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.
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.
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!