Create Your Own Niche
Start With Your Passion
Finding your niche starts with discovering what you’re passionate about. Whether you love the beach or participating in a hobby such as riding motorcycles, finding something you thoroughly enjoy is a crucial part of figuring out a specialized audience. Think about where you enjoy yourself the most. Also consider the groups you belong to. You may be surprised at the opportunities your pastimes and interests can bring to your career.
Build on Existing Networks
When looking for a niche, the clients you serve may be a deciding factor. Your ideal clients can be those who share your interests or those who are looking to live in a specific kind of community. It’s also a good idea to consider where you already have a vast network of potential clients. If you have an interest that can connect you to a lot of people, that is a good area to consider, as you already have a group to network with and market to.
Consider Your Location
As a REALTOR®, you know location is everything, and that’s true while searching for a niche, too. Consider the demographics of any niche you are contemplating. Are there enough people who share that interest who will need your real estate services in the geographic areas you serve? Are those interests related to a certain part of town, or are your ideal clients looking for homes in specific neighborhoods? By keeping these things in mind, you’ll have a better understanding of whether you will have enough business in a particular niche.
Everyone has hobbies and interests they’re passionate about, and some REALTORS® have carried that into their work. Those who specialize in a niche enjoy what they do and make great personal connections along the way. Here’s what some members of Texas REALTORS® have to say about their experience practicing real estate in a specific niche.
Finding Their Group
For many REALTORS®, the idea to specialize in a niche came from personal experience and shared interests. Austin Jordan used to play golf in college and professionally, and he now specializes in golf communities with Century 21 Real Estate in Glen Rose. Jordan says it was a natural fit for him to combine his passion for golf with his profession. “Once I got my real estate license and became experienced, I wanted to branch back into the golf community, which is what I love to do.”
Others who work in a niche wanted to fill a need they witnessed in their own experience as homebuyers or sellers. For example, Bob McCranie, with Texas Pride Realty Group, faced adversity when he and his former partner tried to purchase a home together. Because of this, McCranie decided to become a real estate agent. “Being a person of a diverse community myself and not finding inclusion, I decided to create it,” says McCranie. As a REALTOR®, McCranie now serves all kinds of diverse communities, such as racial minority groups and the LGBTQ+ community, in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, and Austin areas.
You may not think there’s a need you should fill or that your personal and professional passions would line up. However, you might be surprised at how many people—potential clients—you share an interest or experience with that you can help with their real estate transactions.
Networking for Results
Focusing on a niche has provided some REALTORS® with meaningful connections and useful knowledge and skills. It can also help in networking. Combining your knowledge for the niche with your real estate experience is a powerful way to set you apart from other agents in the market. “You have to have the knowledge of the niche you’re working in order to best serve your clients,” says Jordan. Once they see that, they are likely to tell others who share that interest about you.
Bringing Ease to Their Business
Finding a community and clients you click with can bring great opportunities. Not only does your expertise make you a more knowledgeable agent for your client, but it allows you to focus your resources, marketing efforts, and skills. That can make business processes easier for you and your clients. Jan Belcher, who specializes in age-restricted communities with Keller Williams Dallas Preston Road, says that the “more you can focus your energy on the things you love to do… and ways to grow that community, the easier it will be.”
Building Stronger Connections
If you’ve gone through a similar experience as your clients or you have a shared interest with them, you can naturally build strong professional and personal connections. For example, Belcher and her husband moved to an age-restricted community themselves not too long ago. She says it has helped her better understand clients and their needs. Bonding over stories about grandchildren, living in a new place, and being around the same age as many of her clients has made her work life even more enjoyable.
Serving a specific community has also been rewarding for McCranie, who says working with those in diverse groups has done more for him than simply provide a living. “It’s given me a home; it’s given me a group of people I feel comradery with or a natural affinity towards; it’s given me a life course,” says McCranie.
Making the Most of Marketing Opportunities
When serving a specific community, REALTORS® often use traditional, mainstream ways of promoting their business, such as mailouts and social media. However, having a niche can also allow you to target your marketing. Jordan created a website specific to his niche and clients. The website includes information on all the golf communities in the area, so users and potential clients can compare the different options and see listings in them.
Dealing With Challenges
Having a narrower group of people to do transactions with can have its challenges. Belcher says that some REALTORS® who focus on a specific market can be subject to more ups and downs of that market. For example, Ymke Condy, who specializes in tennis communities with Jordan at Century 21 Real Estate, says that business can be more challenging when other agents are serving the same community and competing for a smaller pool of clients. Belcher agrees and says it can be helpful for agents to have a backup plan to widen their focus if unable to generate enough business from their specialty audience.
Abisai Y. Ortiz, a REALTOR® who works with stigmatized properties in Edinburg with JPAR Modern Living, says that serving a narrower community can be more difficult in some ways but that overcoming these challenges makes each transaction even more rewarding.
Specializing in a niche can provide a great opportunity to bring your passions and career together. You can make deeper connections with clients and strengthen the skills needed to serve those clients. It may take some time, but Ortiz says, “Once you find your niche, you’ll be a part of that group for the rest of your life and your career.”
Follow All Fair Housing Rules
Remember that the Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex (including gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, and sexual harassment), disability, familial status, or national origin. Cities or other jurisdictions may include other protected classes.