Niche marketing is the practice of targeting a group based on a shared trait, need, or interest. This can be anything from single parents to wine lovers, and each month we’ll add a new niche below to help you learn to identify, target, and market to different niches to attract buyers and sellers with specific needs.

Many agents are reluctant to position themselves as a specialist for fear of limiting their earning potential, but in reality, targeting a broad audience takes far more time and resources than most agents are able to allocate to their marketing efforts, so choosing a dedicated niche makes sense. In addition to helping you differentiate your services from other real estate agents, you can build credibility and focused expertise that will make you the obvious choice for people in your niche instead of just one of hundreds of agents who don’t specialize in your niche.

Helping veterans buy and sell homes can be very rewarding, especially if you already have ties in this community. If you served as a member of the United States military, have loved ones who served, or have a deep respect for members of the military, working with veterans may be a great niche for you.

Veterans

Who They Are

After serving their countries, many men and women are ready to settle down in a home of their own. Veterans often establish tight-knit communities, so if you establish yourself in this niche, referrals may provide a consistent source of business.

Also, those who qualify for a VA loan can typically afford a more expensive house than an FHA borrower with the same financial situation due to the waived mortgage insurance, 100% financing, and often lower interest rates.

How to Find Them

Housing loans are just one of the many benefits veterans are entitled to. Help veterans in your area access their benefits by sharing information about veteran benefits on your website and social channels. You can also get involved in local groups for veterans either as a volunteer or as a member if you are a veteran.

How to Market to Them

Ask for and share testimonials from veterans you’ve worked with in the past to show that you have experience working with this market. Creating lists or videos outlining what veterans and their families can expect if they plan to buy their home with a VA loan can also be effective ways to market to veterans. Topics such as the VA loan process, who can qualify for a VA loan, and what condition/features a home must have to qualify for purchase may be popular topics.

If you think working with veterans may be the right niche for you, visit SecretsofTopSellingAgents.com to learn more about VA loans and helping veterans buy a home.

Haunted Houses

haunted house

While most people tend to see abnormal sounds and strange phenomena as detractors when looking to buy or sell a home, the thrill of a potentially haunted house can be a major selling point for some. If you’re interested in helping sellers escape an unwanted situation and finding buyers who revel in the intrigue of a haunted house, this may be the niche for you.

Who They Are

Most showings take place during the day, so buyers don’t always notice the unsettling feeling they get from the property until the documents are signed and they’re left living in a house that terrifies them. Whether the feeling crept up slowly or they discovered the home has a violent past, homeowners like this may be looking for a way out. And in this niche, you can help.

Another way you can enter the haunted houses niche is to work with buyers specifically looking to inhabit a haunted house. The unique history, attractive price point, and thrill of the unknown is a big draw for some buyers.

How to Find Them

Acquaint yourself with local history and keep an ear out for mentions of haunted houses and eerie encounters to break into this small, but passionate niche. With spooky topics on everyone’s mind, October is a great time to meet those looking to buy or sell haunted real estate. Hosting or sponsoring a ghost tour around your town is a perfect opportunity to talk about haunted houses in your area and mention how you’ve helped people who were unhappy with their housing situation. If you live in an old, historic town, a ghost tour may even be popular year round.

How to Market to Them

Before they sell their home, those living in a haunted dwelling may want to try to evict the spirits. Get your name in front of these homeowners by sharing information about various ceremonies and rituals they can try to remove unwanted spirits. Blogs and social posts about selling a haunted house and the necessary disclosures in your state can also reassure about putting their home on the market and show them that they have options. As a haunted house specialist, you can also help these homeowners find a buyer who can fully appreciate the unique charm their property offers.

For those looking to buy a haunted house, sharing posts about ghost sightings and pictures of historic homes may help attract new business. You can also consider starting a Facebook Group for local ghost enthusiasts where you can build a community and learn the latest ghost-related news.

For a little light-hearted ghostly fun, visit www.haunted.homes. Just plug in any address and we’ll share a fun story about whether or not the property is haunted! Have you had a spooky real estate experience? Share it in the comments below!

