By Anita Clark
It can be difficult for both new agents and seasoned professionals to maintain a year-round stream of prospects from our online marketing efforts. This is especially true if we do not focus on a specific niche or market segment.
It is easy to get sidetracked by the latest shiny real estate thing. It can also be hard to get started because of time constraints or the myriad of online options we have available to us such as:
- Using social media
- Dabbling with both blogging/SM
- Local citations
- Paying someone to do it for us
- Working with virtual assistants
- Doing something else
- Not sure where to start
So how do we maintain our online marketplace presence while continuing to help buyers and sellers into and out of homes? We need to specialize in niche marketing and become the expert on a particular process, area, or thing before moving forward and conquering another niche. That way we can better use our time and resources on a few online tasks instead of spreading ourselves too thin and being ineffective on all fronts.
Remember, it is important not to discriminate, so while you may target a specific societal block, helping all real estate consumers should be our goal. If in doubt, check out the Fair Housing Act for more details. With that said, here are a few key things we can do to establish and master our niche marketing.
Establish a Niche Baseline
We need to first determine if we are going to target a specific demographic, age group, type or style of dwelling (i.e townhomes, homes with acreage, etc.), location (i.e. subdivision, county, city, etc.), or something entirely different that is relevant in our market. The list is virtually endless but here are several examples to get you started.
- Active seniors (55+)
- Empty nesters
- International clients
- Military relocations
- Move down/up buyers
- Single parents
- Baby boomers
- Generation X
- Millennials (Gen Y)
- Silent generation
- Single under 40 (or 50, 60, etc.)
Property Type/Style Examples
- Equine properties
- Gated communities
- Homes with pools (or acreage, basements, 3+ car garages, etc.)
- Lake houses
- Luxury properties
- Manufactured homes
- New construction
- Ranch style
- Close to a local feature (i.e. beach, downtown, lake, park, river, etc.)
- Golf course living
- School district (including universities)
- Specific area (i.e. city, county, suburb, etc.)
- Zip code
- Disability access
- Media room
- Smart homes
- Special features (i.e. gardens, workshops, etc.)
Add to or choose something from the lists above. There are plenty of opportunities. Other considerations include how much business we want (some may be content with five to 10 transactions a year while others want to be top of their market) and the distance we are willing to travel for this niche. The key is to find something we can become the local real estate expert on.
Become The Expert
Once you have chosen a niche, it is time to learn everything you can about it. For instance, if you choose a particular subdivision you will want to know details about the builder (even if it is a mature community), land rights and information, and community utility types/options.
You will also want to know whether there is a homeowners association, key market indicators/statistics, growth around the subdivision, nearby entertainment/restaurants, schools, and a host of other facts that tell buyers and existing homeowners you know as much or more than anyone else in the local area about their subdivision.
If you have an interest or passion in the niche (equine for example) your enthusiasm will shine through. When others see you sincerely care about a topic they will take notice. Once they start joining, sharing, and engaging, you can bet your phone ringing for real estate assistance will be next.
How To Keep It Going
We all know buyers will continue to buy and sellers will keep listing their homes on the local market. What we want is a percentage (what is yours?) of those consumers to call us. But…how do we keep a steady flow of real estate calls coming in to stay busy year-round?
If you are committed to using online resources to generate new prospects, leads, and clients, your cornerstone should be based on blogging. It’s easy to write 10-plus articles about something we care about. It should be that simple when we want a specific piece of the local market share too. Once your in-depth articles are created, you need to periodically share them.
The easiest way to do that is to utilize social media. The sites you use is entirely up to you but the key is to have an active following. Ensure you engage with your followers too! Joining or creating a Google Plus and/or Facebook community is a fantastic way to generate local buzz. Establishing a LinkedIn group can also create new interest, so can Pinterest, Instagram, and plenty of other sites. Even paying for ads such as a Facebook article boost can do wonders to help establish your niche authority.
The point is, we have to share our content, add relevant information/content from others, and be “present” in whatever setting we have established or are a member of. Being top-of-mind when buyers are ready to start looking or sellers are prepping to list their home is exactly what we want. Closing deals with those same consumers is not nearly as difficult as we think when we develop and grow a real estate niche.
What’s your real estate niche?
Anita Clark is a residential real estate agent with Coldwell Banker SSK, REALTORS®, in Houston County, Ga. She is from Coventry, England, is a retired military spouse, and has been assisting buyers, investors, and sellers in middle Georgia since 2007. Connect with Anita on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, or on her Warner Robins Real Estate Blog.