A hobby or passion or an interest is usually put on the shelf until after the workday is over. For real estate agents, though, this could be the key to carving out a successful career. Aside from obvious geographical focuses, a niche in real estate used to mean “foreclosure specialist” or “new home buyer expert”. Now, however, it can mean anything from cats to hobby trains.
Take, for example, Djuna Woods of peninsulahousehound. com. She specializes in real estate in the Silicon Valley that is friendly to dog owners. Not only will she show you the usual selections in your price range, she will also show you real estate that is close to dog parks, obedience classes, and veterinarians. She also provides advice to people who are buying and selling property as to what to do with their pet during the transaction process and how to make a move easier for them.
There are agents who specialize in nudist (or naturist) clients, eco-friendly homes, child-friendly homes, etc. The thing is, many of these people are making a success out of the real estate business because they are focusing on people who share their love for a particular thing. Imagine talking about your favorite subject in order to sell houses.
It’s not all fun, though. In order to make sure that your clients are getting the best house for their money, you have to stay on top of the market and on the state of your specialty.
For instance, a dog-friendly agent needs to know where all the veterinarians, trainers, groomers and dog-friendly parks are in their chosen area. They also have to keep “boned up” on the laws, statutes, regulations and policies concerning dogs in the area. Additional things they might want to be aware of is local pesticide use, common dog allergens and other peripheral information that may make them more aware of the issues that a particular property might cause for a dog-owning person.
Don’t think that you have to have a clear-cut niche. Multiple interests can result in multiple sales. So, if you have dogs, kids, ornamental goldfish and enjoy a weekly game of golf, you can use this to find the right home for people who have one or all of these interests. It’s all in the marketing and people can be attracted to someone who doesn’t ‘just’ sell real estate, but can talk with them on subjects that they are interested in and find them a property that facilitates their enjoyment of these hobbies.
Niches can also come from your culture, background and family history. No matter where you are, you are probably a member of some kind of group, whether it be ethnic, special-interest, charitable, shared background, etc. Use it to gain contacts and find out what other people in this group are really looking for in terms of homes.
Carving out a niche based on your interests can be rewarding, both in terms of your career and in terms of your other interests. Being able to really understand where someone is coming from when they say, “I want a yard that is big enough for a fishpond/kennel of Great Danes/pack of kids/putting green” can result in increased trust in you by the client and a better real estate experience all around.