Homes with Rentable Components

airbnb homes

In the last several years, vacation rental programs like Airbnb and vrbo have made it easy for homeowners to rent out their home or spare room. The convenience, along with the money-making opportunities has created a market for people who are specifically looking to buy homes with rentable components. This could be anything from a full mother-in-law suite to an extra bedroom, converted garage, or basement that they could outfit for paying guests.

Who They Are

Renting out a portion of your home can be a great source of income for anyone, but single homebuyers and couples who don’t have young children may find the hosting lifestyle suits them better than those who need to work around the needs of small children or large families.

How to Find Them

As a newer niche opportunity, you may be able to find business in this niche by simply spreading the word about the opportunities renting part of your home provides. Start a Facebook group for local Airbnb hosts and share information about becoming a host, what’s expected, spots to recommend, etc. As your group grows, trickle in information about listings that would be great for hosts.

How to Market to Them

The best way to market to buyers looking for homes with rentable components is to become an expert on the subject and share your knowledge. Start by keeping an eye out for new listings with split floor plans, finished garages and basements, or other rentable components and publish a weekly list of these available properties. You could also find and share resources on how to convert unfinished rooms into livable spaces and interview contractors about what to expect from such a process. Live videos examining the best places out-of-towners may enjoy visiting or Pinterest posts showing off great guest rooms may also be a hit.

If you’re interested in exploring the homes with rentable components niche, but don’t know much about programs like Airbnb and vrbo, here are some resources that could help.

Green Homes

energy efficient home

A “green home” is one that has a positive impact, or at least a very minimal negative impact on the environment. There are steps any homeowner can take to make their home more energy efficient or better for the environment, but most truly green homes are designed and built with that goal in mind. Green homes often use recycled materials, minimize construction waste, buy materials locally to minimize transportation-related pollution, and incorporate water and energy-saving technology and systems throughout the building process. Homes that meet certain rigorous criteria can receive a green home certification.

Who They Are

Anyone can buy a green home. They may be attracted by the energy efficient qualities of the home or have a passion for reducing their carbon footprint. Similarly, someone selling their green home could be doing so for any number of reasons: relocation, upsizing/downsizing, or even a simple desire for change.

How to Find Them

Network with hybrid and electric car dealerships in the area to reach people who may already understand the benefits of going green. You may also find volunteering for community cleanup projects is a great way to meet people with an active interest in preserving the environment. If you know of green or energy-efficient homes in your area, offering information on the certification process can be a great way to open a conversation about selling their home.

How to Market to Them

Energy efficiency is a popular feature for most buyers, but many buyers may not know what makes a green home special. Familiarize yourself with the myriad features, such as thermal barriers, R-value, air infiltration barriers, low emissivity windows, and advanced framing, and share their benefits with potential clients. Charts and graphs that show the lessened environmental impact and lowered heating/cooling costs can also be a good tool to use to convince buyers to go with a green home and show sellers that you understand their home’s unique value.

Learn more about the green home market and changes your sellers can invest in to make their homes more energy-efficient here. Nationally recognized green real estate investing expert Jim Simcoe discusses rebates, grants, and incentives for homeowners, how to increase your sellers’ profits, and how to become the green home expert in your area in this Secrets of Top Selling Agents webinar.

Luxury Homes

luxury home

In a career where income is based on commission, working with more expensive homes is an appealing option. Luxury homes, while defined differently depending on which city, state, or region you’re looking at, can generally be considered to start at the one million dollar price point. These listings are typically in a prime location, have top-of-the-line finishes, and may offer amenities not available at lower price points.

Who They Are

Because they are investing such a large amount of money in their home purchase, luxury home buyers will likely have very specific features and amenities they desire. The prestige of certain homes may also be a priority of these buyers, making listings built by notable builders or with an interesting history more attractive options.

How to Find Them

While most people would love to own a luxury home, those who are actually qualified to buy may be harder to find. However, once you get your foot in the door, affluent individuals often know others with similar purchasing power, making networking one of the best ways to meet new buyers and sellers in the luxury home market. You can also meet luxury clients by teaming up with someone who has already broken into the market or by purchasing local databases and mailing lists to get the contact information for the residents of luxury homes, country club members, or boat owners.

