or location.
Single Family Homes • Condos • Townhouses • Fixer Uppers • Luxury Homes
First Time Home Buyers • Newlyweds • Relocations • Seniors • Singles • Investors
Neighborhood • City • Zip Code • Lifestyle Community • Vacation Destination
Once you have a niche in mind, research it. Is your focus narrow enough? Is it too narrow? How have other agents successfully marketed to this group? And perhaps most importantly, is there room in the local market for you?
Picking a niche can feel counter-intuitive because you are choosing one part over all others. But, specialization creates more opportunities for you to stand out in the (smaller) crowd, and marketing to a subset within the market can be very effective.
Another benefit of a niche is that you can be more specific about your business – making the “What do you do?” conversation more memorable.
Go from “I am in real estate” to “I am a real estate agent focused on helping young families get into their first home. Pass my name along if I can help someone you know!”
Honestly assess your skills, interests, and local market to determine if working within a niche is the right approach for you. A specialized focus has been a key to many agents’ success.
Need a little help choosing your niche? Download this worksheet to identify your ideal client.