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Homes.comAt the 2011 Mid-Year National Association of Realtors conference taking place this week in Washington, D.C., many of the nation’s top real estate professionals met to discuss trends in the industry and hear from experts about several of the issues facing the real estate market and real estate professionals today. On Thursday, May 11, attendees at the conference had the opportunity to attend a three-part program from top Realtors on finding success in the resort and second home market.

If you weren’t able to attend the session, don’t worry! has the information you need to succeed in the vacation home market.

The principle that should guide you when developing your business in the resort home market is “specialization.” Forget what you have learned about casting a wide net—in the resort home market, you want to narrow your efforts as much as possible. Focus on a small core group of consumers, or even one particular subdivision, and become as knowledgeable as possible about the needs and prospects of the market you are targeting. Second home buyers are wealthy, informed consumers who are looking for depth of knowledge, not breadth. Tailor your efforts accordingly.

The first step to building your business in this niche market is choosing the right location. Waterfront properties and mountain recreational areas are obvious choices, but there are many locations that offer what second home buyers are seeking. Once again, remember specialization! Don’t spread your efforts over too broad an area.

After you have selected a location, you will need to focus your efforts on branding and networking, both of which are incredibly important in this market. Internet marketing efforts are especially important, as most of your buyers will be shopping from out of town. Positioning yourself as an area expert with the knowledge and credentials to back it up can give you a major edge in this competitive market. Your marketing efforts should account for the nature of your high-end clientele—advertise in luxury magazines and don’t skimp on taking regular education courses. Demonstrating your knowledge and credibility is important in this market.

While this market is difficult to break into, the rewards are manifold. One stellar client review could have everyone in that client’s BlackBerry looking to you for real estate advice. This is also an excellent market for repeat business, as vacation homes have a high turnover rate. A lifelong client in this market could be coming to you for a high-end real estate transaction every five years or so.