How to Market to Them

Once you meet a potential luxury home client, you need to convince them that you’re the best agent to help them with their real estate transaction. A great first step is to become an accredited luxury home specialist; be sure to include this accreditation in your marketing materials and outreach attempts.

Focus on creating beautiful, professional marketing materials. When trying to win luxury listings or buyers, it’s important to use a professional photographer and designer instead of DIY options. Also, instead of promoting the features of a listing you’re selling or showing, focus on the benefits of the features. Try to show buyers the kind of lifestyle the property will offer and focus on the aspects of the home that will build the new owner’s prestige.

For more information about Marketing Luxury Homes, watch Jim Remley’s Secrets of Top Selling Agents webinar. Remley is a bestselling author, co-founder of the Luxury Home Council, and an Accredited Luxury Home Specialist.

Inherited Homes

inherited homes

If you are looking for a niche where your compassion and desire to help people can be put to good use, consider working with inherited homes. Selling an inherited home offers several unique challenges including multiple homeowners, additional paperwork, helping deal with the deceased one’s possessions, and the strong emotions that are part of the grieving process.

Who They Are

An inherited home is usually passed to the descendants or heirs of deceased homeowners. When the sellers reach out to you, they will likely be in mourning. There may also be a large number of people who own part of the property, all of whom will have to consent to the details of the sale. The homeowners may not live in, or even be familiar with the area or home, so you often won’t receive the in-depth knowledge and maintenance history of the house you would get from most sellers. People who inherit homes can often be highly motivated to sell to avoid paying upkeep, taxes, and other fees on a home they don’t plan to live in.

How to Find Them

Because the owners of inherited homes often don’t live in the area, they don’t already have a go-to real estate agent. Creating and sharing useful guides and resources for people who inherit a home is a good way to build a reputation as an expert in this kind of sale, which will in turn help sellers find you. Another option is to connect with probate attorneys in your area and work out co-marketing deals with them.

How to Market to Them

Show inherited home sellers that you know what you’re doing and start building your credibility and reputation as the local expert for this kind of sale. Information about what to do when you inherit a home or the expenses involved with upkeeping an inherited home can be a great help for new homeowners. Try co-branding your guides with any probate attorneys you’re working with and leaving free copies for potential clients in their office or waiting room. Information about the local market and neighborhoods will also help sellers get a better idea of what to expect from their sale.

Setting yourself apart with free information is a good way to appeal to any seller. Download your free copy of the Homeowner’s Guide to Staging here! It has essential staging techniques for any time of year as well as season-specific tips to give your listing a spring, summer, winter, or fall feel!

College Housing

college housing niche

College apartments don’t have the best reputation; while some are great, many can be small, crowded, and loud. Furthermore, when you do find a decent apartment, the rental rates can often be high. Some parents find it makes more sense to buy a home or condo for their child to live in while they go to a college or university that’s away from home. They’ll save money each month, their child can focus on their education, and it’s a good investment that they can rent out or sell once their child finishes school.

Who They Are

Most of the time it will be the parents of the college student who buy the home to provide their child a secure living space. Some buyers will opt for a one bedroom condo while others may prefer a single family home so they can rent the additional rooms to their child’s friends or other students in the area. Typically, the buyers will live out of town, may not be familiar with the area, and will likely already own a home that they themselves live in.

How to Find Them

Networking with agents in other cities and building a relocation network with agents in different college towns will be a good way to get in touch with parents looking to buy into your market. You can also reach out to the colleges about renting a booth or setting up a table during school open house events, scheduled tours, and orientation.

How to Market to Them

Most people buying college housing from out of town or state may not be familiar with the area, so resources that make it easier for new college students to settle into the area are effective marketing materials. You can also share information showing the best areas for college attendees to live based on proximity, accessibility, resources, crime rates, and other factors parents will care about. Videos about the area, especially those with an emphasis on buying vs renting will also help you find and convert more of the college housing niche.

