Strategies for Finding the Perfect Real Estate Niche
Jacqueline Kyo Thomas
One of the biggest career mistakes you can make is to go into real estate without a plan. Sure, you may plan to be a rockstar agent one day, but exactly how do you get there?
The answer is choosing a niche. Specialization gives you the edge over your competition and sets you on that famous road to success. Instead of knowing a little bit about everything, you can know a lot about one thing. In this guide, we’ll discuss the benefits of specialization and how to choose the perfect real estate niche for your personality, passion, and skill set. Let’s get started.
You’re probably thinking to yourself, When I get my license, I’ll be qualified to sell any type of real estate in the state of Massachusetts. Why should I limit myself to one specific sub-set of real estate?
When you specialize, you can become an expert. You’ll know much more about your targeted area than the generalists do, which will give you a competitive advantage. You’ll be able to market yourself as a [insert real estate niche here] expert because you have more knowledge and sales experience in that field.
Remember that a client won’t choose you just because you’re a licensed real estate agent. They’ll choose you because they’re convinced that you can help them find a home or sell one. By being an expert, you can inspire their trust.
When you become an expert in a particular niche, you can also market yourself accordingly. You’ll build a reputation as the go-to person for a particular type of real estate. For example, whenever you network with others, tell them your real estate specialty. That way, whenever they need (or know someone who needs) a particular type of real estate service, they’ll immediately remember you.
The average buyer starts their search online. When you specialize in a particular type of property, you have a greater chance of getting found through an online search.
Let’s say your niche is equestrian ranch properties. You may then choose to create a website for your real estate business, focusing on keywords like “equestrian” or “equine real estate New England.” This way, when prospective customers search for equestrian ranches in Springfield, MA, they’ll find your site.
There are a ton of real estate agents out there who buy or sell anything that comes across their desk. While that may keep food on the table, it won’t grant you rockstar status. To stand apart from the hordes of other real estate agents, you need to choose a niche. Be one of the select few agents in your area who specialize in luxury condos, urban homesteads, or tiny houses, etc.
When you specialize in a particular area, you learn more about your clients. You’ll become familiar with and anticipate their unique needs. This will ensure that you become more in-tune with your clients.
Now that we’ve discussed the benefits of creating a niche, let’s talk about how to find the right one.
If you’re just getting started in real estate, it may be difficult to know which niche to choose. For this reason, it’s tempting to become a generalist. Resist! Here are a few strategies you can use to find out your ideal niche:
Figure out whether you’d like to be a buyer’s agent or a seller’s agent. It may take a while before you have your answer.
Some agents enjoy the process of helping clients find homes. The challenge of meeting a never-ending, sometimes impossible wish list can be satisfying. On the other hand, there are agents who live to negotiate, and love the idea of helping clients sell their homes for top dollar.
Then, to make matters even more complicated, there are other real estate salespeople who act as dual agents. They can represent both the buyer and the seller in the same transaction.
Of course, you may choose to switch between these three different modes, and that’s perfectly acceptable. However, remember that it’s pretty exhausting to switch between the buyer mindset and the seller mindset. Frankly, it would be a better use of your time to focus on one type of client persona (buyer or seller) and learn how to provide the best service to that group.
Take a look at the buying population in your target neighborhood. Who buys homes and what types of homes do they buy? Identify an existing but underserved demographic. Then, consider making it your specialty.
Three places to start your research are:
Also, don’t underestimate a good ‘ole Google search to find more information about your targeted niche. Search for housing trends related to your niche and your desired neighborhood. If you find that client demand for your desired niche is steady or growing, it’s good sign that you’re on the right track.
As cheesy at this sounds, stay with me for a moment. To be successful in real estate, you really have to love what you do. You need something to wake you up every morning. It can’t just be about money, because no amount of money prevents burnout.
Find a niche that brings you fulfillment. For example, if you’re passionate about green living, it makes sense to work with buyers who also embrace an eco-friendly lifestyle. When you find homes that work in harmony with nature, you’re not only satisfying your client, you’re also fulfilling yourself. Deep, right?
Once you decide which real estate niche you’d like to focus on, make it official by becoming certified.
Certification is another way to build your reputation as an expert in your desired niche. Also, becoming a member of an organization gives you more opportunities to build your network and develop professional relationships.
There are dozens of nationally respected, niche real estate organizations to join. Here are a few to consider:
Finding a real estate niche will set you up for a successful career. However, there’s one thing to keep in mind: Never exclude potential clients based on arbitrary designations like race, gender, or handicap. According to the Fair Housing Act, refusing to sell to a person based on their race, color, religion, sex, or national origin is illegal.
You can specialize, but specialize in property, not clientele. Remember to never exclude any client who may wish to use your services.