How to Find Your Real Estate Agent Niche

Specializing in Real Estate Property Types, Areas or Client Types

Couple buying a house
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There are very few real estate professionals that can be everything to everybody. The most successful ones have found a niche and stuck with it. It could be a certain type of client (buyers or sellers) or a market area or a property type (condos, commercial). We're going to profile some of the more common niches, or areas of specialization, that have been successful for agents. It doesn't hurt to also specialize in something that you enjoy doing.

Work Only With a Certain Type of Property

The choices are many in this area. You can be a commercial property specialist, selling business structures. Or you can specialize in single family residential homes, farms and ranches or even just condominiums. There are agents out there in big condo markets that have their web sites named "XXX Town Condos." There are agents who only do land sales in the more rural areas.

Specializing in One Geographical Area

If you have very large subdivisions in your area, specializing in one subdivision has been found to be very lucrative for some agents. It's called "farming" an area when you focus your marketing on it. If you're listing homes, the frequency of your for sale signs in a subdivision can bring you business from those who perceive you as that area's expert. If you're in a rural area with many small towns, you might want to specialize in one or two of these towns.

Work Only With One Type of Client

This is another very popular niche strategy. There are agents that only work with sellers and list exclusively. There are buyer agents that do not list. Frequently, these two niches are combined in one office or on a team. This is one niche that can evoke an emotional response. "I hate working with sellers!" could indicate that you'd be happier, and thus more successful working only with buyers. A very special niche is the "investor client." These clients buy and sell for investment only.

The High-End Exclusive Properties Specialist

Usually only after a reputation has been established in a high price market, an agent can specialize only in higher priced properties. This market niche requires excellent marketing skills and a high profile in the community. This agent would market to the concerns and needs of very high priced property owners.

The Property Management Specialization

Especially in resort and vacation markets, an agent can make a very nice living managing short and long term rentals for their clients. Within some offices, cooperative marketing has been done, with a vacation home buyer agent and a management agent working together. A vacation home buyer may want to use the property only part time and rent it out for income when they aren't there.

The Internet Buyer as a Niche Strategy

This is a strategy that has been very successful in vacation/resort markets, or in markets with a high percentage of buyers that are coming from outside the area. With more than 70% of internet buyers indicating that they ended up working with the first web agent that contacted them, you can see the potential.

Combine Niches to Find Your Perfect Marketing Strategy

Take any two or more of the above specializations and combine them, if it works for you. You could be an Internet Buyer Agent specializing in Farms and Ranches. Or perhaps you'd like to serve only sellers of high-rise condos in the city. It's your business and your success.

The Distressed Property Niche

This became a major niche after the crash in the real estate and mortgage markets beginning in late 2006 or early 2007, depending on area. However, one should be careful about committing too much in the way of planning, marketing and future income based on bad times. Wouldn't you hate to be the only person in real estate complaining about good times?