By: Robert Gideon
You’ve earned your license. You’ve sent out handwritten notes. You’ve got your CRM of choice operational and you’ve gleefully stumbled through your first few transactions. Now what? Now, it’s crucial to find your niche so you can stand out in this competitive industry.
There are several niches in the residential space. You could choose one by determining which type of client you’re best able to serve. Some examples include first-time homebuyers, investors, relocators, seniors, athletes and more. You could also choose a niche based on the kind of home you like to work with: condos and new homes are two examples.
Why Finding a Niche Matters
Residential real estate is a vast and diverse field with countless options for specialization. Choosing a niche helps you focus your efforts and become an expert in a specific market segment. Here’s why finding your niche matters:
- Differentiation: In a sea of real estate agents, having a niche sets you apart. It helps you become known for something specific, making it easier for potential clients to remember and choose you.
- Expertise: Becoming an expert in your niche allows you to provide valuable insights, advice and solutions to your clients. This expertise can build trust and boost your reputation.
- Efficiency: By narrowing your focus, you can streamline your marketing efforts and develop tailored strategies that resonate with your target audience.
Now that we understand why finding a niche is essential, let’s explore how to discover yours.
Begin your journey by reflecting on your interests, passions and strengths. Ask yourself these questions:
- What aspects of residential real estate excite me the most?
- Do I have any specialized knowledge or skills that could be beneficial in a specific niche? Am I more drawn to working with buyers, sellers or both?
- Who can I serve best and where can I add the most value?
Your answers will provide valuable insights into potential niches that align with your personal and professional aspirations.
Take the time to research your local real estate market. Look for trends, gaps and opportunities. Some niches might be more profitable or underserved in your area. Consider factors like property types, neighborhoods and demographics when conducting your research. You might find, for instance, that new home sales are up in your area and that buyers interested in new homes could use a real estate professional to help walk them through the process. Similarly, moving trends might mean more seniors are moving into your area and need help downsizing.
Connect with experienced agents in your brokerage and community. They can provide valuable guidance and share their experiences in different niches. Attend industry events, join local real estate associations, and participate in online forums to expand your network and gather insights.
Remember to cast a wide net when networking. You want to network with other agents and get out in the community to ask professionals from related industries—lenders, title companies, insurance agents, property managers, builders, investors, etc.—for insights.
Test Different Niches
Don’t be afraid to try different niches to see which one resonates with you. Work with clients in various segments of the market to gain hands-on experience and discover where your passions lie. Remember though that your clients are not your guinea pigs! Customer service is first and foremost, and every client deserves the best of you, even if you decide later on that the niche itself isn’t working out.
Finding a mentor who has succeeded in your chosen niche can be immensely beneficial. They can offer guidance, share their knowledge and help you navigate the challenges specific to your niche. If you’ve pinpointed someone you admire, don’t be afraid to reach out. The worst they can say is that they don’t have the time or aren’t in a position to mentor. You’ll never know if you don’t ask, though.
Building Your Brand
Once you’ve identified your niche, it’s time to build your personal brand around it. Develop a marketing strategy that showcases your expertise in your chosen area. This may include creating a niche-specific website, social media content and networking within your niche community.
In conclusion, finding your niche in residential real estate as a new agent is a crucial step toward building a successful and fulfilling career. By reflecting on your interests, conducting market research, networking, testing different niches, seeking mentorship, and building your brand, you can position yourself as an expert in your chosen segment of the market. With dedication and perseverance, you’ll find your niche and thrive in residential real estate. Good luck!
Robert “Bobby” Gideon is a co-founder of NextHome Central Real Estate and Phido Group LLC. He belongs to several community organizations and prides himself on honesty, professionalism, and dedication. He has been the co-executor of a residential home building firm for the previous 12+ years and of NextHome CRE since its launch. Bobby has spent his professional career defining project objectives and coordinating team members to achieve their collective goal. Bobby has completed the Leadership Tomorrow (LT7) Program with the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Association of Realtors and attained the National Association of REALTORS®’ “Commitment to Excellence” endorsement for his “dedication to practicing real estate at the highest professional standards”. Bobby has also earned several designations and certifications to better serve his clients, include the “At Home With Diversity” certification, the Accredited Buyer’s Representative Designation (ABR) and the SRS designation from the NAR. Bobby is also a Military Relocation Specialist (MRP). This certification allows him to better serve those clients that served our country.