Many parents won’t initially consider the benefits of buying a home for their college student, so marketing on rental properties and investing in rental leads is a great way to connect with parents who would consider buying once they understand the value. Homes.com Rental Connect allows you to target the areas you think parents and students would be most interested in. Contact us to find out how we can help!

Single Parents

single mother with child

Buying a home as a single parent can be challenging. They don’t have the benefit of a dual income, their credit is dependent on only themselves, and finding the time to do the necessary research to figure out how to buy or sell their home can be tricky. However, single parents can be one of the most driven and motivated niches you consider working with. Agents who hope to specialize in single parents will need to be able to handle scheduling flexibility, have a good understanding of area schools and neighborhoods, and be good with children.

Who They Are

According to NAR’s 2018 Profile on Buyers and Sellers, 27% of buyers are singles, and an unspecified number of these singles have children under the age of 18 who they are responsible for. As of 2016, 40% of children were born to single mothers. That’s not counting single parents, both female and male, who have been through a divorce or lost their loved one due to injury or illness.

How to Find Them

Finding single parents interested in real estate will be easier if you have children of your own. You can network at your child’s school, and clubs, and activities, as well as at the park and other locations frequented by parents. Another option is to form alliances with other businesses who regularly interact with single parents such as divorce lawyers and after school care. One of the best ways to find single parents who are actively interested in real estate is to set up and market a home buying seminar specifically for single parents.

How to Market to Them

Many single parents will look to buy a home to create a more stable environment for themselves and their children. Focus on the fact that with a fixed-rate mortgage, your client will know exactly how much their principal and interest payments will be for the entire mortgage term and how as a renter they have a landlord who could choose to raise their rent or not renew the lease, forcing them to find a new place to live.

You should also focus on the benefits of getting their children into a great school zone or the child-friendly community they could move into. Some amenities single parents may be interested in include a fenced yard, open floor plan, proximity to parks, and good schools.

Pet Parents

woman with dogs at park

Niches don’t have to be large to be effective, and 1% of all home buyers’ listed a “desire for better home for pets” as their primary reason for purchasing a home according to the NAR 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. Additionally, a whole 15% of buyers cited convenience to a vet/outdoor space for their pets as an important factor when choosing their neighborhood, making it more important than public transportation, convenience to the airport, planned communities, and human health facilities. If you want to break into this niche, here’s what you need to know.

Who They Are

A 2017 survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of SunTrust Mortgage found that 33% of millennials bought their first home out of a desire to provide a better space or yard for their dog. That’s a larger percentage than those who bought because of marriage (25%) or a new child (19%). The large amount of millennials whose buying decisions are influenced by their pets may be correlated to their decision to delay getting married and having children.

How to Find Them

People who are passionate enough about their pets to buy a home for them are often the same ones who bring their pets with them around town. Bring your own pet with you to the local dog park, pet store, and other pet-friendly places. Find or start a group to get together and take your pets on outings. Advertise your group with apps like Meetup to help other pet parents find you. You’ll likely find yourself running into the same people over and over again. Start forming friendships with them, learning about their pet (this topic will be very dear to them), and find out what problems they have with their current housing. When the time is right, give them your card and let them know about some low down payment loans you could help them apply for.

How to Market to Them

One of the best ways to market to anyone is to solve one of their problems. As a renter, pet parents may struggle to find homes that accept their companions, and places that do allow pets often have breed and size restrictions. On top of that, renters have to worry about costly expenses such as pet deposits, non-refundable pet fees, and pet rent. Pet safety can be a concern too. Many homes have fences that aren’t suitable for keeping dogs in the yard or have maintenance personnel who stop by at the landlord’s request and accidentally let the cat out. Let pet parents know how owning their home can solve all of these problems.

Additionally, pet parents often want more than a yard with a good fence, but most housing only offers the most basic pet amenities. Create and curate plenty of content on creating your own dog wash station, cat rope bridge mazes, pet pools, and other projects that you can’t install in a rental unit.

Fun, pet-related quizzes, like Homes.com’s Dogs Digs test are another great marketing tool. Use this quiz as a fun way to get your potential clients thinking about what kind of home would best suit their companion!