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Find Your Niche

Many agents are reluctant to position themselves as specialists, for fear of limiting their earning potential. A broad range of potential customers is both a blessing and a curse for real estate agents. If you’re a generalist, nearly everyone you meet is a potential client. On the other hand, being all things to all people can lead to unfocused business plans and lackluster results.

In reality, there is little risk in foregoing commissions you don’t have a reasonable chance to earn. Few agents have the time and resources to market to a very broad audience, so choosing a professional niche in which you can excel makes sense. In addition to helping you differentiate your services from other real estate practitioners, you can build credibility and focused expertise. Better yet, as you develop a reputation for a specific area of expertise, you are actively reducing competition for your services.

Now all that’s left is choosing a highly profitable niche. To help you get started, here are some suggestions for highly lucrative niches, and also some to avoid:

Good agent specializations:

  • Homes near top-rated schools
  • Equestrian properties
  • Income-producing properties
  • Waterfront or beachfront properties
  • Townhomes
  • Vacation homes
  • Historic properties
  • Green or energy-efficient homes
  • Ranch or farm properties
  • Upscale and luxury real estate
  • Mountain views
  • Active retirement communities

Bad agent specializations:

  • Agent with obvious toupee
  • Agent still using high school yearbooks photo
  • Agent whose car always needs vacuuming
  • The Bad Haircut agent
  • The agent who repeats lines from Sienfeld episodes
  • Agent who never wears socks
  • The too-much-perfume agent
  • The agent who talks about her cats
  • The really irritable agent
  • Agent who also sells Amway and Herbalife
  • The agent who could use a shave
  • Agent with a comb-over
  • Agent who apparently doesn’t own an iron

Obviously, some niches are better than others, and there are still plenty of real estate agents out there trying to please everyone. The bottom line: Prospects today are not looking for a salesperson, they are looking for a trusted advisor to guide them through important financial decisions and complex transactions. Does your professional niche brand you as a real estate expert, or someone who sells real estate? As author and sales consultant John Graham says, it’s better to be known for knowing something, not just selling something.