The Ins and Outs of Picking a Real Estate Niche

Posted by on Mar 18, 2015 in Marketing, Niche Strategies, Real Estate | 0 comments

The Ins and Outs of Picking a Real Estate Niche

I’m a firm believer in the power of niche marketing. (Here’s why.) Most real estate professionals agree that specialization is an attractive strategy. Even so, do you find it difficult to pinpoint a niche that feels like a good fit?

The problem is not a lack of possibilities. Rather, it’s deciding WHICH niche is most promising for your personal circumstances.

Picking the right opportunity means studying your options from two distinctly different perspectives:

  1. Outward — Which market characteristics point to attractive niche opportunities?
  2. Inward — What are my own unique strengths and interests?

By looking out—while also looking in—you’ll improve your odds of discovering a winning combination that’s both profitable and personally rewarding. Here’s how:

 

Looking OUTWARD

Segment your market – How does your market break down on various dimensions? For example, what’s the current composition by different types of housing? (Think in terms of unique styles in your area, like bungalows, or distinct neighborhoods, or lifestyle choices.) What are the key demographics for current residents? (Who’s moving into your area? Are there underserved groups?) What about housing opportunities linked to major employers, universities, etc.?

Gauge the opportunity – Assign rough numbers to your key segments (number of transactions, average commission earned, etc.). Is there enough business to support one or more specialists?

Evaluate your competition – Who is already serving these segments? How successful have they been? Are they well entrenched with buyers/sellers? How dominant is their online presence?

Look for overlaps, synergies – Can a niche be built by combining market segments? (For example, first-time buyers and distressed properties.) Or by collaborating with other real estate professionals and/or affiliated businesses?

Consider future expectations – Is this a segment primed for growth or decline?

 

Looking INWARD

Personal preferences – What aspect(s) of my professional life do I enjoy most? Is it working with certain types of buyers/sellers? Networking with other professionals? Researching and solving complex problems? Sharing my passion for a particular cause? What do my preferences say about the “fit” of one niche over another?

Knowledge and skills – What are my strongest areas of knowledge and expertise? Will I need more training to be successful in my preferred niche?

Business development – What type of marketing activities and sales skills are most necessary to win business in this niche? How well are my personal strengths/weaknesses aligned with these needs? Can I hire help to fill any gaps?

 

When it comes to specialization, there are rarely easy, obvious answers. Nor is this a complete list of questions to consider. Cultivating a niche market is more like exploring a path than flipping a switch. It requires time for research, introspection and occasional adjustments.

In time, however, your path will come into focus and you’ll begin enjoying the many rewards of specialization!

 

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Julie Collins

Since 2002, Julie Collins has been teaching real estate agents how to be more successful in articles published by the National Association of REALTORS®. (She helps NAR produce at least two dozen newsletters each year.) That's how she knows real estate. But Julie knows marketing too, with over 30 years of strategic and tactical experience. Blending these strengths, she helps real estate agents learn how to leverage their marketing techniques and build a more profitable and rewarding real estate practice.

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